Make the A7 Moonraider paper airplane.

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How to Make Paper Airplanes for Kids

Do you have the right stuff? If you have ever had dreams of being a pilot, the paper airplanes and paper airplane activities for kids in this article are for you and your kids.

Many of these paper airplanes are based on actual airplanes, like the Thunderhawk or the Thunderdart. Other projects include aviation marvels like rockets. You'll also find awesome activities you can do with your brand new paper airplanes.

Each link below takes you to step-by-step instructions for each paper airplane or activity. Several paper airplanes also include a PDF pattern you can download and print.

Follow the links below to get started on these great paper airplanes and paper airplane activities:

Paper Plane Lift-Off Activity

Figure out what it takes to launch the perfect flight with this cool paper airplane activity.

Paper Plane Playoff Activity

Find out who makes the best paper airplane in this head-to-head paper airplane challenge.

FA Thunderhawk Paper Airplane

Learn how to make the paper airplane version of this powerful attack bomber.

SST Thunderdart Paper Airplane

The SST Thunderdart is a speedy plane built for quick attacks. Learn how to build its paper airplane counterpart.

A7 Moonraider Paper Airplane

Learn how to make this spectacular paper airplane in several easy-to-follow steps.

Circular Glider Paper Airplane

This unique paper airplane glider features circular wings, which help propel it through the air.

Parachute Pizazz Paper Parachute

Every good pilot packs a parachute or two. Learn how to make these great paper parachutes in several simple steps.

Rocket Power Paper Rocket

Don't be fooled -- this paper rocket is ready to launch. You can make it in several simple steps.

Balloon Rockets

Blast your paper rocket into outer space with the power of balloon thrusters.

The paper airplane activity in the next section helps you learn how to launch a great paper airplane flight. Keep reading to learn more.

Looking for other great paper crafts? Try:

Paper Plane Lift-Off Activity

The paper plane lift-off activity helps you figure out the factors that make a great paper airplane launch. How your plane flies depends a lot on you.

What You'll Need:
  • Paper
  • Crayons or markers
  • Chalk
How to make and play the paper plane lift-off activity:

Step 1: Fold your favorite airplane out of a crisp, clean piece of paper. Decorate it with crayons or markers.

Step 2: Launch your flying machine at your favorite playground, and mark where it lands with a piece of chalk. Try tossing it with your other hand, and mark where it lands. Toss it twice as hard, and mark where it lands. Try it with half the force you originally used.

Has the wind picked up? Has it gone still? See how that affects your flights. Will your paper plane fly straight up? Will it crash if you launch it toward the ground?

Give it a try, and be sure to mark where the flights land. Then compare your marks on the ground, and try to figure out just what it would take to launch the perfect flight.

Challenge a friend to the paper plane playoff activity in the next section, and find out whose plane is best. Keep reading to learn more.

Looking for other great paper crafts? Try:

Paper Plane Playoff Activity

Put your best paper airplane to the test with the paper plane playoff activity.

Most of us love building paper airplanes. Most of us have our own favorite designs. So why not go head-to-head with your friends' paper airplanes?

What You'll Need:
  • Paper
  • Paper clips
  • Long play area (park or playground)
  • Leaves (optional)
How to play the paper plane playoff activity:

Step 1: Build your best paper plane.

Step 2: Stand side-to-side with your best friend and his or her plane. Let them fly.

Step 3: Make the exact same alteration to each plane such as adding a paper clip to the nose of the plane, tear a tiny notch in the tail, or even add a small leaf to each wing.

Step 4: Fly the planes again. Repeat the process until one plane is disabled. The plane that endures the most changes wins.

Don't have a paper airplane to challenge? Give the powerful FA Thunderhawk a shot. Learn how to make this paper airplane in the next section.

Looking for other great paper crafts? Try:

Make the FA Thunderhawk paper airplane.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

FA Thunderhawk Paper Airplane

The FA Thunderhawk paper airplane is a killer flying machine ready to battle for control of the skies. Carrying tons of weapons, this attack bomber can damage enemy outposts.

Get started on this great paper airplane project by downloading and printing a PDF of the FA Thunderhawk paper airplane pattern.

What You'll Need:
  • Paper airplane pattern
Tools:
  • Scissors
How to make the FA Thunderhawk paper airplane:

Step 1: Cut out the paper airplane pattern. Fold the paper in half on the center line, and open up the paper so it lies flat.

Fold the paper in half on the center line.

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Step 2: Fold down both corners.

Fold down both corners.

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Step 3: Fold down the tip.

Fold down the tip.

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Step 4: Fold down the corners again.

Fold down the corners.

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Step 5: Fold up both wing tips.

Fold up both wing tips.

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Step 6: Fold the plane in half. Then fold down the wings one at a time.

Fold down the wings one at a time.

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Step 7: Cut the tail along the solid cutting line.

Cut the tail along the solid line.

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Step 8: Fold up the tail, and shape the plane as shown.

Fold up the tail.

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The SST Thunderdart is a speedy plane, and its paper airplane counterpart is no different. Learn how to make it in the next section.

Looking for other great paper crafts? Try:

Make the SST Thunderdart paper airplane

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

SST Thunderdart Paper Airplane

The SST Thunderdart paper airplane is a speedy plane built for quick attacks. Its radical look and menacing set of missiles make it a force to be reckoned with.

Get started on this great paper airplane project by downloading and printing a PDF of the SST Thunderdart paper airplane pattern.

What You'll Need:
  • Paper airplane pattern
  • Penny
Tools:
  • Scissors
  • Transparent tape
How to make the SST Thunderdart paper airplane:

Step 1: Cut apart the wing, tail, and fuselage (the plane's main body) along the solid cutting lines.

Cut apart the wing, tail, and fuselage.

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Step 2: Fold up the fuselage along the fold lines.

Fold up the fuselage along the fold lines.

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Step 3: Fold back the front edge of the wing twice so the edge forms a triangle.

Fold back the front edge of the wing twice.

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Step 4: Roll the fuselage several times until it resembles a triangular tube, then tape it. Set aside.

Roll the fuselage until it resembles a triangular tube.

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Step 5: Tape the underside (belly) of the front folded edge of the wing to the fuselage.

Tape the underside of the front folded

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Step 6: Flip the wing back (toward the tail section) onto the fuselage, and tape the rear of the wing. Set aside.

Flip the wing back onto the fuselage.

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Step 7: Fold back the tail's front edge once, up to the second folding line. Then fold the tail in half, and fold up the tail "wings."

Fold back the tail's front edge.

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Step 8: Turn the tail over, and place tape across the bottom.

Turn the tail over, and place tape across the bottom.

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Step 9: Tape the front of the tail to the fuselage. Roll up a piece of tape (sticky side out), and place it between the bottom of the tail and the end of the fuselage. Tape a penny to the top of the nose for added weight.

Tape the front of the tail to the fuselage.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 10: Cut and fold the tail flaps.

Cut and fold the tail flaps.

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The A7 Moonraider paper airplane is an impressive sight in the sky. Keep reading to learn how to make this cool paper airplane.

Looking for other great paper crafts? Try:

Make the A7 Moonraider paper airplane.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

A7 Moonraider Paper Airplane

Take over the skies with the fearsome flights of the A7 Moonraider paper airplane. This is the hottest plane ever to take to the sky.

Get started on this great paper airplane project by downloading and printing a PDF of the A7 Moonraider paper airplane pattern.

What You'll Need:
  • Paper airplane pattern
Tools:
  • Scissors
  • Transparent tape
How to make the A7 Moonraider paper airplane:

Step 1: Fold the paper in half on the center line, and open up the paper so it lies flat.

Fold the paper in half on the center line.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 2: Fold down both corners.

Fold down both corners.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 3: Fold back the tip on the first fold line.

Fold back the tip.

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Step 4: Fold back the tip a second time.

Fold back the tip a second time.

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Step 5: Fold back the tip a third time.

Fold back the tip a third time.

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Step 6: Fold the plane in half, and cut the tail along the solid cutting line.

Fold the plane in half and cut the tail.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 7: Fold the plane in half the opposite way.

Fold the plane in half the opposite way.

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Step 8: Using the fold lines farthest from the wing tips, fold down the wings one at a time.

Fold down the wings.

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Step 9: Fold up both wing tips. Tape the nose.

Fold up both wing tips.

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Step 10: Push the tail through along the cut lines so it sticks up.

Push the tail through so it sticks up.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

For a unique paper airplane that's sure to impress, check out the circular glider paper airplane in the next section. Keep reading to learn more.

Looking for other great paper crafts? Try:

Make the circular glider paper airplane.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Circular Glider Paper Airplane

The circular glider paper airplane may look unusual, but, in the air, it's plain amazing. Circular wings work very well in propelling this glider through the air.

What You'll Need:
  • 6 1/4 x 1 1/4-inch cherry-red card stock
  • Drinking straw
  • Decorative stickers
Tools:
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Transparent tape
How to make the circular glider paper airplane:

Step 1: Measure and cut one 3/4 x 6 1/4-inch strip and one 1/2 x 5 1/2-inch strip of card stock. Bend the longer strip into a circle and overlap the ends by 1/2 inch. Tape both the outside and inside edges to create a "pocket."

Bend the longer strip of card stock into a circle.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 2: Repeat Step 1, using the shorter strip of card stock. Slip the other end of the straw through the second pocket.

Slip the end of the straw through the second pocket.

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Step 3: Pry open the pocket and slip one end of the drinking straw through the pocket.

Slip the drinking straw through the pocket.

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Step 4: Position the two circles exactly across from each other on each end of the straw. Tape them securely in place.

Tape the two circles securely in place.

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Step 5: Decorate both circles with stickers.

Decorate the circles with stickers.

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Every pilot needs a parachute. Learn how to make the parachute pizazz paper parachute in the next section.

Looking for other great paper crafts? Try:

Make the parachute pizazz paper parachute.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Parachute Pizazz Paper Parachute

This parachute pizazz paper parachute is a breeze to make. And the higher you throw it, the longer it will float.

Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area when you make this parachute.

What You'll Need:
  • 10 x 10-inch dark-colored tissue paper
  • Household bleach
  • Four sequins
  • Four pieces of thread, 12 inches long
  • Small plastic or wooden thread spool
  • Acrylic paint, dimensional paint, stickers, sequins, or other decorative items
  • Small weight (bead or metal washer)
Tools:
  • Bowl
  • Craft glue
  • Needle
How to make the parachute pizazz paper parachute:

Step 1: Fold the tissue paper in 1-inch accordion pleats like a fan.

Fold the tissue paper in 1-inch accordion pleats.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 2: Fold this strip into triangular pleats.

Fold the tissue paper into triangular pleats.

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Step 3: Carefully unfold the tissue paper. Allow to dry, then glue a sequin on each corner of the tissue square.

Glue a sequin on each corner of the tissue square.

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Step 4: Pour a little bleach into a bowl. (Wear a smock or an old shirt to protect your clothing from drips and splashes, and make sure your work area is well ventilated.)

Dip just the tip of each corner of the folded triangles into the bleach. Remove the tissue paper from the bleach quickly.

Step 5: Thread one piece of thread onto the needle and make a tight knot at the end. Push the needle down through the center of one of the sequins and through the tissue, pulling the knot next to the sequin.

Push the needle through the center of the sequin.

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Step 6: Remove needle from thread and repeat on the other three corners.

Step 7: Decorate the spool with acrylic paint, sequins, dimensional paint, stickers, or other decorative items.

Decorate the spool.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 8: Pull loose ends of the threads through the spool and tie them around the weight.

Tie the threads around the weight.

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Variation:

Use white tissue paper. Pour a little food coloring into a bowl and add a few drops of water. Dip the corners into the bowl. Try using a different color for each corner. You can also buy pre-decorated tissue paper in bright patterns if you choose.

Graduate from paper airplanes to paper rockets with the project in the next section. Keep reading to learn how to make the rocket power paper rocket.

Looking for other great paper crafts? Try:

Make the rocket power paper rocket.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Rocket Power Paper Rocket

If you're looking for a cool paper airplane challenge, try making the rocket power paper rocket.

You provide the power to send this rocket into outer space.

Get started on this great paper airplane project by downloading and printing a PDF of the Rocket Power paper airplane pattern.

What You'll Need:
  • Construction paper: yellow, red
  • Paper towel tube
  • Bright-patterned wrapping paper, 7 1/2 x 6 inches
  • Drinking straw
  • Red card-stock
  • Red adhesive star stickers
  • 25 feet red crochet thread
  • Craft stick
  • Small pony bead
  • Large balloon
Tools:
  • Compass
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Craft glue
  • Tracing paper
  • Masking tape
How to make the rocket power paper rocket:

Step 1: Use a compass to draw a 5 1/2-inch circle on yellow paper. Cut out the circle. Fold the circle in half. Make a crease along the fold line. Unfold the circle. Cut along the creased line.

Cut along the creased line.

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Step 2: Make a cone shape that extends 1/4 inch beyond the paper towel tube's edge when it is placed on top of the tube. Glue overlapped edges of the cone in place. Discard the other half of the circle.

Make a cone shape.

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Step 3: Apply a narrow ring of glue around the top edge of the tube. Place the cone on top of the tube, center it, and then push excess paper down, smoothing it into glue. Let dry. Cut the tube down to a 7-inch length.

Place the cone on top of the tube.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 4: Lay the wrapping paper face down, and run a line of glue across the top edge and down one side. Lay the tube on the paper, lining up the top edges.

Press the glued edge of the paper to the tube, making sure it is straight. Roll the tube across the paper, applying glue to the tube as it rolls along.

Roll the tube across

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Step 5: Push the extra 1/2-inch of paper at the bottom to the inside of the tube.

Push the extra paper inside of the tube.

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Step 6: Cut the straw to 4 inches, and glue it securely to the center of 1 side of the rocket. Allow to dry.

Glue the straw to the

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 7: Cut a 1 x 6-inch strip of red paper. Use scissors to fringe one long side. Glue it around the top edge of the rocket, under the cone. Decorate the cone with stickers.

Fringe one long side.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 8: Make two copies of the fin pattern using tracing paper and card-stock. Cut out. Fold tabs on the dotted lines.

Make two copies

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Step 9: Wrap thread around the craft stick. Thread the loose end through the straw from bottom to top. Slip the bead onto the thread, and tie a loop large enough to go over a doorknob. Make sure the bead is in the loop.

Make sure the bead

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 10: Glue fins to the bottom of the rocket, placing them across from each other, with the straw centered between them.

Glue fins to the

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 11: Roll a 3-inch piece of masking tape into a loop, with the sticky side out. Stick the tape 2 inches up from the bottom edge of the rocket, on the side opposite the straw.

Stick the tape to the bottom edge of the rocket

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Send a rocket to the moon with the next paper airplane project.

Looking for other great paper crafts? Try:

Balloon Rockets

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Balloon Rockets

Balloon rockets take homemade planes to new and exciting places. Just hold the end, aim, let it go, and watch it fly.

What You'll Need:
  • Markers
  • Lightweight paper
  • Transparent tape
  • Blunt scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil balloons (long and thin)
How to make balloon rockets:

Step 1: Draw a design for your rocket on a piece of paper. With the design side facing out, bring the ends of the paper together to form a tube. Overlap the ends until the diameter of the tube is slightly larger than the diameter of a blown-up balloon. Tape the ends to secure it.

Form a tube with the piece of paper. (Step 1)

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Step 2: Cut a piece of paper in half, horizontally. Using one half, bring the top ends together and overlap them to form a cone. Tape the ends to secure it. Trim the excess paper at the bottom of the cone. Tape the cone to the top of the rocket.

Use the other half of the paper to make the rocket fins. Cut the paper in half, vertically. Cut a triangle from each half. Fold the long side of one triangle in about 1/4 inch. Tape it to one side of the rocket. Repeat with the other triangle.

Create the rocket fins and cone with another piece of paper. (Step 2)

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 3: Blow up a pencil balloon. Do not tie the end in a knot. Hold the end closed, and place it inside the rocket tube. Let go of the end, and send your rocket to the moon. (Be sure to throw away any discarded balloons when you're finished -- they are a choking hazard. And please don't shoot your rocket into anyone's face.)

Looking for other great paper crafts? Try: