Using Paper Airplanes to Practice Following Directions

Inside: Directions for a small group lesson on using paper airplanes to practice following directions. This activity is part of the Social Skills for Kids Book.

Creating and flying paper airplanes is not only fun, but also a neat way to practice following directions. In order for kids to make airplanes, they need to follow a specific set of steps. Here’s a lesson you can use in a small group to help kids practice following directions!

Materials Needed:

  • White 8.5 x 11 paper

  • Crayons/Markers/Colored Pencils

Follow the directions to make a classic paper airplane.

  1. Give each child one piece of paper and have them draw on one side of the paper. Let them know they will be making paper airplanes later, but first they are drawing to make each of their planes unique. They can draw patterns, blocks of colors, shapes, etc. Once they are done drawing, then it’s time to start turning that artwork into an airplane

  2. Take that piece of paper and fold it in half lengthwise (illustrations for folding a paper airplane)

  3. Open it up again and bring the corners down to meet the crease in the middle (it makes two triangles.

  4. Take the corners of the small triangles and fold those in again to meet the crease in the middle.

  5. Now it’s time to make the wings. Put the airplane on it’s side and fold one half down part way to make a wing. Repeat with the other side.

  6. Lift up the wings and your plane is ready to fly!

Once your planes are done, of course you have to test them. See how far everyone’s planes go. Make a target or a line on the ground to see if you can reach it.

Other ways to play:

  • Adjust folds on the airplanes to see if they will fly farther

  • Make different styles of airplanes to see which one flies the best

Feeling like you want to try some other paper airplanes? Check out Alex’s Paper Airplanes, which has videos and instructions for how to make a large variety of airplanes and helicopters all out of paper.

Debrief Questions:

How did following the directions to make the paper airplane go for you? Was it easy, hard, or in the middle?

Is there anything you would do differently next time?

Which part of this activity was your favorite?

Which part of this activity was your least favorite?

This activity is part of the Social Skills for Kids Book.


Use Paper Airplanes to Practice Following Directions Encourage Play
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