Today’s STEAM Activity is a making a straw flier! This was super simple to make, and the kids can get creative with this activity. We tried it two ways: with 1 straw and with 4 straws and flew them both to compare the difference. This is a good activity for younger kids, especially if they aren’t ready to fold paper airplanes yet.
Both my kids are love cutting paper with kid safety scissors scissors. They were excited to get to cut and color paper for this activity.
- Construction paper
- Cut two ~1 inch strips from the short side of the construction paper
- Cut the second strip in half, so you have one long strip and one 1/2 strip.
- Optional: color and draw to decorate the strips and make them your own!
4. Bend the strips into a circle and secure with a piece of tape
5. If you have bendy straws, cut the bendy tip off the straws (you are left with a long, straight straw)
6a. Tape the 4 straws all evenly spaced to the INSIDE of the large circle and OUTSIDE of the small circle.
6b. Tape 1 straw on the inside of the two circles. Make sure the straw is on the bottom and the belly of the circles are both facing upward when you tape it (see picture for reference).
7. You’re ready time fly! Shoot it like a paper airplane: pull your hand back to your shoulder with the flier level with or slightly above your head, then shoot your hand forward, aiming slightly upward, while releasing the flier.
STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:
- Engineering: The four forces of flight: lift, weight, thrust, and drag. These four forces must be balanced in order for a plane (paper, straw or commercial) to fly. As the straw flier sails through the air, lift holds it up. You gave the flier a forward thrust with your arm. Drag from the air made the paper airplane slow down. The paper’s weight, along with gravity, brings it to the ground.
- Art: let your child pick the color of paper they like for their flier. Then they can decorate it with crayons, stickers, or writing. Let them express themselves any way they like!
This is easier to make than folding paper airplanes for young kids, and just as fun if you can build it right. The difficult part with this is lining up the top and bottom circles. They need to be centered and facing the same way on the straw for it to fly best.
If you try this let me know which design you chose and how it goes! If you want something more challenging, check out my post with instructions on how to make 4 different paper airplanes!