10 of the best paper plane designs

If you’ve forgotten how to make a paper plane, scroll down and you’ll find 10 great paper plane designs with how-to video tutorials right here.

Making paper planes is a simple paper craft with enormous learning benefits for children. At its most basic, it’s a clear hands-on example of geometry, symmetry and how shapes fit together.

To transform a two dimensional piece of paper into a three dimensional flying machine is not only magical, but it’s a unique exercise in spatial reasoning.

The first real airplane was designed, built and flown in 1903 by the Wright brothers. Today, over 100 years later, there’s still something enchanting about watching your own paper version sail through the air.

Here’s five reasons why you should spend an afternoon with your kids trying to make a paper plane that will actually fly:

  • no need to go to the craft shop: all you need is some A4 paper
  • it’s relatively mess-free: no glue, no cutting, no glitter, no paint
  • it’s a great way to engage their minds in some mathematical and spatial thinking
  • there’s nothing more confidence-boosting than creating a paper plane that actually flies
  • it will get them running outside to fly their paper planes

There are all types of designs for paper planes; something like a simple dart design gives more distance while the ‘mantis’ comes with its own in-built landing gear.

Most paper planes begin with the same series of folds, but we’ve sourced some more unique designs that will engage and challenge serious young “plane spotters.”

Here are 10 great paper plane designs from easiest to hardest to get your kids flying.

1. Traditional paper plane design

Everyone knows this one. But if you’ve forgotten here’s a video tutorial refresher.

2. Sleek traditional paper plane design

This one has a few more folds that give it a more streamlined shape for better distance.

How to make a sleek traditional paper plane

3. Dart paper plane

For a truly speedy flyer, try this design.  The repetitive folds will sharpen up your skills quick smart.

How to make a dart paper plane

4. Javelin

If you’re in the mood to try something a bit different this javelin is a graceful distance flyer.

How to make a javelin paper plane

5. Nakamura Lock

The Nakamura Lock is a beautiful design with some unusual folds that you won’t be expecting, so pay attention!

How to make a Nakamura Lock paper plane

6. Mighty mite

A compact, strong design, the mighty mite can take a lot of punishment and still keep on flying.

How to make a mighty mite paper plane

7. Flying Fox

A flying fox is a bat with large ears. Make sure you puff out your planes ‘ears’ to get extra lift.

How to make a flying fox paper plane

8. Cat’s ears

Once you’ve mastered all of the above, move on to the more challenging cat’s ears, be sure to curve your rudders before takeoff.

How to make a cat’s ears paper plane

9. UFO

It looks simple but it’s way out of left field. The clever design creates  a little launching pocket beneath for your hand.

How to make a UFO paper plane

10. Mantis

With its own landing gear on board, the mantis will give some acrobatic loops and swoops if you play your cards right.

How to make a mantis paper plane

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