Paper Airplanes: How To’s and Printables

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Kids love making paper airplanes. In their eyes, there is nothing quite like creating paper airplanes with their friends to see whose airplane flies the farthest. I know my boys on some days will spend hours trying to design airplanes that go farther and faster. 

I think sometimes we think Family fun has to be complex and really planed out when in reality it can be had in the form of simple things, like making paper airplanes. There’s no real cost (just a piece of paper), and it’s an activity both little, and big kids can have fun doing. 

Paper Airplanes: How To's and Printables

Teaching your child how to make paper airplanes is right up there with teaching them how to ride a bike. Most people know how to make the basic paper airplane template, but did you know that there are so many paper airplane templates out there to keep your kids busy for hours?

We are rounding up some of the best paper airplane template designs for you to try with your kids as well as some helpful paper airplane tips to help them fly further! 

The History of Paper Airplanes

Paper Airplanes: How To's and Printables

Did you know that the paper airplane as actually invented by the Wright brothers?

It’s true!

When the Wright brothers first started inventing the first airplane it all started with a paper model. 

Of course, they didn’t become popular til much later, actually during World War 2 when supplies were being rationed and kids could only have planes out of paper because metal, wood, and plastic was so hard to get back then. 

During this time kids began creating all kinds of different types of paper airplanes that we now call paper airplane templates that we use to create the best paper airplane that flies the furthest! 

The Best Paper Airplane Template Designs

Paper Airplanes: How To's and Printables

Simple Paper Airplane 

When you are beginning to make paper airplanes you want to follow a very simple paper airplane template. To do this, all you really need is a single piece of paper. In case you have forgotten how to fold an airplane, we found this very basic design to help you. 

The Bulldog Dart 

The Bulldog Dart is one of the more basic designs to help you warm-up and practice your paper airplane making skills. It is simple, only needs a few folds, and still flies like the best of them.

First, fold the paper in half lengthwise and then unfold it to see the crease. This crease is going to act as your guide for the rest of the folds you are going to make.

Fold-down the top two corners to meet the center crease. Then, flip the plane over and fold the corners in again to meet the center crease.

The diagonal line should line up with the middle. You then fold the top point down, so it meets the bottom.

Fold the entire plane in half to create the nose of the plane. This is how the Bulldog Dart gets its name. Fold the wings down to make a straight line across the top of the nose and repeat this step on the other side of the plane.

For more detailed instructions and photos to help you finish this paper airplane or to find some more advanced paper airplane designs, you can find them here.

Paper Airplane Templates 

When you become proficient at folding a basic paper airplane, you might want to try a more advanced airplane template to try. From gliders to the space shuttle, here are step-by-step folding instructions for over 40 different paper airplane designs.

Mickey Mouse and Friends Airplanes  

If you have Disney fans in your house then you will want to try out these paper airplane templates. Print these colourful paper backgrounds representing Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy then follow the instructions to fold into small paper airplanes for Disney inspired air fun.

Paper Airplane DIY

 This paper airplane DIY is another basic set of step by step instructions to make a simple and basic paper airplane to start off with. Simply fold the paper in half vertically, unfold the paper to see the crease and then fold each of the top corners down to that center crease line.

You can then fold the plane in half toward you and fold the wings down so that the top edges match up with the bottom edges. You can then use double-sided tape to the inside of the body for reinforcement and to add a little weight to the design to help it stay in the air.

Messenger Airplane

This cute printable paper airplane template design has lines for writing a secret message to someone which makes these airplanes extra fun.

 Fold it up and this paper airplane design to look like an airmail letter and send your message soaring.

Toy Paper Airplane 

If you want to make a paper airplane template just like the Patrin’s Aeroplane then this is the perfect design for you to try. My kids love trying to create this plane. 

Nighthawk Paper Airplane 

If you have a fighter jet fan in your home, then you want to show them this F11 paper airplane template. Try your skills at this fancy-folding paper airplane and create an F11 masterpiece.

Glider Paper Airplanes 

This glider paper airplane is fun to make. This paper airplane template can help your little one learn all about the basics of aircraft motion and how to fly paper airplanes.

The Science of Paper Airplanes

When designing and throwing your paper airplane, there are four main forces at play: thrust, lift, gravity, and drag. If you use the right materials to make your paper airplane, lighter materials work best, then it will stay in the air for longer.

The plane’s design is also important. The design of the wings, body, nose, and tail of the paper airplane can definitely change how the airplane flies.

Paper Airplane Throwing Techniques

When throwing your paper airplane that you have created, you want to make sure to throw it using your dominant hand (the hand you write with). 

You will then throw it as if you are throwing a baseball. Take a few small steps forward as you throw the airplane.

Finally, make sure to release the paper airplane at the right point of your throw.

This should be at the maximum arc and not when your arm begins to go down. If you follow these very simple steps, you will find that your paper airplane can fly a lot further.

Interesting Paper Airplane Facts

  • The largest paper airplane ever made was almost 60 feet.
  • The longest a paper airplane has stayed in the air for just under 30 seconds.
  • The longest distance for a paper airplane to be thrown was 226 feet and 10 inches.

What You Need to Make Paper Airplanes

Most of the supplies you will need to make some awesome paper airplanes can be found in your home. You will need:

  • Paper – typically standard letter-sized paper
  • Scissors – in case you need to cut certain sections
  • Tape – for some reinforcement and weight
  • Markers – to write messages on your paper airplanes

It is always a good idea to experiment with different weights and even textures of paper when making your paper airplanes. Doing so allows you to see what materials will go further or stay in the air for longer.

You can then experiment with different throwing techniques as well to see the differences in the throws and materials being used.

Paper Airplanes are for all ages

Paper airplanes can be as easy or as complicated as you wish. 

Try a pre-printed pattern or get your child’s creativity going by decorating their own blank piece of paper to create their own paper airplane masterpiece.

With your airplanes made, why not have a little competition to see whose design goes the furthest or is the easiest to land. I love the idea of creating a runway for your paper airplanes to land on.

So, grab those flyers or extra sheets of printer paper and start a little folding fun and create your very own paper airplane template to fly through the sky!

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