It’s September, and here in the South the days are a little bit cooler, and the wind is picking up.  It’s the perfect time to spend a day riding the wind with a kite or two.  It’s even more fun to proudly display and fly a kite of your own design and making.

This week my Crafternoon group enjoyed stories about kites, and how children in other cultures use them in their holiday festivities.  We also learned a little bit about folk beliefs regarding kites, kite flying, and battling with kites.

When the stories were done and discussed, we got down to the real fun of the program – making our own kites.  I had three kite designs ready for the program:

        Paper Lunch Sack Kite

  •  a very simple kite made from a paper sandwich bag, string, and streamers.  We used scissors to cut the bottom off of the bag.  Markers were the tool of choice for decorating the kites, although I had plenty of crayons on hand, as well.  When the kites were decorated, we attached three streamers to one open end and a string girdle to the other.  A length of kite string wrapped around golf pencils (with the end taped to the pencil to keep the kite from escaping) was tied to the girdle, and they were ready to go.

    Easy Folded Paper Kite

  • another, slightly more complicated kite can be made from a piece of notebook or printer paper, tape, a hole-punch or sharp pencil (for poking a hole in the paper), streamers or ribbon for a tail, and string, of course.

Traditional Kite, using newspaper instead of                                        tissue paper

  • The third kite design I planned used tissue paper stretched and taped (or glued) snugly over an extended X shape made from two tightly rolled magazine pages.  (In other words, the old traditional design, except that I substituted rolled paper for dowels).

We started with the simplest design, and all made paper sandwich bag kites.  Everyone had a great time decorating their kites with markers, then deciding what color streamers to attach.  Once the kites were completed and decorated, I turned in the box fan I’d set up before the program, and each participant got the opportunity to try out his or her kite.  They experimented with trying to fly the kite with the bag closed, and then with it open.  They also tried shifting the streamers to different places on the kites to see how they affected the way the kites flew.

We had such fun playing with the first kite design that most kids decided to take the second one home to complete, so that they could focus on playing with the bag kites.  In the end we had a great time hearing stories, talking about other cultures, coloring, and learning a bit about aerodynamics in the process.