Aerodynamics For Kids


Aerodynamics is the way air moves around things. The rules of aerodynamics explain how an airplane is able to fly. Anything that moves through air reacts to aerodynamics. A rocket blasting off the launch pad and a kite in the sky react to aerodynamics. Aerodynamics even acts on cars, since air flows around cars.

For birds and other flying animals, the flapping motion of their wings creates both lift and thrust. If the wings of an airplane could flap they would also propel the airplane through the air and maintain lift, and an engine wouldn’t be needed. But it would be very difficult to design and build an airplane with flapping wings. It would be an extreme engineering challenge which is why airplanes are designed to keep the source of lift (the wings) and thrust (the engine) separate.

What Is Lift?

Lift is the push that lets something move up. It is the force that is the opposite of weight. Everything that flies must have lift. For an aircraft to move upward, it must have more lift than weight. A hot air balloon has lift because the hot air inside is lighter than the air around it. Hot air rises and carries the balloon with it. A helicopter’s lift comes from the rotor blades at the top of the helicopter. Their motion through the air moves the helicopter upward. Lift for an airplane comes from its wings.

What Is Thrust?

Thrust is the force that is the opposite of drag. Thrust is the push that moves something forward. For an aircraft to keep moving forward, it must have more thrust than drag. A small airplane might get its thrust from a propeller. A larger airplane might get its thrust from jet engines. A glider does not have thrust. It can only fly until the drag causes it to slow down and land

Birds, airplanes, helicopters – basically, everything that flies is affected by the forces of aerodynamics. Aerodynamics is the study of how air moves around a solid object. The more aerodynamic a flying object is, the better it will fly.

Forces of Aerodynamics have four forces of aerodynamics:

1. Drag: a force that slows flying objects down.

2. Thrust: a force that pushes things upward

3. Weight: a force that pulls everything down.

4. Lift: the push that lets something move up.

Here are some cool experiments that fly due to forces of aerodynamics.


                                  1. Glider

A paper-based experiment that glides. Simply, a glider is an unpowered airplane, a plane without an engine. Gliders are amazing and graceful machines and are about as close as humans can get to soaring like birds.


* paper (hard)
* Paper Printer
* Scissors
* Colors


Print this on A4 paper to make the glider. Cut the outline and put the wing inside. The wing if not folded will be good for gliding but if the wings are folded in such a way they are ideal to glide to more distance.


                                 2. Parachute

Parachutes are a great way to learn about Weight and air resistance. They are also a great way to pass the time, especially once you begin to experiment with different weights and sizes. If you already know how to make a simple parachute, why not try a larger, more advanced one instead? Design one that can fall slowly to the ground before putting it to the test, making modifications as you go.


* Paper Cup
* Big Polybag
* Thread
* Tapes
* Scissor
* something to poke a hole


Poke 4 holes on the paper cup and tie equal lengths of thread to it. Cut a big rectangular piece from the polybag and paste the threads on each corner. Try to throw it from a certain height.

Hopefully, your parachute will descend slowly to the ground, giving your weight a comfortable landing. When you release the parachute the weight pulls down on the strings and opens up a large surface area of material that uses air resistance to slow it down. The larger the surface area the more air resistance and the slower the parachute will drop.

Cutting a small hole in the middle of the parachute will allow air to slowly pass through it rather than spilling out over one side, this should help the parachute fall straighter.


                              3. Paper Airplane

Paper airplanes have been around for as long, if not longer, an actual aircraft. In 1908-1909, Aero magazine used paper airplanes to explain aerodynamics principles. In 2012, paper planes thought to be over 100 years old were found in the eaves of a chapel in England. This timeless hobby is simple and easy for both beginners or experts


* A4 Sheet
* Some Folding skills

  1. Fold the paper in half vertically.
  2. Unfold the paper and fold each of the top corners into the center line.
  3. Fold the top edges into the center line.
  4. Fold the plane in half toward you.
  5. Fold the wings down, matching the top edges up with the bottom edge of the body.
  6. Add double stick tape to the inside of the body. The finished plane should look as shown in the image above.

                           4. Crazy Flying Copter

Expand your play zone to the skies with the Crazy Flying Copter DIY Kit. Learn about the power of aerodynamics & winding by making this fun science kit. To send this helicopter-inspired gadget flying, just pull the string and watch it zoom into the sky. This simple toy will astound you and your friends. Give the gift of science with toys and gadgets that foster curiosity and encourage scientific learning.


*Wooden Body Piece
*Wooden Handle
*Rubber Bands
*Plastic Pipe
*Transparent Plastic Pipe
*Zip Ties
*Ball Bearing

  1. Check your material.
  2. Handle pipe setup.
  3. Make the stick bearing assembly.
  4. Fixing Thread.
  5. Make wind up system in the handle.
  6. Finishing setup.


                                5. Hand Copter

Handcopter is a super cool copter in which we are making a popsicle stick fly. When rotated using Hands, the twisted popsicle stick spins rapidly, it begins to create lift by pushing air downward. With enough energy, the hand copter will fly in whatever direction it is pointing.


*Flat Stick
*Long Stick(Shaft)

  1. Put the flat stick in a pan of water for 2-3
    minutes. This will make the stick bend easily
    without breaking.
  2. Slightly bend the strip as shown.
  3. Attach the long stick to the flat strip as
  4.  The hand copter is ready to use. To launch,
    simply place the HandCopter’s shaft
    between both hands and spin counter-clockwise.