Kite Building

Materials

  • Scissors
  • String
  • Glue
  • 2 Thin sticks - must be thin, lightweight, and relatively straight. They should be similar in size to the plastic bag you will be using. One stick should be slightly shorter than the other (by 4-6 inches)
  • Ribbon
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Marker
  • At least 2 recycled plastic bags (ex. a plastic bag from a grocery store)

Preparation

Building a kite is simple when you're using recycled materials from your own home! With 9 materials needed, you'll have your kite flying in no time.

Step 1: Collect your materials
Step 2: Using the sticks and string, get ready to build the frame of your DIY kite.
Step 3: Cross the smaller stick over the longer one in the shape of a lower-case "t". The horizontal stick will be ⅓ of the way from the top of the vertical stick.
Step 4: Secure the sticks together using the string and glue. Place a dot of glue between the 2 sticks and wrap the string around the intersection several times to make sure the sticks remain at a right angle in the centre.
Step 5: Use the string to create an outline of the kite around the frame. Glue string to the bottom of the frame. Wrap the string around the stick a few times, then use the string to create a tight line to the end of the next stick. Repeat the process until the shape is entirely outlined and then cut the string and tie a knot at the same place you started.
Step 6: Cut the plastic handles off your plastic bag
Step 7: Cut the sides of the plastic bag so it becomes a flat sheet
Step 8: Lay the kite frame on the flat sheet of plastic to make sure it fits - if the frame is too large, use a second bag and tape the 2 sheets of plastic together to make a bigger sheet.
Step 9: Use a ruler and marker to measure one inch wider than the frame. Trace this shape. Then, cut along this line.
Step 10: Cut in one inch at every corner
Step 11: Time to connect the sail to the kite frame! Place the frame of the kite in the centre of the kite sail.
Step 12: Start on one side, fold the excess plastic over the string of the frame.
Step 13: Using tape, secure the folded edge to the sail. Cover the whole length with tape to prevent wind from coming between the layers. Repeat until all edges of the kite frame are secured to the sail.
Step 14: Cut a piece of string as long as the vertical stick plus 4-6 inches.
Step 15: Tie one end of the string tightly to the top of the vertical stick, and the other end to the bottom of the vertical stick, outside of the kite sail. Repeat this process with the horizontal stick, making the string as long as the horizontal stick plus 4-6 inches.
Step 16: Use tape or glue to make sure the knots don’t slide around the stick. Make sure they are stationary in place at the ends of the sticks.
Step 17: Tie the string you'll use to fly the kite at the point where the 2 previous strings intersect (at the middle of the kite)
Step 18: Add some decor by making a tail for your kite. Use another plastic bag, and cut a strip (about 3 ft long).
Step 19: Tape the strip of plastic to the bottom point of the kite, giving it a kite tail.
Step 20: Add about 3, 6-inch pieces of ribbon and tie them to the kite tail for decor. You can add your own spin on this and decorate the rest of the kite with ribbon if you wish as well.
Step 21: FLYING TIME! Find a park or big open space, and begin to fly your new homemade kite. It may take some time at first to get into the air, but try to catch some wind and have fun!
Tip: If the kite isn't flying at first, you can add some more ribbons to try and give it some more weight.

This activity is brought to you by Camp Northland, an overnight camp based in Haliburton, Ontario with a 100+ year tradition of creating memorable summer experiences for children and teenagers from Southern Ontario.

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