Let’s Build (And Fly) A Kite, Okay, I think we can all agree that flying a kite is a great way to alleviate COVID 19 induced stress. When shared with friends it is also a pleasant way to do a bit of social distancing. Now, if you have a bit of extra time on your hands courtesy of quarantine, you may want to try building a kite with a few items found around the house and supplies from Tumbleweeds & Tarantulas, your one stop kite shop.
I have fond memories of kite building. My dad was home on leave from Coast Guard duty on the Great Lakes and we sat down on a Sunday morning and recreated a childhood memory of his with newspaper and flour past. It was a one time thing, and the kite only lasted for one afternoon, but it is a treasured memory of mine.
Let’s Build (And Fly) A Kite. There are several simple ways to build a rudimentary kite. As an example, you can build one with a plastic garbage bag, string, two sticks, scissors and a bit of ribbon. Start by taking the sticks (be creative – garden stakes, dowels, straight twigs, or even shish kabob skewers). Tape or tie the sticks together with a piece of string. Remember that the cross stick should be fascinated about one third of the way along the the main stick.
Let’s Build (And Fly) A Kite, I suggest skipping tape. These homemade kites are fragile enough. So, wrap the string around the back of the main stick and cross the string over the front of the cross stick and then wrap the string around the back of the main stick and make a single simple knot. Then wrap each end of the string one around the cross stick and back again around the back of the main stick and make a double knot. Cut the garbage bag to fit the frame of the kite and then tie the ends to the stick frame. Tape isn’t needed if you can keep the ends tight. Next, tie a piece of string on each side of the cross stick to the other, leaving enough slack to create a triangle. Now, tie the end of a ball of string to the bottom of the main stick, loop slack under the cross string and tie a simple knot at the intersection of the two strings so it forms a pyramid shape. For control and balance tie lovely ribbons to the end of the kite with a small weight. Next, go fly a kite!
The frame construction and string attachment is fairly standard. But to dress things up a bit, and perhaps get the children more involved, find substitutes for the skin. The only limit will be your imagination. Consider colorful wrapping or tissue paper. And once you have the kids hooked on the fun of kites, perhaps you can add another family activity, a trip to Tumbleweeds and Tarantulas.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America