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Mini-boomerangs
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Mini-Boomerangs

What you will make:

In this project, you'll see how easy it is to make mini-boomerangs that really fly! Not only do they fly, but these little boomerangs return to you just like the real thing. These tiny boomerangs are launched with the flick of a finger, and can be used inside with no trouble!

Select from a variety of printable patterns, including two special boomerang pattern sheets with boomerangs in different shapes for learning about aerodynamics. You can explore the concepts of air foils and angles while having fun with these flying toys. There re also patterns for larger "outside" boomerangs.

Here's what you need:
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Markers or colored pencils
  • Optional: Computer paper, lightweight cardboard (index cards, old greeting cards and cereal box cardboard all work well), glue

This project is rated VERY EASY to do.

How to Make Mini-Boomerangs

Read all of the steps before starting.
Step 1: Choose a Pattern and Print It

Choose the boomerangs that you want to make—plain, colored, with or without designs. The Angle Test and Airfoil Test patterns are for conducting experiments in aerodynamics—there's more about this at the end of the project.

Download and print the mini-boomerang pattern. It is best to print on cardstock. If you don't have any cardstock, print on paper and glue to lightweight cardboard. Bonus patterns: Check the sidebar for printable patterns with larger boomerangs.

Mini-Boomerangs
Printable pattern for mini-boomerangs
Multi-color
Printable pattern for multi-color mini-boomerangs
Angle Test
Printable pattern for mini-boomerang angle test
Airfoil Test
Printable pattern for mini-boomerang air foil shape test

Patterns are Adobe PDF files. The Adobe Reader is available for free.

All of Aunt Annie's project patterns are designed to be printed on standard letter-size paper (8.5"x11" or A4). When printing from Adobe Reader, you may need to select Auto-Rotate and Center or Choose paper source by PDF page size to ensure the best fit.

Step 2: Color (optional)

Depending upon the pattern printed, you can color or add designs to your boomerangs.

Step 3: Stiffen Paper (optional)
Glue paper boomerang to cardboard

If you have printed the boomerang pattern on computer paper, the boomerangs need to be stiffened. Skip this step if you printed on cardstock.

Make a rough cut about ¼" beyond the outline of each boomerang. Glue each boomerang to cardstock or lightweight cardboard—index cards, old greeting cards and cereal box cardboard all work well.

Step 4: Cut Cut out boomerangs

Cut the boomerangs on the outline. Follow the curve carefully to get smooth edges.

Cut out the launchers to try the boomerang launcher technique for getting your boomerang in the air.

The boomerang is ready to fly!

Step 5: Launch Boomerang

There are various ways to launch the mini-boomerangs. All involve flicking an arm of the boomerang to get it spinning. Experiment with each way to find which works best for you.

Book Launch Flick mini-boomerang off edge of book or table

One way to launch the boomerang is to flick it off the edge of a book—avoid books with slick covers. Hold the book in one hand, and tilt it up a little. Place the boomerang on the edge of the book near the top. Be sure one arm hangs over the edge, and that the point of the boomerang faces away from you. Now, flick the arm hanging over the edge.

Tip: You can also flick the mini-boomerang off a table edge.

Finger Launch Launch mini-boomerang held between thumb and index finger

Hold the point of the boomerang gently in one hand. Holding it between the thumb and the first joint of the index finger works well. Flick the arm nearest to you with the other index finger.

Boomerang Launcher Flick mini-boomerang held in launcher

This method is like the finger launch, but uses a cardstock launcher. Cut the launcher from cardstock, and fold in half on the dashed line. Hold the point of the boomerang gently with the open end of the launcher. Flick the arm nearest to you with the index finger of the other hand.

Step 6: Conduct Tests (optional)

The two arms of an Aboriginal Australian boomerang are airfoils. Like an airfoil on an airplane, each arm has a convex upper surface and a flat bottom surface. The boomerang spins as it flies through the air. On one arm, the leading edge is on the outside curve, and on the other, the leading edge is on the inside curve. Boomerangs fly in large circles, figure eights, or spirals. The flow of the air around the airfoils and the spinning motion together cause these flight paths.

Leading edges of spinning boomerang

While our mini-boomerangs don't have all the features of an Aboriginal Australian boomerang, you can learn a bit about aerodynamics by experimenting with different shapes of mini-boomerangs.

Angle Test

Do boomerangs with different angles between the arms fly differently? Use the book launch method to do test flights with the six boomerangs on the Angle Test pattern. Did the boomerangs fly differently? Which spun fastest? Flew farthest? What did you learn?

Airfoil Test

Each arm of the boomerang is an airfoil. Does airfoil size affect how the boomerang flies? Using the book launch method, do test flights for each of the six shapes on the Airfoil Test pattern. What did you observe? Do larger airfoils provide more lift?

That's it! Your mini-boomerangs are ready to fly!
Mini-boomerangs

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Before you start:
  • Make a place to work.
  • Read all of the directions.
  • Gather everything you need to do the project.
  • Think about the project. Imagine how it will look and what you will do with it.

Are you ready?
Okay, get started!!!

Mini-boomerang angle test

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Tip: See if the angle between the arms of the boomerang has an effect on its flight. Use the mini-boomerangs on the Angle Test pattern sheet for this test.

Mini-boomerang airfoil test

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Tip: See how the shape and size of the boomerang arms effect the flight pattern. Print the Airfoil Test pattern sheet for this test.

Bonus Patterns

Pattern for mini, small and large boomerangs 

Tip: Make boomerangs in assorted sizes—mini, small and large. You will need lots of space to throw the small and large boomerangs—a large gym or outside.

The small and large boomerangs can be launched with a backhanded toss. Grasp one "arm" of the boomerang with the point of the boomerang forward. Bend your hand and arm towards your body. Toss the boomerang with a quick snap of the arm and hand. The toss must start the boomerang spinning.

Related Craft

Three designs of Floating Wing Glider

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Tip: For more paper craft flying fun, see the Floating Wing Glider Paper Airplane craft project.

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