As summer begins, children and families will be spending more time outside, and the number of activities can sometimes seem quite limited. One thing you can do is build your own kite, a tool used by some of the smartest inventors in history.
The kite is said to have been invented in the fifth century by Chinese philosophers Mozi and Lu Ban. The kite was brought to Europe by Marco Polo and since then has been used as both entertainment and scientific research. It’s fun to make and only requires a little wind to use it.
First, to gather the necessary tools. You will need: two sticks (lighter sticks or twigs will perform better), a pair of scissors, some tape, some twine or light string and a sheet of thick A3 paper. (Optional: markers or crayons.)
To start, lay the sticks in the shape of a cross, so that one of the sticks is slightly closer to the top of the second stick. Bound the two sticks together using the tape, this will be your frame. Next, lay the frame on the piece of paper and with the help of an adult, cut out the shape of the frame from the paper.
This will be the actual kite, so if you prefer a more colourful kite, feel free to use the markers or crayons to decorate the kite as you wish.
Once you have the paper cut, you can use the tape and tape the frame to the back of the kite so that the paper is securely attached to the sticks. (Note: if needed, you can apply a second layer of tape to make sure that the kite is well fastened to the frame.)
Thirdly, take the twine and tie a double knot around where the two sticks intersect. This string will be held when flying the kite, so make the string as long as needed to get the kite into the air.
The final step is to go to your favourite park or open area and take your kite for a test flight. The kite performs best with a strong wind so if the wind is particularly low, you might try running with the kite to create your own artificial wind.
The kite is a fun way to spend time outside during the summer and is a fun toy that you can easily make yourself. If you really want to impress your friends and family, you can tell the story of how inventor Benjamin Franklin [pictured] discovered electricity using a kite.