3 – 4

Paper planes


Paper planes

What to do with this activity?

Paper planes are easy to make and great fun to play with. All you need is an A4 size piece of paper or a page from an old magazine. When you have made one, throw it indoors (not near a fire or candle) or outdoors.

At this age you will need to help your child with the folding and making. Find instructions for a "dart" shaped paper aeroplane here (there's a video at the bottom of the page). Or watch this youtube video which shows you how to make the same "dart" aeroplane. 

Make two aeroplanes, perhaps in different colours, and throw them from the same spot. See which aeroplane goes the furthest. See what happens if you throw an aeroplane out of a window. It should go further. Of course, pick up the aeroplanes you throw rather than leave litter.  



  • Why am I doing this?

    There are at least four stages in learning to write. The first is movement - your child learning to control their body and their hands - reaching, feeling and holding things - is part of this first stage.


    The second stage is making marks - seeing that if you put this crayon here and move it, it makes a mark.


    Drawing is a third stage.


    The fourth then is learning how to make letters and later words.


    For your child, the more they are aware about how useful writing is, the better. Seeing you writing is great and you pointing out other people writing will help them see how useful it is too.

  • How can I do more?

    It’s always good to keep crayons and paper close at hand, so that you can give them to your child anytime to play with.


    Write words under your child’s drawing – like their name or what they have drawn – that will help them understand the meaning of words.


    Later you could clip 10 or 12 of these drawings together to make a book. This will show your child how books can be made.


    Let your child see you writing – notes, lists, letters and emails. If you don't write much yourself, show your child other people writing when you are out and about.


    Encourage your child to use ‘pretend’ writing in play - writing their own name, notices or price lists. You could even give them a little notebook when you go to the shops or when they’re playing ‘shop’ with their friends.

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