Build a Kite

Summary: Build a Kite as a competition and judge it on a few different criteria.

Ages: From 12 and older

Recommended Number of Players/Teams: This is best played in teams of three, but if you only have two players, it will also work.

Equipment:
Each player or team will need a complete set of the following materials:

one 24-inch wooden dowel or lightweight, straight wooden stick
one 20-inch wooden dowel or lightweight, straight wooden stick
(hint: longer sticks can be cut to length with adult supervision)
large piece of paper (at least 26” X 26”) or a heavy duty trash bag
tape
lightweight string, twine, or fishing line
craft knife (requires adult supervision!)
ruler
pencil, pen, or marker
scissors
ribbon

Set Up:
Gather materials for each kite and have a bog or box ready for each player or team. If you choose, you can include a set of instructions in the box.

How to Play:
Each player or team must first build a kite using only the materials provided. They must then take the kite on a successful flight.

Winner:
Method 1) Winner can be the first player or team to build a kite that flys.

Method 2) Winner can be the player or team who keeps their kite in the air the longest.

Method 3) Winner can be based on a combination of points. For example, up to 30 points for sound construction, 15 points awarded for first completed kite, 40 points for kite that flys the highest, 30 points for kite that flys the longest amount of time.

Printable Instructions on How to Build a Kite

Build a Kite Instructions:
Step 1: With the craft knife, carve a notch into both ends of each wooden stick.

Step 2: Take the longer wooden stick. Using a ruler, mark off a spot that is 6 inches from the end (or 1/4 of the way into the stick).

Step 3: Take the shorter wooden stick. Using a ruler, mark off a spot that is 10 inches from the end (or halfway into the stick).

Step 4: Place the shorter stick crosswise over the longer stick, matching up the marks you just made. When the sticks are laying down, all the notches should run parallel to the ground.

Step 5: Take the string and wrap it tightly around the center of your sticks, binding them together. You will be making an "X" shape with the string. Double check that the notches remain parallel to the ground.

Step 6: Thread the string through all the notches, creating a diamond shape. Wrap it around twice, making sure the string is taut. This is the frame of your kite.

Step 7: Pull the end of the string back towards the center of your kite. (Make sure the frame is still taut.) Wrap your string tightly around both sticks (mimicking the "X" shape you made earlier with the string) and tie it off with a knot.

Step 8: Cut your paper or plastic bag so that it is slightly larger than the kite frame.

Step 9: Fold the paper over the string frame, and either tape or glue it down.

Step 10: Reinforce the top and bottom tips of your kite with tape. Then, using a pen or needle, punch a tiny hole through these reinforced tips.

Step 11: Cut a 2-foot piece of string. Knot one end of the string through the top hole and the other end through bottom hole. This will form the bridle of your kite.

Step 12: Take the remainder of your string. Attach one end of it to the bridle (about 1/3 of the way down). This will be your flying string.


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