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Paper aeroplanes

What you need

  • Paper
  • An area to enjoy flying!
  • Optional: mark-making tools such as markers/crayons for decorating your plane


  • This will develop your child’s mathematical vocabulary as you discuss speed and distance. 
  • You can also extend the experience to provide targets with numerical values. 
  • This physical experience is also a great way to develop gross motor skills and help hand-eye coordination.

The experience

Introduce the activity by talking about aeroplanes. You could even reminisce about past holidays you may have been on together. Where do we see them? Introduce vocabulary such as “up” “big aeroplane” “loud”. You can also talk about pilots and implement some dressing up if you have the resources to do so, or you could try to make your own pilot hats!

Watch Rik & Theo’s tutorial together and make your paper planes. Find a space indoors or outdoors to enjoy ‘flying’. 

Discuss with your child – how far did yours go? Whose plane flew the furthest? I wonder how fast we can make the planes fly!

Experiment with different places to launch your plane – perhaps standing on a step/climbing frame/chair would make a difference? 

To extend this further for older children, you could create some targets. Use a large piece of cardboard and cut holes into it (large enough for the plane to fit through). Each hole can have a numerical target written above it, with the more challenging targets having a greater value. Alternatively make targets based on what is around you – ‘Can you reach that tree branch?’, ‘Can you aim for the sofa?’