I’m sure all of us have spent time folding and flying paper planes during our childhood, so today let’s take a look at some different paper airplane designs – complete with folding instructions and printable folding plans.
Making the best paper airplanes is easy when you have the right guide! So let’s get started. We are going to learn how to fold paper planes.
Children will love this fun and classic activity, which is perfect all year round. In winter this is a great rainy day activity to keep kids busy indoors, and keep their hands occupied but in summer you can go outside to test paper planes long distance!
Kids will learn about engineering, science and forces as they experiment to find the best type, using different folds, wings, corners and edges.
Why not have a paper plane making competition and involve the whole family. Simple activities like this can be enjoyed by families of all ages!
Four Ways to Fold the Best Paper Airplanes
Here are four fun ways to fold paper planes, inspired by the hit Australian movie Paper Planes (click the link to read our full review.)
Paper Planes Movie
This is a great family friendly movie, which the kids and I really enjoyed. Currently you can watch Paper Planes on Netflix or rent on Amazon Video
These four paper plane folding ideas will see you through the stages from the classic paper plane you probably learned to fold as a kid, up to some crazily unique designs like the round “defier”. This is where you get to the expert level models!
You can see all of these paper plane designs at different points of the movie, along with some other really impressive ones too.
Paper planes are one of the most popular forms of origami, and are a childhood staple – introduce your kids to these new designs, and I’m sure they’ll be impressed!
Step by Step How to fold paper planes
Paper Airplanes Materials
To make these paper planes all you need is some paper. Printer paper works really well and you will need one piece of paper per airplane.
A ruler is also handy, and if you like you could decorate the paper planes with felt tips, or markers to add some colour and personality.
If you want to race the paper planes, then a stop watch and a measuring tape can both be useful tools add to the fun and the sense of competition.
The Classic Dart (How to make a classic easy paper airplane)
- Fold and unfold the creases as shown in the printable instructions. Fold straight down the middle of the paper, and then fold in the two corners from the top
- Fold and unfold the next creases as shown, again from the top edges but at a sharper angle this time.
- Fold the paper plane in half horizontally
- Fold downwards to form a wing
- Repeat on both sides
- Your paper plane is finished!
- Fold the creases as shown on the instructions printable, straight down the centre and then at angles to create the cross pattern. Then, flip over the paper
- Fold a crease down, around 1/3 of the way down the page. Unfold and then flip back.
- Pop the paper by touching the middle of the intersecting creases.
- Fold back down
- And fold in half as shown
- Fold the wings down to line up with the centre
- The last fold is back from the nose, as shown on the example.
- Held tight in a vise, the paper should hold together firmly in this shape.
The Manta Ray – How to make a unique paper airplane, that looks like a Manta Ray
- Fold in half, diagonally along the centre of the paper from top to bottom
- Fold down the paper in three tiny folds
- Use the edge of a desk or the leg of a table to roll the curve into the wing profile.
- The paper airplane is ready to fly!
The Defier – A paper plane inspired by the Bernoulli principle
- Fold the paper diagonally, folding the top corner over the bottom corner. This doesn’t need to be accurate, a little unevenness may help later!
- Roll the paper against the desk in a shoeshine motion to create a little curve
- From your slight inaccuracy at the start, one edge will be a little narrower than the other
- Slide the narrow end into the wider end as far as you can or until it forms a snug fit
- Squash it into an oval shape.
- Throw this paper plane by clicking your wrist down and letting it fly off your fingers.
We hope you enjoyed these different styles of paper planes to make with kids. Have a go, improvise and design a paper airplane that is perfect for you. Test out the aerodynamic activity of each one! Which one flies the longest, and the furthest?
More Printable Activities for Kids
Here on In The Playroom, we have tonnes of free and fun printable activities for kids of all ages. From colouring pages, to activity sheets, or hands on printable crafts and games.
If you want something to keep your kids entertained, we have shared so many so please stay and browse around!
Or if your kiddo loves aeroplanes, try our simple craft to make a paper plate plane in the clouds.
For more printables, make sure to follow our Printables board on Pinterest
Go ahead and share this how to make paper airplanes instructions blog post with friends and family. Why not challenge them to a best paper airplane contest, and make it a family activity for everyone to get involved!
Why not pin these paper plane making ideas to your Pinterest Board for later.
Enjoy! Happy flying!
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.