Wednesday, July 25, 2012

kite making with children

on of my favorite memories from being a kid was flying kites with my dad. he wasn't a master kite maker (although he is generally the kind of guy who can pick up and DO anything) but he did love to fly. we mostly flew those crazy eyed bat kits, dad said they were just the same when he was a kid. his dad would give him 10 cents and he'd walk to the drugstore and buy a crazy eyeball bat kite and go fly it. so that's just what we did.
there was always a hill by some water with a good wind, and dad would know where to find it.
we moved around a lot as kids, and lived in a vw bus while we built our house in maine, but always there was a corner store with a bat kite. wings shiny, bat eyes red and crazy!
when i was in college i built some pretty neat kites and my husband to be (at the time) his grandfather was a real paper kite maker. his art inspired me to make a love letter kite for my husband, and i swear that's how i won him over!
working with children now, i've done some pretty cool kite projects. tyvek is an easy to find, light weigh kite material that holds up for kids a little better. especially if the children want to paint or color the kite.
here is what you need to get started:
about a yard of tyvek per kite
markers or crayons
a good stick
and kite string
wooden dowels 1/8 inch thick
box cutter or good sharp knife ( to be used and wielded by the adult of course~)
fabric scraps

i wouldn't substitute *kite string* for anything else, and it can generally be found at any art supply or hardware store

i like the good old fashioned kite shape, but you could adapt yours anyway you'd like.
make a "t" cross and cut your dowels to fit.
cut your tyvek leaving 2 inches "seam allowance"
when working with kids, we actually use clear tape to fold over the tyvek and secure it to the kite frame
i always fly my kites with a tale, honestly it makes a BIG difference! we make ours by taking a  strip of scrap cotton and then tying some bows along the tail
you can attach kite tale with tape too

wrap about 15 feet of kite string around your branch
then tie your kite string where the cross of the dowels meets and you are ready to go!


angie said...

Oh boy oh boy, thanks for son will love it, we'll be giving it a try for sure.

mosey handmade said...

angie, let me know how it goes!