Creating Top Flight Paper Airplanes

It’s amazing what you can do with a simple sheet of paper. But, perhaps one of the more entertaining projects is folding — and flying — a paper airplane.

This is a fun activity any day, but paper airplane enthusiasts fly especially high during the month of May in celebration of National Paper Airplane Day.

Many schools, museums, and other organizations celebrate this end-of-month “holiday” by sponsoring paper airplane competitions where participants must fold their own paper airplanes. Winners are determined by the distance their paper airplane flies, as well as how long it can stay in the air.

How far can you throw a paper airplane?

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the farthest distance that anyone has thrown a paper airplane to date is 226 feet, 10 inches. You can watch that video here.

At 3Doodler, we’ve long been interested in helping your creativity take flight. In fact, we’ve walked you through creating your own 3D airplane and 3D helicopter in previous posts.

We’ve even shown you how to create a 3Doodler plane that actually flies!

Today we wanted to kick our efforts up a notch by creating the most fabulous paper airplane that the world has ever seen. What could be better than a traditional paper airplane? A real-life Doodle of a paper airplane!

Check out our new tutorial on how to Doodle a 3D paper airplane

Fly Now

Prefer to read up on paper airplanes before you dive in? Here are some awesome books about paper airplanes for your enjoyment:

Books about paper airplanes:

Whether you decided to “fly by the seat of your pants,” or follow our tutorial on how to create a 3D paper airplane to the letter, we want you to share what you came up with @3Doodler #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate.

What can a penny do for you?

Some people believe that it’s good luck to pick a penny up, if it is face-up. You’ve likely heard the phrase, “See a penny, pick it up. All-day long, you’ll have good luck!” more than once.

In fact, there is a whole day (May 23) dedicated to the smallest unit of currency in the United States. So we pulled together a few fun activities (coin rubbings!) for you to explore the value of coins with your students. For example, maybe they’d be surprised to know that not everyone loves pennies.

Activity Idea 1: A Penny for Your Thoughts

There has been some debate about removing the penny from circulation . . . it’s just not worth as much as it used to be. Assign your students to two groups. One group will research the pros of keeping the penny in circulation; the other group will research the cons of keeping the penny in circulation. Invite them to a debate!

While there are many pros and cons, we’d be sad to lose the idea of a “lucky penny.” Here’s what a traditional penny looks like:

As you can see, coins often sport images, mottos, and other symbols.

On the front of a penny, encourage your students to find the following:
  • A profile of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, is etched into the front of most pennies in circulation today

  • According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the inscription “In God We Trust” has been included on our one-cent coins since 1909 in response to an increased religious sentiment following the Civil War

  • The word “liberty” is etched onto the front of the penny; it is a shortened form of “Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry,” a phrase coined by Thomas Jefferson

Several different designs have been used on the back of a penny:
  • A bundle of wheat, which was meant to symbolize prosperity in the United States

  • Memorial, which commemorates President Abraham Lincoln’s 150th birthday

  • A union shield, introduced in 2010, symbolizing Lincoln’s preservation of the United States as a single country

Also on the back of the penny is the Latin phrase, “E Pluribus Unum,” which means “out of many, one.” This is the official motto of the United States.

Activity Idea 2: A Pretty Penny

As you can see, much of a penny’s design is symbolic. Ask your students what they would include on a coin if they were to design their own. Of course, they would need to include the value of the currency, but would they also include the profile of an influential person? A motto? Discuss together, then invite them to design their own coin!

Activity Idea 3: Rubbing Two Pennies Together

We want to encourage the 3Doodler Community to take an even closer look at coins. Take a look at this tutorial here to help your students create replicas of real pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters with their 3D pens — by doing coin rubbings!

Add to the activity by encouraging students to sort their coins based on their value. Older students can add their coins to create new values.

Not sure where to put the coins after creating them? Check out this handy coin purse, which kids can doodle themselves!

We hope that you were in for a penny on some of the activities we suggested above! Share what your students came up with @3Doodler #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate.

Oh, My Stars! Decorating Your Space with…Space!

From capturing the first-ever image of a black hole in 2019 to the ongoing exploration of Mars by NASA’s Perseverance rover, human beings are learning more about space than ever before. Space has an amazing ability to capture our imagination and make us think about our impact on the world around us.

As we approach the beginning of summer, many of us are probably looking forward to a break from school — to staying up late, chatting around a campfire, and gazing at the stars. But for those nights when you aren’t able to get outside, 3Doodler has the perfect solution: Why not decorate your space (a fort, a playroom, a bedroom) with an out-of-this-world galaxy of your own design?

Take a look at this tutorial which uses this stencil to create glow-in-the-dark space decals for the ceiling of your favorite place. This is a great opportunity to use your extra plastics to Doodle the decals, as you will be painting over them with glow-in-the-dark paint.

 

More Ideas to Decorate Your Space

Not a huge fan of stars and planets? Not to worry. We’ve come up with a few creative ideas to help you decorate your favorite space in a way that feels right to you:

Doodle your name.

One of the more popular ways to make your room shine is to decorate a wall or a door with a 3D version of your name. Use your 3Doodler pen and plastics to Doodle the letters in your name, then use putty to stick the letters to your wall to personalize your decor. Get creative with Alpha-Doodles or other letter designs!

Spruce up your lampshade.

Lampshades are an underrated way to add some creativity to your space. Think about using your 3Doodler pen and plastics to doodle flowers or animals.  You can then stick your Doodles to your lampshade to add some personal touches to an otherwise ordinary part of your room.

Frame your photos.

Lots of people like to decorate their space with photos of friends and family. Looking at the smiling faces makes them feel happy and calm. Rather than taping your photographs to the wall, check out this beautiful photo frame stencil from 3Doodler. Grab your 3Doodler pen and DoodlePad to create colorful photo frames that will upgrade any room.

It is so important to feel comfortable in the places that you are spending your time. So whether you decide to decorate yours with images of outer space, or with other 3D designs, we hope that this post got you thinking about the possibilities — and how to make them happen with your 3Doodler pen.

Share your “space” with us @3Doodler #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate

Let’s Get Animated

If you’re anything like us, you probably spent a lot more time than usual in front of the television over the past year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In that way, the U.S. launch of Disney+ in November 2019 came at just the right time — and many of us have a newfound appreciation for the fine art of animation.

After rewatching so many of our favorite animated movies, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Lilo and Stitch, the 3Doodler team is more excited than ever to celebrate National Cartoonist Day this month. From the oldest animated cartoons to more recent hits, animation has captured our attention since the early 1900s — and cartoon drawings have kept us spellbound for even longer.

Introducing the Flipbook

Have you ever wondered how cartoon animations were created?

A flipbook is a great example of an early animation technique. It is a series of images that gradually change from one page to the next. When you flip through the pages, the images appear to move.

Here is an example of an early vintage cartoon flipbook.


In honor of National Cartoonist Day, we encourage you to create your own flipbook. Instructables has a great tutorial on how to make a high-quality flipbook with pen and paper. Keep in mind: the average 25-second animation takes around 130 images! That’s a lot of drawing! But, the end result is something to be celebrated.

Animation techniques have become more sophisticated over the years. However, we still rely on cartoons as a foundation. Here’s an example of how the Walt Disney Company used to animate its cartoons. Computers have made this process a little easier over time, but there’s still a lot of creative effort necessary to make the quality animations we look forward to watching today.

Creating a 3D Flipbook

We thought it might be interesting to take our exploration of cartoon animations off the page. We wondered: What’s the 3D version of a flipbook?

Join us in creating your own 3D flipbook in honor of National Cartoonist Day! Download this free stencil to help you create your own cartoon character, and we’ll show you how to easily animate it with a unique stand that you can Doodle yourself.

What did you animate for #NationalCartoonistsDay? Share with us @3Doodler #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate

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