If you're craving another way to spend meaningful time with your kids, learn how to make a kite. Crafting together, followed by running and laughing at your kite-flying skills, unleashes your child's extra energy while creating special memories.
To start, gather these materials:
- 2 wooden dowels (cut to 36 inches and 24 inches, respectfully)
- Packing tape
- Slender rope
- A thick, oversize plastic shopping or garbage bag
- Recycled items such as plastic bags, cardboard boxes, and ribbon
- Kite string on a reel
Spread your supplies on a large table and get busy! To start, make a "T" structure with the wooden dowel rods, securing the two pieces together with tape or a few twists of slender rope finished with a knot. Next, trim a diamond-shaped piece of plastic from your large plastic bag. Choose a sturdy, light-colored option so you only need one layer of plastic. Pull the plastic taut and tape it to the dowels.
Then, upcycle a few streamer-like items from the recycling bin by turning them into a tail for the kite. Ribbon scraps, cut strips of a plastic bread bag, or shapes cut from a cardboard cereal box attached to yarn would all look great. Tape these to the bottom point of the kite. Finish by securing the kite string. Tie the loose end where the dowels cross, and hang on to the reel of string so the kite doesn't get away!
Make the Kite Colorful
To decorate the kite, offer permanent markers or paints to personalize it. Suggest writing your child's name, drawing a large face, or adding hand prints. Challenge his imagination with a few prompts. As your child draws, tell him a story about when you were a kid and had a kite. What did it look like? Where did you fly it? Who was with you? Together, you can decorate the kite in a way that's a mixture of your memories and your child's present day interests.
Take Flight Together
Head to the windiest area of your neighborhood or a grassy park with a hill. Take turns running and trying to get the kite to soar. As soon as it gains momentum and stays aloft, sing a song together with your child. Once the kite sails to the ground, quiet your voices. See who can sing longer and fly higher with your homemade kite. Try reciting the alphabet, song lyrics, or multiplication tables while flying. Can you get to Z, or all the way to 100, before the kite touches down?
This weekend, skip the trip to the playground and take the time to learn how to make a kite instead. Flying the new toy together opens your child's mind to learning about building things and the magic of flight. You might both learn a thing or two!
A TIP FROM THE EXPERTS
"Kites are an unending source of imagination and creative play. From design to launch, children improve their planning, sequencing, and 'maker' skills, all of which are helpful in school and beyond."
About the Expert:
Lynne Kenney, PsyD, is a mom, pediatric psychologist, educator, speaker, and co-author with Wendy Young of BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids.