We're still flying high exploring flight. Yesterday we made some easy peasy homemade airplanes (or gliders, if we're truly being specific).
These are incredibly simple and made with items you've probably got around the house. Here's what you need.
Drinking straw (not the bendy kind)
Heavy cardstock or poster board
Tape and/or 2-4 tiny rubberbands
Something small for a weight (a tiny wad of modeling clay, button, etc.)
How to Make It
1. Cut the paper into two strips about 1 inch wide. If you're using a sheet of cardstock, cut it on the long end so your strips are 11 inches long.
2. Now that you have two 1-inch by 11-inch strips, cut one to be 5-6 inches long. Round the corners on the short length of paper. Fold each end in about 3/4 inch from the end. Crease.
3. On the longer strip, round the corners but make two of the corners on the same side of the paper elongated so they look vaguely like bird wings. Now roll the tips of the "wings" inward (you can roll the paper over a large marker to help).
4. Afix your wings to the plastic drinking straw. The long wings should be back from the nose of your plane about 1 1/2 inches. Use tape or for added durable use small rubberbands to hold in place.
5. Repeat with the shorter wings, placing them at the other end of the straw just about 1/2 or 3/4-inch from the end.
6. Now add your weight to the nose of the plane. We used a tiny round magnet that was held in place by clear tape. It may not have looked the best, but it did the trick.
7. Practice flying your new plane. We were surprised to see ours even make some loopty-loops!
This great idea was adapted from an activity shared in John Williams' book Projects with Flight. It's loaded with DIY flying machines to craft (kites, airplanes, helicopters, and even birds).