Flying Machines

Flying Machines

What You'll Need:

  • Several 8 1/2 x 11 Sheets of Paper
  • Round, Plastic Can Lids (e.g. from coffee cans)
  • Scissors
  • A Hole Punch
  • Several Bending Straws
  • Copies of Our Flying Saucer and Paper Airplane Patterns
  • Decorations (if desired)
  • A Stopwatch (if desired)

To Make Flying Saucers:

Hand each child a copy of our Flying Saucer pattern and two plastic lids, such as those found on deli containers, coffee cans, margarine containers, etc. Follow these steps:
  1. To make each ship, you'll need to cut out four wings and one small circle from the plastic lids. (Note: Consider cutting out the pieces in advance for younger children.)
  2. Cut off the tops of the bendable straws just below their accordion pleats.
  3. Use a hole punch to put a hole in the point of each wing and in the center of each small circle.
  4. To assemble each flying saucer, align the holes of the four wings, and overlay them with the circle. (See enclosed diagram.)
  5. Push the top of a straw (i.e. the piece with the accordion pleats) through the holes, and pull. The pleats in the straw should hold the space disk together.
Allow the children to decorate their disks with colored tape, stickers, markers, or glitter glue pens. To Fly them, toss them as you would a Frisbee.

To Make Paper Airplanes:

Hand each child a copy of the Paper Airplane pattern and a piece of paper. Have them follow your instructions as you go through the steps below:
  1. Fold the paper in half lengthwise.
  2. Open the paper. Fold one corner over the middle along the dotted lines. Note that the point you are forming at the bottom is slightly off center.
  3. Fold the other corner up over the first. You will have a flap left over.
  4. Turn the paper over and fold the flap down.
  5. Fold about three inches of the nose up over the body.
  6. Refold the plane firmly along the middle line. Open the paper. Fold the left and right wings down at a point about 1" from the middle line.
  7. Turn the plane over and fold up each wing tip. Cut flaps in the center of each wing.

Have A Contest:

Use a stopwatch to see which fighter stays aloft the longest, or see which flies the farthest.

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