Let’s Go Fly a Kite

Family Home Evening Resource Book, (1997), 320


The following activity teaches family members how to build and fly a kite and is good for all ages. It takes two to three hours and requires breezy weather.

Materials Needed

A brown paper bag or brown wrapping paper

Reed stems, twigs, bamboo barbecue skewers, or any other lightweight wood about 1/16 inch (about .16 cm) in diameter

Thread

A nail to punch holes

Strips of paper or cloth 1/2 inch (about 1.25 cm) wide and 6 feet (about 2 meters) long

Scissors

Activity

To build a Bermuda kite, follow these steps:

  1. 1.

    Trace the pattern on the cut-apart paper bag or on the brown wrapping paper. Then cut out the pattern.

  2. 2.

    Use the nail to punch holes in the pattern as shown in the drawing.

Since kites are so inexpensive at the store, you may want to buy one instead of making one. The following are some activities you can do with your kites. Your neighbors might enjoy getting involved with these activities.

  1. 1.

    Reeling-in race. The kite string should be 100 yards (about 90 meters) long. The contestants launch their kites and, at a signal, begin to reel them in. The first to reel in his kite wins.

  2. 2.

    Altitude race. The object of the altitude race is to make your kite reach higher than the other kites in a certain time period. Each person starts at a starting line and has five minutes to get his kite in the air and return to the starting line.

  3. 3.

    Messenger race. Thread a cardboard circle on each kite line. While the kites are in the air, contestants try to maneuver the cardboard disc up the kite line to the kite.

  4. 4.

    Kite fighting. In a clear, open area such as a field with few trees and no electrical lines, two contestants launch their kites and take a position 40 to 60 feet (about 12 to 18 meters) from each other. The object is to cut the opponent’s line before he cuts yours. This is done by entangling the lines and making a vigorous sawing motion. The kites should be flown lower than normal height. When one line is cut, the game is over. Prepare the kite line by applying glue and then sand to the 100 feet (about 9 meters) of kite line nearest the kite.

Additional Activities

Have each family member design and decorate a kite. If you want to judge them, do it according to construction, design, appearance, materials used, and flying ability.

  1. 1.

    Using this pattern as your guide enlarge and trace on brown paper. Cut it out.

  2. 2.

    Use nails to punch holes as shown.

  3. 3.

    Insert sticks as shown.

  4. 4.

    Make bridle using a string twice as long as vertical stick. Tie a loop in the middle; then tie the string to the stick as shown.

  5. 5.

    Wrap a piece of light wire around the bottom of the vertical stick, forming a 1/2″ loop on the bottom of the stick. Tie a cloth tail (1/2″ wide, 2–3 times as long as vertical stick) to the wire.

  6. 6.

    Attach the end of a ball of string to the loop of the bridle. Now go fly your kite!