Monday, January 1st, 2007
Review: Paper Airplane Fold-A-Day Calendar
Making a toy out of scrap paper is cool. The Paper Airplane Fold-A-Day Calendar is your training tool for becoming a cool parent.
First, let’s dispatch with a misnomer. This calendar isn’t a calendar. It’s more than 300 paper airplane projects on sheets which happen to be dated. There isn’t space to write notes. Saturdays and Sundays are combined. You would not use this box of loose paper to keep track of days, let alone appointments.
One side of a sheet is printed with full color graphics representing your plane, along with fold lines and other hints about the assembly. Some of the planes are stylized as military aircraft while others just have crazy colors.
The other side of the sheet contains folding instructions for the previous day’s plane. On January 2nd you’ll grab the top sheet in the box (labeled January 1st) and fold it using instructions residing on the next sheet in the box (labeled January 2nd).
There are 40 types of planes. Over the course of the year you will fold each one 7 to 8 times, albeit with different artwork each time.
One nit-pick is that the printing alignment isn’t perfect. The instructions caution, "due to shifting during the printing process, you may need to trim excess black around the airplane patterns." On my January 1st plane there was a black border on one edge which had to be cut, but not every sheet has this issue.
Also, the sheets are 7.75" x 6", folding into palm-size planes. The dimensions are proportional to 8.5" x 11" pages though.
My gut feeling about this product is that kids shouldn’t need color artwork on paper airplanes. This is the ultimate free homemade toy, so why make it commercial? If anything, kids should color plain sheets of paper and fold them. However, Thingamababy is written for parents of infants and toddlers…
You have four solid years to practice paper airplane folding with luxurious products such as this one. I say four years because kids don’t remember much from before their fourth birthday. That means you can train yourself to be a cool parent of an 8-year-old who is none the wiser.
I received this "calendar" as a gift from an uncle-by-marriage who has since divorced, but is still a good friend of my Auntie M, presided at my wedding dressed as Cat in the Hat and gives his unofficial grand niece Christmas presents. Cool, huh? We call him Uncle L, in flagrant indifference to law and social custom.
The ideal time to buy this calendar is now, after the new year, when it is discounted at cheesy mall stores. You simply cannot buy it too late because it is a craft project, not a calendar.