There’s nothing more fun for a child than learning to fly a kite. Who doesn’t remember the thrill of watching their first kite catch a breeze and start the long climb skyward? But you can make the activity even more fulfilling—and fun—by making one yourself. Here’s how:
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Two wood dowels or lightweight, straight sticks (one measuring 24″ and the other 20″)
Strong sheet of paper at least 26″ square (i.e. brown paper bag weight)
Tape and glue
Scissors and craft knife
Lightweight string, bakery twine or fishing line
Pencil or marker
1. Cut a notch in both ends of the short and long sticks using a craft knife. The notch should be deep enough to fit the twine. Then measure and mark the center of the 20″ stick and mark 6″ on the longer stick.
2. Make a cross using the two sticks, lining them up at the marked points. Make certain the horizontal crosspiece is at a right angle to the vertical one. Tie the sticks together by wrapping the string securely around the center points. Note: notches should all be pointing in a vertical direction.
3. Tie a small loop in the end of the string and secure it to the notch at the top of the vertical stick. Work your way around the kite, threading and securing the string through all of the notched points. In doing so, you will be creating a diamond pattern that will serve as the frame of the finished kite. Remember to keep the string taut. Repeat the process.
4. Lay the kite form on the paper and draw an outline. Remove the kite and, adding one inch to the overall pattern, cut the paper. Reposition the kite on the original outline and fold the excess over the string frame. Tape and/or glue to secure.
5. Reinforce the top and bottom tips of the kite with extra tape, then use a hole punch to create a hole in the reinforced tips. Cut a 26″ length of string and thread one end through the top hole and the other end through the bottom. Secure both ends with a knot. This vertical string serves as the kite’s bridle.
7. Now tie the end of the flying string to the bridle—about 1/3 down from the top. Attach an additional length of string to the bottom hole to fasten cloth bows and ribbons for the tail. Head outside to set your homemade kite to flight!
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