Build a Space Ship, Fast – Star Wars Folded Flyers

Lots of Star Wars posts recently. But what can I say… my kids are into it so I’m going with it. My youngest daughter and I came across the Star Wars Folded Flyers book while browsing around Michaels, and though it was a bit pricey, she convinced me to buy it. It turned out to be a great purchase- the whole family made Millenium Falcon paper planes and flew them around outside.

Star Wars Folded Flyers

Easy fun Star Wars folded paper ships

What’s the project?
Paper airplanes with a Star Wars twist. One book, with everything you need (including clear instructions) for building 5 copies each of 6 different classic star ships.

Who’s it for?
The whole family, including kids aged 5-12. Older kids might find it a bit basic.

What will we learn?
Building (folding) the ships is mostly a matter of following the book’s very clear instructions. For younger kids, this can be an opportunity to hone fine motor skills. And for everyone, this can be an exercise in craftsmanship.

Flying the ships is where the real fun starts. With shapes that differ from traditional paper airplanes, there’s a lot of room for experimentation to get the best flight patterns.

How long will it take?
20 minutes to build one ship, 20+ minutes of play

Tools and Materials

How to

  1. Buy the book.
  2. Pick a ship
  3. Follow the instructions to fold the perfect ship
  4. Fly your ships

That last step is where most of the experimentation can happen. Try having contests for farthest flight, longest flight duration, or best tricks. Small modifications to a ship (e.g. straightening out a fold or adding a paper clip for weight) can have big effects on how it flies. Flying outdoors adds in lots of other factors (like wind and deadly obstacles).

Younger kids may need help with some of the folds. Generally speaking, folding on a table (as opposed to up in the air) leads to better results. Each ship requires you to get the feel for how to fly it.

Wrap-up and more exploration
Though a bit pricey, this book includes 5 copies of each ship so all of us could work on the same one together. It made for a great, simple family project with an emphasis on craftsmanship and aeronautics.

If this was fun, from here you could explore more origami projects or more aerospace projects. Let me know where this project leads you and your family.

Update: After writing this, I came across an origami robot named Dash, which looks amazing.

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