Paper Helicopter DIY – STEM for Kids

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We do love a paper craft… paper is something that most people easily have to hand and with a snip here and a cut there (or just a fold and fold)… you can quickly and easily make ALL SORTS of fun paper toys and paper decorations. One such idea are these oh so simple DIY Paper Toys – How to make Paper Helicopters! Super quick and fun to make and great to watch them fly and spin!

This is on my “Stuck At Home” Playlist too – so if you need “easy videos” for kids to follow and do (more or less) on their own.. do take a peak at that too!

Based on nature’s helicopter seeds these really are a marvel. Get the kids making the basic shape.. and then why not experiment and see how you can turn this simple DIY into a proper S.T.E.M. activity. Get the kids to come up with alterations and predict what will happen to their toy… then explore and experiment what really happens and see if you can figure out why! Super simple science for kids!

This post has been updated, since I originally created it! Some of the images are highlights from my Kids’ Paper Projects book – all you need is paper and some stationery!! Available on Amazon, Costco and Bookstoors!

Paper Helicopter Toy – materials:

  • strips of paper approx. 21cm x 3cm
  • pens or scraps of paper for decorating (optional)
  • paper clip
  • scissors
  • glue (if decorating!!!)

Yep.. that is REALLY it.. you can probably make these without scissors nor paper clips – with some simple tearing…. making this a super fun on the go little paper craft!

Alternatively – WORKSHEETS are available in my Teachers Pay Teacher Store.

How to make a Paper Helicopter Toy

We have both a video and written instructions for you! Choose which you find easier to follow!

How to make a paper helicopter step by step PHOTOS!

Step 1 – Cut out your strips of paper.

Step 2 – The image shows you the folds (dashed) and the parts to cut (sold it lines).

Fold roughly into 3 parts. 

Step 3  – Bring the bottom 1/3 of the paper up and make a neat crease. You should now have a piece of paper that is 2/3 of the original size, with one side a double layer.

Step 4 – Cut 0.5cm snips on both sides of the top fold. Fold the double sheets of paper inwards along these snips – making a thicker base.

Step 5 – Cut approx. 5cm down the centre of the remaining top 1/3 of the original paper strip.

paper helicopter steam activity

Step 6 – Fold down the created flaps into opposite directions to make the helicopter blades.

DIY Paper Helicopter - easy to make and watch them spin and fly. Then experiment and see how changes effect your paper toy.
These paper helicopters were first shared in March 2016

Step 7 – Decorate if you wish and add a paper clip for additional weight to the helicopter.

Experiment what happens with no paper clip, one paper clip and two paper clips… does your helicopter spinner better or faster?

Also do check out our YouTube Paper Crafts Playlist – LOTS AND LOTS of paper crafts all in one place! Alternatively browse our Paper Crafts Here!

I do hope you enjoyed the Paper Helicopter video. As mentioned previously.. do watch it RIGHT TO THE END to see the Helicopters fly, but also to hear about the extension ideas and how to turn this fun little Paper craft into a proper S.T.E.A.M. activity and really get the kids THINKING and EXPLORING!


Lots more fabulous  DIY Paper Toys here:

This video is also available for viewing on YouTube!

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