Go beyond the classic dart and learn how to make some awesome paper airplane designs. These look amazing and fly really well!
In this post, we will show you how to fold 4 different paper airplanes. These paper airplanes are easy for kids to make on their own, they look cool, and they actually fly well. We spent quite a bit of time trying out paper airplane designs and realized that while many of them look amazing, they don’t actually fly! So these designs are kid-tested and approved.
After you make these awesome paper airplanes, you’ll want to check out our Paper Airplane Launcher! This simple device will power up your planes!
Making paper airplanes is such a fun activity for kids! Grab a pile of paper and show kids the instructions below.
We used regular copy paper for our planes. The ones in the photos are colored copy paper since it’s easier to see, but the paper is a standard weight. It might be fun to try card stock on some of the designs and see how that compares!
We filmed video instructions for two of the planes. Click the play button below to watch.
This first design was created by my 10 year old son. He started with a design in a book, but ended up making some significant changes. This paper airplane is easy to throw and flies far and accurately.
Step 1: Start with a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Cut off a 1.5 inch strip from the side.
Step 2: Fold the paper in half vertically and then horizontally to create creases.
Step 3: Fold the top of the paper 1/4 of the way down so that it lines up with the center crease.
Step 4: Fold the paper down again.
Step 5: Fold your paper in half, mountain fold. The folded edges should be on the outside.
Step 6: Flip the paper over so that the folded edge is on the left. Fold down the top corner so that it lines up with the left edge.
Step 7: Fold down the other side in the same way.
Step 8: Now fold the wings down, one at a time. Make your fold line about 1 inch above the bottom of the plane.
Step 9: Cut a tail from the strip that you cut off at the beginning. If you want a wider tail, use a separate piece of paper.
Step 10: Staple the bottom of the paper airplane to hold it together. Place one staple in the front and one in the back. Make sure that the staple in the back goes through both sides of the plane as well as the tail.
Your Rocket airplane is complete! Time to test it out!
This paper airplane is a glider that still achieves good distance. Easy to throw.
This plane was adapted from an old school paper airplane book called “Best Ever Paper Airplanes.”
Step 1: Start with an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. Turn the paper so that the wider side runs horizontally. Fold it in half to make a crease.
Step 2: Fold down both top corners so that they meet in the center.
Step 3: Fold the top point down to meet the center.
Step 4: This step looks difficult, but it’s quite simple. Fold each side over to meet in the center.
Step 5: Fold the plane in half. Make it a mountain fold, so that the folded edges are on the outside.
Step 6: Fold down the wings on each side so that they line up with the bottom edge.
Step 7: The plane will look like this with both wings folded down. However, we’re going to open it up a little while throwing it to get “W” shaped wings.
Step 8: Flip the plane over. Use paperclips to attach the bottom two layers of paper together.
Then you’re ready to fly your paper airplane! Try throwing this one with one finger on top. Give it a gentle throw so that it glides really far.
The Super Glider
The Super Glider is a fun shape! Experiment with adding weight (paperclips) to the nose. How much weight makes it fly the best? This plane is fun, but does not go as far as the first plane. I would recommend the first design for young kids.
Step 1: Start with an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper. Turn it so that the wider side runs horizontally. Fold down the top by about 2 inches.
Step 2: Fold the paper in half, valley fold.
Step 3: Fold the top corner down to the right.
Step 4: Fold down the other side to match.
Step 5: Now fold down each wing, about 1 inch up from the bottom.
Step 6: Fold up each wing, about 1.5 inches from the tip. Then add a paperclip to the nose.
Now your airplane is ready to fly!
The Bulldog Dart
The Bulldog Dart is another great flyer. Perfect for beginners! You can find the instructions for folding this one here – Bulldog Dart Instructions.
Have fun playing with paper airplanes!
Then go make a Paper Airplane Launcher – SO fun.
Unknown Apr 2, 2020
These planes flew so well! So much fun. :)
Karen van der Meulen Dec 7, 2020
Thank you so much for this activity! so much fun and much appreciated
Paula Hansen Jul 1, 2021
These paper planes are the greatest. What fun for our grandchildren!!! Thanks so much!!!
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