High-Flying Fun

DeltaKiteIf you are looking for an easy and affordable way to keep your kids busy this summer, grab a kite and head outdoors.  Kite-flying is a breeze when you’ve got the entire family working together to bring your colorful flying machine to life.  Getting a kite to take flight also lends itself to a slew of educational opportunities.  Kids can get hands-on lessons in math, science, history and geography all while having fun.  What’s more, there’s something to be said about the sense of pride a child feels when she gets a kite to dance across the summer sky.

Fortunately, kites are relatively inexpensive.  During the summer months, discount stores are stocked with simple kite kits which include all the materials needed to construct a vibrant flyer; plus instructions and photos of the completed piece.  If you are working with younger children, it’s best to select a kit that requires minor assembly.  These scaled-down versions typically call for simple taping and easy knot-tying skills that kids can master on their own.  For older children, intermediate kite kits may be a better option.  These packages require moderate math skills and advance knot tying know-how.

Another cheap option is to make a kite on your own using basic household materials.  To make an uncomplicated diamond kite you will need a pencil, sticks, string, paper, and tape.  Once you gather your items, follow these simple steps to assemble your kite:

  1. Create a cross out of two sticks. Do this by notching the ends and tying them together.
  2. Run the string through each of the slots to create the diamond shape.
  3. Cut-out a diamond shape from paper. The diamond should be approximately an inch larger than the diamond string you first made. Cut the edges of the paper to allow the sticks to show.
  4. Fold the edges of the paper over the diamond string and tape them into place.
  5. Take a piece of string and tie it to the crossbar on the kite’s back. Secure it tightly in order to create a bowed effect.
  6. Tape a patch on the kite’s cover.
  7. Using the tip of a pencil, poke a hole close to the crossbar.
  8. Cut a seven-foot piece of string and tie its end to the bottom and the other end on the cross.
  9. Attach a tail to the bottom of the kite.  Make sure the end of the kite’s string is attached about a third of the way down the bridle.

Before you test your kite, scout out an area that’s void of power lines and other tall objects.


This entry was posted in Family Activities and tagged , , by Michele Cheplic. Bookmark the permalink.
Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.