There are many skills fathers should pass on to their children: how to ride a bike, how to skip a stone, and of course, how to make a paper airplane. When it’s time to show your kids how to fold a humble piece of paper into a soaring jet, don’t stumble around and hastily construct one from the poor memory of your youth — one that takes a disappointing nosedive as soon as it leaves your fingertips. Instead, teach them the art of making a plane that can truly go the distance.
The three designs below are tried and true (you wouldn’t believe some of the science behind paper airplanes) and are perfect beginner, moderate, and expert level models to play with. They go in order from easiest to hardest, so there’s something for every age level — including adult; don’t act like you’re not going to try these out in the break room.
The Bulldog Dart
This paper airplane is a warm-up of sorts. It’s simple, requires few folds, and flies well. It’s just not going to win you any contests or style points. If it’s your kid’s first time making a real paper airplane, this is a good place to start.
This is a slightly more advanced paper airplane. There are a few more folds, and it flies a bit better than the above Bulldog Dart. This is the perfect middle ground between simple and complex recreational paper aircraft.
While there are far more advanced paper airplanes, this one, in my opinion, is the perfect balance of complexity and accessibility for the Average Paper Airplane Joe. It has far more folds than the previous two models, and also flies the best and farthest. Pay attention with this one, folks, and the payoff is well worth it.
Want to learn more about rediscovering the joys of play? Listen to our Podcast interview with Charlie Hoehn, author of “Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure For Anxiety”
Last updated: March 2, 2017