Have you ever been kite flying with kids? Children absolutely love flying kites! What could be more fun than getting outside to make a colorful kite dance in the breeze?
Kids love the challenge and the thrill of getting the kite up and into the air. Once they figure out how to get it flying they can begin to master the challenge of keeping the kite in the air, and maybe even learn a trick or two.
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Kite Flying with Kids
Benefits of Kite Flying with Kids
There are many lessons to be learned while flying a kite. Kids can learn about science, physics, weather and ecology.
Kite flying also helps develop hand-eye coordination, kinesthetic awareness, and gross motor skills.
Choosing to make your own kite turns kite flying with kids into a STEAM activity. Kids can learn a lot from designing, building, and decorating their own kites.
Kite Flying with Kids: Getting Ready to Fly a Kite
Pick Your Kite
There are many types of kites to choose from. Each has been designed to do something different in the sky. If you’d like to make your own kite check out How to Make a Kite. There are 27 awesome DIY kites with step by step directions.
If you would prefer to purchase a kite, the standard shapes are the easiest to fly. For a fun single line kite that is relatively simple to fly try one of these:
Wait for Wind
The best conditions to fly a kite are when it’s breezy but not too windy. Days with consistent light to medium winds are good kite flying days. If you can feel the wind on your face, there is probably enough wind to fly a kite.
If leaves in the trees are hardly moving, then the wind may be too light. If the trees are swaying, or you can hear flags flapping, there may be too much wind. If there are flags waving and leaves rustling it’s probably a great day to fly a kite!
Warning: Don’t fly kites on days where rain or lightning is possible — it’s too dangerous to risk!
Location, Location, Location
Look for a space that has a large open area without trees, power lines, streets or an airport nearby. Beaches, parks, fields, and other wide open spaces are perfect for kite flying. The more room you have, the more fun you will have kite flying with kids.
As wind goes around trees, buildings, and hills, it gets bumpy — this is called “turbulence.” Stay as far away as you can from obstacles that cause turbulence. Don’t even let your kite get close to trees or other obstacles downwind. The wind gets turbulent as it gets close to large objects and kites may get drawn in and crash.
When I was working as a lifeguard down in Venice years ago I had to treat a young boy with a laceration to his head that could have been prevented. His older brother had decided it would be fun to try to hit his little brother with the kite. Turns out he was wrong.
Please establish rules and teach your children how to be safe before you fly a kite. Make sure you talk to your kids about how to fly a kite safely before launch. This includes being aware of any surrounding obstacles and basic flying skills.
Teach your children hand signals so you don’t have to yell and hope they understand you. We use a thumbs up sign to tell our daughter to release the kite, a flat “stop” hand to tell her to freeze right where she is, and finger pointed in whatever direction we want her to go.
Kite Flying with Kids: How to Launch and fly a Kite
There are several ways to launch a kite depending on the wind conditions, the number of kite fliers available to help, and the age of the fliers.
Young children love to run to launch a kite. This is fun for kids, but it is not (I repeate not) the best way to launch. If you would like to launch this way make sure your child is running into the wind with only a little bit of line. Once the wind catches it they have to stop and let out more line — this is usually difficult to do.
Standing Launch in good wind
Stand with your back to the wind and hold your kite up as high as you can. Make sure the nose is pointing straight up, and then gently let it go. Don’t throw it into the air, just gently release it into the wind. Let line out only as fast as the wind lifts the kite. If the wind lulls, pull in line to make your kite gain altitude. All you need to do is repeat this process until the kite gets up into steady winds.
Standing Launch in light wind
Allow your child hold your kite about fifty feet away. Signal them with a thumbs up when you are ready for them to release it. The kite should shoot up into the sky, just like if you were running.
When you get a little height, let out more line, then pull in again to gain altitude. Soon you will be up in the stronger winds and flying high. Once you get the kite up, allow your child to fly it. Later you can switch positions so your child can practice getting the kite into the air.
- Always keep an eye on your kite while it is flying. If something goes wrong, you want to see it and fix things before a crash.
- Don’t let out too much line. One hundred feet or so is plenty. It’s hard for people to see and enjoy if a kite gets too high.
- If your flying line becomes slack, bring in a little. If the kite begins to pull too hard or act unstable, let some line out.
How to Bring it in
When finished flying your kite, simply wind the kite string around the spool or handle to bring it in. Easy peasy!
Kite flying with kids is a fun outdoor activity with many benefits and opportunities to learn. It’s the perfect activity for homeshoolers and families.
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