Learning about flight is a fun way to learn science and maths concepts. Explore speed, distance, height, gravity, friction and direction as you talk about things that fly. Support problem-solving and perseverance as tamariki make something that flies.

Why do it?

Why do it? — He aha e mahi ai?

Talking about and making things that fly means that tamariki can:

  • explore ideas about flight: speed, distance, height and direction
  • make estimations about distance and height
  • use simple resources like paper and scissors to create something that flies or spins
  • have fun outside in the fresh air.

How to do it

How to do it — Te tikanga mō tēnei mahi

  • Explore natural things when you’re out and about together, and test to see what will spin or float in the air. Look for feathers or seeds, like the ones that come from the sycamore tree or the fluffy ones from dandelions and thistles.
  • Ask your tamaiti open-ended questions like, ‘Why do you think some things fly and others don’t?’ and ‘What helps things to fly?’
  • Watch birds and talk about the way they fly. Introduce words like ‘swooping’, ‘gliding’, ‘hovering’, ‘diving’ and ‘darting’.
  • Try making a parachute using a paper towel or serviette:
    • Tape each corner to strengthen them before punching a hole through.
    • Cut 4 pieces of string or wool, each as long as the side of the paper.
    • Tie one piece of string through each corner hole and then tie all the ends together to make the parachute.
    • Test the parachute by dropping it from a height. You could stand on a chair or drop it off a deck.


Other ideas — Ētahi atu whakaaro

Using more reo Māori

Te reo Māori English
Waka rererangi pepa Paper airplane
To launch
Rerehau Glide
Fly about
Pehea te tawhiti? How far?
Pehea te tere? How fast?