My little Henry was very young when I realised he would be a real boy. I could strive for a bit of gender neutrality all I wanted but this kid would pick up a toy and bash it to see what sound it made, he would point up at the sky when a plane was going overhead, he would just about explode with happiness when he saw a train. Soon he would get completely, deeply and utterly obsessed with diggers and the book The Little Yellow Digger. He’d fall madly in love with Dora the Explorer, but only until he realised she had a cousin called Diego. He liked pushing dolls in prams but if there was a toy truck around, that would soon steal his attention.
Having always imagined myself with a little boy, I was prepared for all of these boyish behaviours and I started finding trains, planes and automobiles exciting too. It was pretty hard not to get on board with a kid bursting with enthusiasm like he was. I kept the dolls and soft toys in his room but also encouraged his love of things with wheels and wings. Then one day I saw a paper plane making kit in Spotlight and knew it would be a fun activity we could do together.
Never mind that it costs me $15 and when I opened it, there was only coloured paper and an instruction sheet inside. Doh! I had paper and Google at home, I didn’t need to spend a dime. So here are some easy, peasy plane activities you can do with your little ones with the simplest of supplies.
Use basic paper plane instructions to make planes of all sizes. Make them huge and have fun trying to fly them, or make loads of little ones and see where they end up.
Make elaborate planes made out of toilet rolls (see the first picture above). Check out pinkstripeysocks.com for full instructions and a template – handy for the artistically challenged such as myself.
How about a cardboard box plane to ride around in? Make yourself one too and have races. Put their soft toys in them and launch them off the deck. (Make sure they understand they can’t get in them and launch themselves off the deck!)
With these peg planes (above) from createcraftlove.com, you get the chance to paint and assemble them, using up a bit of time on a rainy day plus they’re cute to boot.
This last one is called a Straw Plane and comes from a very cool website called allfortheboys.com. Apparently it flies way better than your standard paper plane, so we’ll be giving this one a go. Weeeeeeeeee.