National Aviation Day marks one of the most important milestones in modern times — the birth of the airplane. But it’s not always widely celebrated with kids.
To put that right — and to teach youngsters about the history of aviation and aircraft — in this article, we’ll be breaking down:
- What and when National Aviation Day actually is
- The best National Aviation Day worksheets to teach your kids about flight
- And how you can have some family fun during this often overlooked occasion.
What is National Aviation Day?
As the name suggests, National Aviation Day is an annual celebration that honors the development of aviation and aircraft.
The event falls on August 19th each year, the birth date of Orville Wright — one-half of the Wright brothers — who (along with older brother, Wilbur) famously invented and built the world’s first, successful, motor-operated airplane in 1903.
Since then, of course, flying around the world has never been easier, and it’s often something we take for granted. That’s why it’s so important to teach your kids about the history of aircraft — to show them how lucky we are to live in such a connected world.
But how do you teach kids about National Aviation Day?
Get started with our National Aviation Day worksheets
Before getting hands-on with flying, it’s a great idea to sit your kids down and work through some of our aviation worksheets. They’re fun, filled with facts, and will bring your kids up to speed with everything they need to know about why the sky really is the limit.
Our National Aviation Day worksheet bundle includes 24 pages that’ll fly your kids through the history of this annual celebration, with fun activities like labeling parts of a plane, building an aviation timeline, flying with the Wright brothers, and so much more.
And if your kids are at a slightly more advanced level, our aviation worksheet package is ideal for future physicists looking to get their teeth stuck into the art and science behind designing, manufacturing, and operating modern aircraft.
And now it’s time to fly with these 8 National Aviation Day activities for kids
After covering the basics (and beyond!) with our aviation worksheets, it’s time to get creative — and here’s 6 National Aviation Day activities to get you started:
1. Make paper airplanes
Believe it or not, folding up paper to make paper airplanes is actually the most essential engineering lesson you can do for aviation design.
Whether or not a paper airplane will fly depends on the breadth of its wings, its aerodynamic shape, and many other factors. The paper airplane test is such a strong indicator of good design, that engineers still use paper-based prototypes to iterate their ideas to this day!
You could even provide your kids with different materials (like card and tissue paper) to test their thinking — how will different material weights impact the plane’s ability to fly?
Of course, end the activity with a paper airplane race, to see who’s plane flies the farthest! Why not check out our airplanes worksheet pack to discover a thing or two that you can apply to your paper plane design?
2. Host a kite-flying contest
If there’s enough breeze in the air, take things up a level and host a kite-flying contest for your kids in the garden or at the local park.
Not only will this be a lot of fun, but you’ll also be teaching your children a lesson in aerodynamics and physics… even if they don’t realize it!
3. Paint from above
To encourage your kids to think about how spectacular flying really is, ask them to draw or paint pictures from a bird’s eye view.
They could be painting from the perspective of a bird, airplane, or hot air balloon, depending on what they find most interesting. Either way, the process should 1) be a lot of fun, but 2) also help your kids reflect on how exciting it is that, thanks to the Wright brothers, we can all experience what it feels like to see the world from a different perspective.
4. Color the clouds
As well as drawing their own creations, you could also get your kids an aviation coloring book to really immerse themselves in the idea of flight.
This book by SAMMABU for kids aged 3-6 years, for example, includes jumbo jets, police helicopters, firefighter planes, drones, and other aviation motifs for your kids to bring to life. The bonus here is that you could even teach your kids about some of the important roles made possible by aviation (like rescuing people), as they color.
5. Paint an airplane
Another fun way of getting arty on aviation day is to paint a foam airplane. You can pick these up from most local craft stores or online, and they should keep your kids entertained for a good couple of hours. Once they’ve painted them, get your kids to go outside and fly their very own aircraft creations.
6. Bake airplane cookies
All kids love cookies… so why not make it a tradition to bake some tasty airplane treats every Aviation Day? You could even bake different shapes, like clouds, birds, and hot air balloons to make it extra creative.
Share them out as ‘rewards’ for completing their National Aviation Day worksheets, or for making the best paper airplane!
7. Three, two, one… take off!
For a blast from the past, get your kids an old-school stomp rocket to shoot off into space. As they press down on the pump, watch their excitement as their very own ‘rocket’ takes to the skies.
This would be a great way of introducing your kids to the concept of ‘air pumps’ in physics, while also showing them, first-hand, the incredible power of flight.
8. Who’s for a spot of stargazing?
Or should we say… ‘planegazing’?
After a busy day of fun activities and learning, a great way to end National Aviation Day is to sit back with your kids and watch the evening skies. Ask them if they can spot the difference between stars and planes, to really hit home how phenomenal it is that we can travel with the stars.
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Link will appear as 8 Creative Activities to “Fly” This National Aviation Day + 39 Engaging Aviation Day Worksheets for Kids: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 14, 2020