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April 16, 2013

Paper Airplanes

Paper Airplane Experiments

JZ (5) and J-Bug (4) are obsessed with paper airplanes.  If they find a piece of paper, they will turn it into a paper airplane.  Well, JZ will turn it into a paper airplane.  J-Bug will ask me to do it.

For our paper airplane experiments we made a few basic planes.

  1. Fold a piece of paper in half like a hot dog.
  2. Unfold the paper then fold the top two corners down to the crease made from the original fold.
  3. Fold the paper back in half with the folded corners on the inside.
  4. Make wings by folding each side down half the length of the plane.

Prepare for take off!

I let the boys fly their paper airplanes a few times and run around playing before we started our test flights.  Then I instructed JZ to throw his plane and remain standing where he was when he let go of the plane.  I used a tape measure (affiliate link provided) to measure the distance the airplane flew.  Note:  We had to measure, mark, then measure again and add the measurements to find the distance.

JZ loves using measuring tapes, and he eagerly helped me do the math to help me determine how far his plane flew.

Then he wrote down the measured distance on his flight record.  He also charted observations like if his plane flew straight or looped and if it landed soft or hard.

Next we made a few modifications to the airplane.  The first modification we made was adding a few pieces of tape to hold the plane together.

JZ flew his plane again, and we repeated the measuring and recording process.

The second modification we made was adding a couple extra folds to the plane, changing the wingspan and design.  Before each flight JZ hypothesized the outcome of the flight.

J-Bug loved participating in the flight tests with his paper airplane.  He had a modification of his own to test.  He put a Spiderman figurine inside the plane and watched it fly!

Other fun science projects for kids:

For more ideas for science experiments for kids visit my Science for Kids board on Pinterest. 

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