Monday, April 1, 2013

Kite Building & Flying

When the chilly winter ground starts to warm up in the midwest where I live there often is plenty of windy weather in April. For several years I have been part of a kite building and flying activity for kids using a simple diamond kite that I had designed. The kite is built from 3/16" wood dowels and covered with plastic trash liner bag. I had created a video about the basics of kites that includes complete instructions on how to build this kite which can be found at the bottom of this post. This is an activity that doesn't normally take a lot of preparation work. For some of the classes with younger children in large groups I found it necessary to construct the frames of the kites before the event to have enough time for flying.

Flying these kites takes more skill than one might think.  Where the string is connected to the kite needs to be adjusted for the wind conditions as does the length of the tail. There will be times when the wind is not strong enough, this is when you need to pull the string back and try to keep the kite flying. Normally the wind is stronger the farther from the ground so if you can get your kite up higher quickly chances are better it will stay up. Too much wind and especially gusty wind makes kite flying difficult also. The size of wood dowels I have been using can break but I am afraid larger dowels would be too heavy for flying in lighter wind conditions.

Kite Frames Ready to Cover

Bill Kuhl

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