Take flight! Make an airplane from a cardboard box for a simple and incredibly fun way to engage in imaginative play with your child.

Materials:

  • a large cardboard box
  • heavy-duty scissors (such as kitchen scissors)
  • a marker
  • a plastic tub (we used a margarine tub)
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • duct tape

Instructions

    1. Airplane longCut the flaps off the top of the box. Kids love this part and will immediately jump inside!

    2. Round out the edges of the two longer rectangle flaps to form the shape of wings.

    3. Cut a horizontal slit, the width of your wing, in each side of the box. Insert each wing into a slit. Push the wing in several inches, then fold the end down.

    4. Tape the folded-down cardboard on the inside of the box using some duct tape. If need be, you can also glue this part down.

    5. Cover a plastic tub in duct tape.

    6. Use one of the smaller flaps you originally cut off and draw on it the shape of the propeller: two teardrop shapes that are connected at the small ends. Cut out this shape.

    7. Using your plastic tub (covered in tape), trace around the bottom onto some cardboard to draw a circle. Use the excess cardboard from the propeller if you can.

    8. Cut out the circle and draw details on it with a marker if you wish.

    9. Glue the propeller to the bottom of the tub, then glue the circle on top of the propeller shape, in the center, to form the front propeller for the plane. Then glue the propeller (open end of the plastic tub) to the front of the plane.

    10. To make the tail of the plane, cut out a cardboard rectangle with a tab at the bottom and a crosswise slit cut in the center. Next, cut out a right-angle trapezoid shape with a tab in the bottom.

    11. Cut a horizontal slit in the back side of the plane and insert the rectangle with a tab into the slit, folding the tab down on the inside. Insert the right-angle trapezoid into the slit in the middle of the rectangle. Glue or tape the tabs to secure if necessary.

    Finished! Now, let your imagination take you up, up and away!

Caroline Gravino Urdaneta, a PBS Parents resident crafter, is a designer of creative family projects, tinkering painter and mother of four children. She writes about project ideas for the whole family and how to encourage creativity in kids on the popular blog, Salsa Pie and shares videos on the PBS Parents YouTube Channel. Subscribe HERE.

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  • Laura Campbell

    I made this with my 5 year old granddaughter-an easy, fun project! Thanks PBSkids

    • Caroline

      Hi Laura! That’s fantastic! So happy that your granddaughter and you had fun making this and thanks for letting us know!