Learn everything you need to know about flying and launching a kite safely with this list of kite flying tips for kids.
Learn how to fly a kite. Kite flying on a windy day is a great way for children to develop hand-eye coordination, kinesthetic awareness, and gross motor skills. Children can also learn a few science concepts, simple physics, and a little bit about weather and ecology while flying a kite.
Invite children to make their own kites for even more opportunities to learn. Learning how to make a kite is a great STEAM activity for kids and adults of all ages. Children can learn a lot from designing, engineering, building, and decorating their own kites. Get started with the list of tips and ideas below!
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Fly a Kite with Kids
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.
The Benefits of Kite Play for 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. DIY kite making resources can be found in “Pick Your Kite” below.
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Prepare for Flight: Pick or Build a Kite
How to Build a Kite: DIY Kites for Kids and Adults
There are many types of kites to choose from. Each has been designed to do something different in the sky. If you want to make your own kite, please have a look at How to Make a Kite by My Best Kite, where you will find 27 awesome DIY kite-building tutorials with step-by-step instructions.
The Best Kites for Kids and Adults
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:
- Easy Large Diamond Rainbow Kite for Kids and Adults
- Single Line Delta Kite for Family Outdoor Games and Activities
- Colorful Delta Kite for Kids and Adults
How to Fly a Kite
1. Wait for Wind
Days with consistent light to medium winds are good kite flying days. The best conditions to fly a kite are when it’s breezy but not too windy. Are the leaves on the trees moving? If not, the wind may be too light. If you hear leaves rustling and see flags gently waving, it’s 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!
2. Location, Location, Location
Flying a kite is best in a wide-open area. Look for a space that has a large 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.
Teach kids to stay as far away as possible from obstacles that can cause turbulence and help them understand why. As the wind goes around objects such as trees, buildings, and hills, it gets bumpy–these wind bumps are called “turbulence.” This is why it is important to make sure children do not allow their kites to get close to trees or other obstacles downwind because they can get drawn into the turbulence and crash.
3. Teach Children Basic Kite Flying Safety Tips
Make sure you talk to your kids about how to fly a kite safely before launch. This includes basic flying skills and being aware of any surrounding obstacles, including brothers and sisters. 😉 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. His older brother decided it would be fun to try to hit his brother with the kite. It turns out he was wrong. Safety is rule #1!
One way to keep children safe while flying a kite is to teach your children hand signals. Using hand signals is a lot easier than yelling and hoping children will understand. 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.
Flight Rules: Kite Flying Safety Tips
- 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.
- Keep the kite away from people, animals, and objects, and don’t try to hit anything.
- 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 Launch a Kite 3 Ways
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. Learn how to launch a kite with a running launch, a standing launch with the instructions listed below.
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1. How to do a Running Launch
Young children love to run to launch a kite. This is fun for kids, but it is not (I repeat not) the best way to launch, nor is it easy for kids to get the kite into the air. If you would like to launch your kite with a running launch, make sure your child is running into the wind with only a little bit of line. Once the wind catches the kite, show them how to stop and let out more of the line to get the kite up and flying.
2. How to do a 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. Please don’t throw it into the air; instead, 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.
3. How Launch a Kite from Standing in a Light Wind
Allow your child to 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. 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.
How to Bring in a Kite
Once you are finished flying your kite, wind the kite string around the spool or handle to bring it in. Easy peasy! Invite children to bring in the kite by winding it around the spool and put it away for the next windy day!
Get Outside and Fly a Kite
Kite flying with kids is a fun outdoor activity with many benefits and opportunities to learn. It’s the perfect activity for homeschoolers and families looking to get outside, connect and have fun while learning through play!