Make a spinning paper helicopter with this super easy and creative STEAM craft for kids! It is a great for engineering craft for kids to try!
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Making STEAM Crafts
Making paper planes was one of my favourite things to do as a kid. My father owned a printing business back before the internet and so I grew up surrounded by paper. The absolute easiest thing to make as a kid were paper planes. But today I am going to show you how to make a paper helicopter. Something I never did as a kid but I know I would have loved!
How to Make A Spinning Paper Helicopter
- Fold a sheet of paper in half and cut.
- Fold the resulting piece of paper in half again lengthwise and cut.
- If you are using white printer paper, now is the time to decorate your helicopter with pencil crayons or oil pastels. Color carefully so that you don’t damage the paper.
- Once you’re done, turn the paper over and fold it in half lengthwise but don’t press hard. Crease just the edges so you know where to draw the line.
- Draw a line down the center of the paper using a ruler.
- Fold the top 1/3 part of the paper down.
- Unfold the paper, and cut down the line as far as the fold. These will be the helicopter blades.
- Measure and draw a line just below the fold about 1 cm or 1/2 inch down.
- Draw marks on the line half way between the middle of the paper and each edge.
- Cut in from each edge to the half way mark.
- Fold one edge of the bottom of the paper in towards the middle pencil line. Fold in the other side. Crease the folds well.
- Fold the bottom of the paper up towards the bottom of the blades.
- Attach a paper clip to the bottom of the paper.
- Fold back one of the blades in one direction and the other blade in the opposite direction.
- Throw your helicopter in the air and watch it spin slowly to the ground!
Let’s Talk Science: Behind the Spinning Paper Helicopter
There are a couple of forces involved here. First, the helicopter is falling towards the ground because of gravity. But it doesn’t fall like a rock or book would, it slowly depends and lands gently on the ground. Why?
As the helicopter falls, air hits the blades. The blades force the air to move out to one side. This allows the helicopter to slowly comes down. Each blade is pushing the air equally but in opposite directions causing the helicopter to spin.
- Change the direction of the blades.
- Make a bigger helicopter or smaller one.
- Test what happens when you add two paper clips or even a coin inside
Love this craft? Check out my new book STEAM Crafts for Kids coming out November 29, 2022. It has tons more easy STEAM crafts kids can make!
This activity is good for kids 5 years and up. My kids are 4, 4, and 8 year old.
This is a mess level is low.
Difficulty to Create
Easy to Medium.
Skills Developed in Spinning Paper Helicopter
STEAM learning, language development, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, imaginative play, creativity.
Supplies for Spinning Paper Helicopter
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- Paper (white paper if you want to decorate it or construction paper)
- Oil pastels or pencil crayons
Looking for more summer activity ideas? Check out of these other round-ups for more ways to stay busy this summer:
Check out My Books & TV Show!
Book: Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids
Book: Super STEAM Activity Book for Kids
TV Show: Curious Crafting
Curious Crafting shares the adventure and joy of making art with takeaway lessons for creating crafts at home.