‘How do aeroplanes fly?’
If you spend a lot of time with children, then you’re almost sure to have found yourself having a hard time answering questions like this one.
Understanding flight is difficult enough for adults, let alone for children.
There are various ways to introduce children to flight, but playing games is definitely the simplest and most effective way.
- Remote-controlled aeroplanes. There are hundreds of toy aircraft models for any age (from 3 years up!) on the market. Getting to know about flight by experimenting with funny take-off and landing manoeuvres can be a way for children to start to think about the principles of dynamics that doesn’t involve a boring Physics lesson.
For younger children, this type of toy must be always used under adult supervision.
- Montessori Method. You might have heard of Maria Montessori’s educational method based on trusting children and on progressive learning. You could start by encouraging children to travel through the sticker book entitled My First Book About the World with lots of fantastic stickers in the Montessori: a World of Achievements collection, and then they can delve into theory with Flight School: How to fly a plane step by step by Nick Barnhard, a real manual for baby pilots. You could also choose one of the beautiful 3D puzzles in natural wood available on the market.
- Cartoons. They’ve been parents’ biggest ally all over the world for the last century. The 2013 animated film Planes, the spin-off of Cars, can help explain flight to children. The story of little Dusty, an aeroplane designed to work in the fields that goes on to win competitions and overcome bias, is useful for explaining flight to children, showing them that anything is possible with commitment and hard work.
- Paper aeroplanes. A stalwart of childhood games, how could we forget the dear old paper aeroplane?
We’re living in a time when technology is an integral part of our lives and most of our children’s games almost inevitably involve it. Sometimes it’s nice to brush up on the simplest games, even if they sometimes feel like they belong to another era.