Parents and their young son running through a sunny field flying a kite.

How to Make & Fly a Kite

There’s something magical about kite flying, which is why this fun activity is bound to be a big hit with your children. Kites for kids are simple to make, and needn’t cost much at all – all you need are some basic household items and a windy day! 

 

Kite Making Materials

  • A large piece of lightweight fabric, approximately 1m x 1m in size
  • Two 1m long bamboo canes
  • One 30cm long bamboo cane, or wooden dowel
  • A stapler and staples
  • String
  • Scissors

If your kids are lending a hand while you’re making the kite (you may find it hard to stop them!) be sure to supervise them if they are using scissors and staples, and also while handling the bamboo canes.

 

How to Make Kids’ Kites that Really Fly

  1. Using your bamboo canes as rulers, measure and cut out a 1m by 1m square of fabric.
  2. Fold the square in half lengthways and in half lengthways again. Turn it over (if necessary) to make sure the open edges, not the folded edges, are lying face-up on top.
  3. At one end, fold the top two corners diagonally towards the central fold to form a triangle shape (see figure 1 below). Cut these two corners along the diagonal fold. Be careful not to cut the layers below.
  4. Now fold the other end of the fabric diagonally from the bottom to the new corner created on the top of the outside edge (this will form a long triangle – see figure 2). Cut along the fold.

    how to fly a kite

    Figures 1 & 2
  5. Open the material out. You should be left with an irregular hexagon shape (see figure 3).
  6. Next, you are going to create slots in the kite for the frame. Place a cane on top of the fabric from top to bottom to form another triangle shape on one side (see figure 3). Fold the fabric over the top (figure 4), and then slide out the bamboo, leaving the fold intact.
  7. Staple along the length of the fold, approximately 2 cm from the edge (figure 5 and 6). This will create a tube to hold your bamboo in place.
  8. Repeat above on the other side of the kite. Reinsert the bamboo canes, and if you have enough extra fabric at the ends, staple them shut, so the canes stay in place.

    Making kites for kids

    Figures 3 - 6
  9. Next, take one of the larger scraps of leftover fabric and use the stapler to make a guiding tube for the small length of cane (see figure 7). Just fold the fabric to wrap the cane and staple it together to make a tube.
  10. Insert the small cane and staple the tube across the kite, approximately a third to half of the way down (see figure 8). Be sure to leave an opening at one end so that you can remove the cane if you want to roll the kite up for storage.

    Making kids kites

    Figures 7 & 8
  11. Cut a length of string approximately 1.5m long and staple each end to the outside flaps of the kite (see figure 9). When doing this, it’s best to fold the string over and triple staple to make the attachment secure.
  12. Finally, find the middle of the attached length of string, and tie the end of your ball of string to it to make the kite tail. Your kite is ready to fly!

    Making and flying kites

    Figure 9

 

How to Fly a Kite

Flying a kite is quite simple – stand with your back to the wind and unwind a short length of string to help lift the kite off the ground, then gradually unwind more string to lift the kite higher into the sky. However, there are a few safety dos and don’ts when flying kites that you will need to share with your kids:

  • Always be sure to fly kites in large open spaces, with no trees, roads, or overhead power cables nearby.
  • Look where you’re going if you run with a kite: be careful not to fall down hills or run into obstacles. This may sound obvious, but it’s very common for young children to become so preoccupied with their new kite that they don’t see something that might trip them.
  • Fly kites responsibly: swooping a kite down towards the ground can be dangerous for other people. It’s also best to keep it away from any wildlife in the area.

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