When brother's, Orville and Wilbur Wright lifted off from Kitty Hawk, N.C.
in 1903, aviation changed the world forever. Over the years, aviation has
given the world several tremendously influential role models, from the
Wright Brothers to Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, who challenged
herself to become the first female pilot to fly around the globe. Much
later, there were early astronauts, such as Neil Armstrong, who would never
have landed on the moon if it weren’t for the pioneering science of
Aviators have always proven that no matter how high an individual dreams, with imagination, hard work and perseverance, almost anything is possible.
November is Aviation History Month, making it a great time to let your children’s imagination take wing and introduce them to the exhilarating world of flight.
Here are six high-flying activities that parents can enjoy with their children to celebrate the importance of aviation:
• Create a Kite: Who doesn’t recall childhood memories of flying a kite on a beautiful windy day? Aviation is more than 2,000 years old, with the earliest attempts using kites and gliders. Leonardo da Vinci drew several flight designs in the 15th century but never constructed any. Kites are a fun, inexpensive way for kids to be outside and entertain themselves. And making your own doesn’t have to be complicated. Start by searching the Internet for “how to create a kite.” Several different easy-to-create options pop up.
• Hold Paper Airplane Competitions: All kids love to make paper airplanes and watch them soar in the sky. Have contests with your neighbors and friends to see whose can go the farthest, highest or loopiest. Prizes can be given for the best-flying and most creative planes.
• Visit Museums: Museums are a great way to get children excited about learning. There are various aeronautic and aviation venues throughout the United States where your children can observe actual World War II planes, learn about Apollo 11 by viewing images of the first man to land on the moon, and even examine artifacts that were brought down from space.
• Enjoy a Family Movie About Aviation: So many Disney films have been about dreams coming true, and everyone dreams of what it would be like to fly! The whole family can take to the skies with Disney’s “Planes” that is available to rent or own on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. Dusty the crop duster has dreams of being a racing plane, and with hard work and determination, he becomes one of the best to race. Also perfect for inspiring enthusiasm to learn more about aviation is a bonus feature hosted by ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, who presents a fun, fast-paced countdown of some of the greatest aviators in history.
• Build Your Own Model Airplane: Inspire your child’s imagination by having him or her follow in the footsteps of the Wright Brothers. Treat your children to a trip to the toy store and let them choose their favorite model airplane kit. Spend the day together building the plane, while at the same time learning all the different parts that go into an airplane.
• Research the History of Aviation at the Library: Spend time at your local library and have fun researching the evolution of aviation and the people who have contributed to it.
You can then create an interactive experience with your children highlighting the favorite things they just learned about. First, help them compose a summary about what they liked best. Later, help them prepare a skit based on the planes and people they chose, dressing up and utilizing photos, drawings and even toy planes to share what they’ve found most exciting and amusing about aviation with others.
Aviation History Month is a great time to let your children’s imagination take wing, and introduce them to the exhilarating world of flight. Check with your local Visitor's Bureau for local events and attractions to enjoy!