One of the best family activities on a sunny, windy day is going outside and flying a kite together. But did you know that making a kite of your own can be a fun and educational experience for your kids in and of itself? Try out these simple kite designs you can make at home – it’ll make flying them afterwards twice as fun!
Always supervise young children with scissors. Sharp objects should only be used by an adult or with adult supervision.
How to make a kite for kids
The first step in kite making for kids is to choose your materials. There are a few things you could use – lightweight fabric is ideal, but you could also use paper, light card or even a sturdy plastic bag! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Your chosen kite material
- Scissors and electrical tape
- Some pens and a ruler
- Bamboo canes or dowelling rods. You can pick these up at any DIY store – you want two rods, one long and one slightly shorter – the long one should be at least as long as your kite.
- A craft knife (adults only!) to cut your rods to size with.
- String or twine for your kite’s tail. You want something light but sturdy; nylon yarn is a good choice, or fishing line. You’ll also need a piece of wood or cardboard to wind it around.
Now, let’s learn how to make a kite!
- Sketch out your kite. Using the ruler and marker pens, draw a diamond-shaped outline on your chosen material – about 1m is a good kite length, but you can go smaller if you’re using a lighter material for your kite.
- Cut out your kite (this bit is for the grown-ups). Cut around the outline that you’ve drawn. You should be left with a diamond-shaped piece of fabric, paper or plastic.
- While we’re at it, let’s cut our dowels to size – again, adults only on this bit, please! You want two pieces of dowelling, one down the middle of your kite and one stretching horizontally from one side of the kite to the other.
- Tape your dowel in place at each corner.
- Adults only – make a small hole in your kite sail, just under where your two dowel rods cross. Thread one end of your string through the hole and knot it firmly over both dowel rods. You can also add another piece of tape when this is done to make sure it stays in place. Tie the other end of the tail to your cardboard or wood, and wind it up.
Flying your kite
You’re done! Now it’s time to take your kite out for its maiden voyage. With your back to the wind, unwind a short length of the tail to help the kite sail catch the breeze – then unwind it further to lift your kite higher up into the sky.
Make sure that you and your kids stick to open spaces to fly your kite – no trees or telephone poles around – and that everyone keeps their eyes open. Running with kites, or swooping them down towards the ground, can be dangerous for your little ones and the people around them. Now you know how to make a kite – happy flying!