I would like to call myself almost an expert at making paper airplanes. As a kid, I made hundreds of them, but they were always one of two types, either a glider or a stunt plane. When my kids were younger, I tried to teach them the art of folding the perfect plane. I had their attention for a few minutes but when they got a bit frustrated folding, the activity quickly died off. I tried to introduce them to origami and that piqued their interest. So, I waited a few years, hoping that creative folding passion would come back, but I never really had an occasion to try again. And it did.
Enter Klutz Books and their paper airplane book – The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes. I’m not quite sure if the creative names of the airplanes, the easy instructions or the colorful provided folding papers got my kids interested, but we spent a few hours folding almost every plane example in the book. You can see the results of our efforts in the video below (also available directly on YouTube):
The book walks the reader through the folding of 10 paper airplanes as well as provides additional help pages on Folding & Tweaking, Learning to Fly, A Crash Course in Flight and Troubleshooting. There is a handy chart on the inside cover that quickly categorizes the planes that can be folded and in the back are a stack of 40 colored pieces of paper, ready to be turned into flight machines.
There various types of planes that can be folded: dart, glider, stunt and toy. Darts are fast and simply go straight. Gliders are similar to darts but go a bit more slowly. Stunt planes do tricks and loops and crazy curves. And the one toy plane is just a bit circle. These planes have an airtime duration of anywhere from 3.3 seconds (a dart) to 12..5 seconds (a stunt plane) and distance ranges from 28 feet (the toy plane) to 102 feet (a dart). The planes are also categorized as being indoor, outdoor or both, how fast they will fly, how many folds it takes to make them and the level of difficulty of the folding.
For the most part, my 8 and 11 year olds didn’t have much trouble doing any of the airplanes in the book. They loved the names:
- Nakamura Lock
- Spy Plane
- The Hammer
- The Professional
- Flying Ninja
- Space Cruiser
- The Hurricane
There were only 2 airplanes that were vaguely like the ones that I learned how to fold as a child. These were quite unique and a bit more like folding origami than folding paper airplanes.
Instructions were clear, easy and fun.
We amassed quite a squadron.
And flew them around the house (can you see them mid-flight below?)…
…crashing them into lamps…
…as well as getting them stuck in screen doors!
If you want to see more photos, be sure to browse through my full Flickr set here or watch the slide show below:
The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes retails for $16.95 and you can currently pick it up on Amazon for $12.93.
This is one book that is definitely a great craft-like project to do with your kids. Not only is it fun to do the folding and creations of the airplanes together, once the airplanes are done, your kids can spend hours playing with them, using their imagination.
Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received compensation as well as a gift or sample of a Klutz product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. All opinions within this article are my own and not subject to editorial review by Klutz. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.
HTD says: When was the last time you made a paper airplane?