Just Add Paper: Fold ‘N Fly, The Site for Making Paper Airplanes

  by Erik Wolgemuth

I looked down at the coffee soaking into my shirt, wincing at the pain of spilled-hot-beverage-on-skin. When I raised my glance, I caught sight of the offending party. He was standing a good distance away on the other end of the living room with a mix of dread and disbelief on his face. Dread because he had been the instigating cause for the coffee spill…disbelief because it had come after as a result of his finest long distance paper airplane flight.

I hadn’t given his current plane or launching ability nearly enough credit and had figured I was safely out of range. And so as I picked up my mug of steaming goodness and turned back to monitor the flight patterns, involuntary movement took over as the Dart closed rapidly towards my face. The spilled coffee was quickly forgotten, and I was reminded of the simple joy of folded paper and planes flying in every direction with all sorts of acrobatics. Any dread he had quickly dissipated as we both celebrated his new distance record.

I’ve written previously about my poor children having inherited deeply (so very deeply) recessed artistic genes, and I believe skills of origami join this void of general artistic abilities. So, when my kids requested that I help them fold some paper airplanes and I showed them an initial model or two, I could tell there was an unspoken we should probably go ask Mom instead communication happening among them.

Now, I most certainly lack in artistic abilities, but I can, however, follow directions. Quick Google searching led me to the wonderfully helpful Fold’ NFly site. 32 different airplane designs. Step-by-step photos for folding. Even simple videos of the folding process. Fold’ NFly is no frills; you want some sweet paper airplanes to fly, that’s where to go.

Stuck inside on a cold day, the kids and I flew airplanes all over the place. We tried numerous designs, throwing techniques and accuracy games. That ream of printer paper sitting around for random craft activities suffered a significant dent. A couple weeks removed from our morning of folding and flying, and we’re still finding planes that landed on top of the bookshelf, underneath the couch, etc.

In the midst of flying with the kids, I had flashbacks to those friends in my youth who could fold away and emerge with the sleekest, wonderfully symmetrical airplanes…leaving me desperately trying to hide the mess I had just folded. If I had Fold’ NFly 25 years ago…man, things would’ve been different.

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We’ve also found good online help in the drawing department as well. Or if you’re looking for less art and more game, check out Smart Phone Find and Seek. Or you’d like a little STEM play, we’ve got some At-Home Science for you.

Picture by Pen Waggener; Used via Creative Commons license.