Girl Scouts of Rhode Island, Inc. Kite flying day May 28, 2008 A little history and background about kites: Kites have been used by many cultures to celebrate special events and occasions. Kites have been around for two thousand years. It is not known for sure who or where the kite was invented, but China is credited with the invention because they were the first to record their use in legends. Japan and Thailand and other countries also recorded the use of kites in their legends. Marco Polo, the great explorer introduced the kite to Europe in the 13th century. The kite was mostly used as a children's toy, but it was later used for scientific purposes: Benjamin Franklin used it to show that electricity was present during a storm, and it was also used to record temperatures. It has also been used for military purposes. Some special celebrations that involve flying kites are: * The Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan celebrated in April. To celebrate spring in Japan, people have picnics under the blossoming cherry trees. Children fly colorful kites. * Children's Day in Japan (May 5th). This is also another special occasion for celebrating and flying kites and traditionally kites are in the shape of a carp fish. * Chinese New Year (Spring Festival). The kite is a Chinese invention. Some special kite making themes are listed here. Suggest a holiday or celebration theme to the children first to draw and color the piece of paper before the kite assembly. Spring season: spring theme, flowers or flying insects Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) - choose an image of one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac: Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit/Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep. The Vietnamese substitute the rabbit for a cat. Activity #1: Viewing Kites Around the World Share some of these beautiful images and information with the children and tell them kites have been used for a long time by children and adults alike: 1. Kites from around the world 2. Kite information at wikipedia.org 3. Now, let's look at some unusual kites. It is hard to believe, but these "birds" are actually kites by a Japanese master. 4. Various modern Japanese kites. 5. Chinese kites: information about Chinese kites Activity #2: Let's Make a Kite that can Fly! Easiest Kite: The Bumblebee, A Simple paper fold kite This small kite is ready in a couple of minutes after gathering a couple of materials: 1 sheet of standard copier paper, thread, stapler, hole punch, scotch tape, pencil. Optional: Decorate the piece of paper with crayons, coloring markers or pencils Directions: Fold the sheet of paper in half... Mark two points, A and B on the folded edge of the paper. Point "A" should be 2 1/2 inches from the end, and point "B", 2 1/2 inches. Fold the top corners of the page to point A and staple them in place. Do not crease the paper. Just bend it back. Punch a hole at point B and attach your flying thread. Activity #3 - Music - Sing Disney's Mary Poppins song Let's Go Fly a Kite Now with your new kite, or kite craft, celebrate with the grand finale, sing. Let's go fly a kite With tuppence for paper and strings, When you send it flying up there, you can have your own set of wings. all at once your lighter than air! With your feet on the ground, You can dance on the breeze, you're a bird in flight! over 'ouses and trees! With your fist holding tight, With your fist 'olding tight, to the string of your kite! to the string your kite! Let's go fly a kite Let's go fly a kite Up to the highest height Up to the highest height Let's go fly a kite Let's go fly a kite And send it soaring And send it soaring Up through the atmosphere Up through the atmosphere Up where the air is clear Up where the air is clear Oh, let's go fly a kite! Oh, let's go fly a kite! Activity #4 - Kite Safety Tips Poster While kite flying is exceptionally entertaining and educational, it's important to remember that it can pose some risks. Keep these safety tips in mind. Decorate a poster with the safety tips listed below. Most importantly, never fly near high tension wires. You could be electrocuted if your kite touches the lines. It is important to discuss when and how to fly a kite. Never fly a kite: Near electric lines or poles. With metal parts or lines which will attract electricity. Use fishing line or wire to fly a kite In the rain, the line can also carry electricity. Near the edge of a steep hill or slope or too close to an airport. Near ditches, stones, trees, and traffic or animals. Always fly kites away from power lines, and never over roads. Always fly away from other people. Remember to be considerate of others. If you tangle lines with another kite, don't yank the line or it might break. Fliers should walk together and the tangle will slide right down the line to where you can unwrap it. If you think you're getting good... Offer to help a friend. Flying is fun... Pass it on. As a kite flier, you are responsible to think about safety and what you are doing. If a kite gets caught up in a tree or pole is best to leave it alone! Climbing high places can be very dangerous. Always fly kites in an open area like a large field or beach where there are no obstacles. Avoid areas near trees and houses. Not only could you lose your kite, you could cause serious property damage. Never fly near a highway or a busy street. You won‟t want to run into traffic to retrieve a downed kite, and airborne kites can be distracting to drivers. Activity #5: Read the story Spot's Windy Day Read the story Spot's Windy Day then have the girls decorate a coloring page featuring a kite. Activity #6 - Make A Newspaper Kite – Good for recycling theme and Earth Day celebrations Materials: This kite has no rigid sticks used in its construction, instead you use rolled up newspaper, so if you have an old newspaper, a roll of tape and some scissors you have everything you need! 1. Take 2 double pages of a Tabloid newspaper then tape them together. 2. Next measure 180 mm in from each corner and draw a line to join the points together. 3. Cut along this line to give you the shape of the kite. Reinforce the edges with tape. 4. Roll some newspaper into a narrow tube shape. You will need 2 tubes. 5. Stick the tubes to the kite as shown in the photograph above. 6. Stick some string to the outer corners of the kite. That‟s it! Activity #7 - Play some Fun Kite Games Kite games are designed to be fun, rather than strict contests with lots of rules. Here are a few games to get you started. Kite Parade: Kite parades are simple, colorful, and fun. The best part is that everyone participates and no one looses. Simply line everyone up, start the music, have everyone hold onto their kites (not flying them, but actually carrying them), and march the group around the kite field. Funny hats and costumes add to the atmosphere. Parades are great ways to finish up a kite making workshop. Highest Flying Angle : This contest is designed to see which kites fly the best. Contestants launch their kites together and fly them to whatever height they like. At the end of a set amount of time, judges determine which kite is flying at the highest angle. The main criteria is how well a kite flies in a particular wind. Other factors include height (since winds differ at different low altitudes), and flying line (since line weight creates sag and drag on the kite). Kite Battle : This is a Japanese style game. Basically, last kite flying, is the winner. The contestants are allowed to run around a fixed area, but not allowed to interfere physically with other flyers. Kites can be removed from the sky by, tangling, knocking, stealing wind, and line cutting, it is important that no glass, metal, or sharp objects be allowed in the "battle'. This competition is traditionally performed with Japanese style kites called rokakus, all of the same size, and string type but you could open this to ALL entrants. Make the battle the last contest of the day, so kites can be entered in other competitions before they are tangled or damaged in this contest. Miscellanous Contests: Here are a few other simple contests and games. Best Home Made Kite. Most Complex Kite. Most Unusual Kite which flys. Most Beautiful Kite. Funniest Kite. Best Newspaper Kite. Highest flyer. Smallest Kite (under say 12 inches). Remember, the kite must fly! Largest Kite. Best Sky Sculpture! This could be a kite, tail, or other suspended object. The key here is ``Art''. Longest Tail. Best Banner, Flag or other ground display. Activity #8 – Kite Mobile Materials Needed: Wire Hanger, Yarn, Construction Paper, Glue, Paint, Crayons, or Markers Instructions: Cut 6 diamond shapes out of colorful construction paper; make them about 5 inches tall and about3 inches wide. Make fancy designs on these using crayons, markers, or paint. Cut 6 inch pieces of yarn and tape or staple to the kite shapes to make the tails. Cut 4 small bow shapes from construction paper for each kite tail and use staples or tape to attach them to the tails. To attach your kites to the hanger, cut 6 pieces of yarn of various lengths (make them a little long than you want them to give you extra room for tying. Tape or staple one side of the yarn to each kite shape, and tie the other end of the yarn to the bottom edge of the hanger. Try to space your kites evenly apart. Hang and enjoy. Activity #9 - A Fish Kite Draw a fish shape on a paper plate (large as possible). Cut out the shape and then decorate it using crayons, tissue paper, sequins, etc. Glue two or three 12" long pieces of party streamers (various colors) to the tail of the fish (plate). Punch a hole at the nose (front) of the paper plate, and tie a piece of yarn through the hole. Tape and then wind the other end of the yarn to a craft stick. Go outside fly the kites on a windy day. The streamers are such fun waving in the wind when the girls take off running to loft their kites behind them, holding on tightly to the craft stick. These kites really fly!!! Activity #10 – Easy, Inexpensive Kite You can make a fun and inexpensive kite using a cellophane shopping bag (the really thin ones work best). Decorate with stickers and tape 3-4 streamers at the bottom of the bag. Tie the handles together with a piece of yarn about 3-4 feet long, tie a loop at the other end to hold onto. Go outside and run with the kite holding onto the loop. They fly really well! Activity #11 – Read a Chinese folk tale "Fat One and Rooster" Here is a story of what happened on one of those special days long ago. Fat One and Rooster were two old wise men who wandered the countryside, relying on the good will of simple folk for their food and lodging. They had only two possessions each: their ragged, old robes that protected them during the day and kept the warm at night, and their paper kites, beautifully decorated with colored inks. Both men were given to long discourses, and over the years, they had solved between them all the problems of the world and determined the reason for the rising of the sun and the setting of the moon. Fat One and Rooster had a favorite day of the year, and that was Kite Day. Every year they looked forward to yet another opportunity to fly their kites and ruminate on the dipping and swaying of their winged toys. One year, the two old sages went up into the mountains, away from all other people, to celebrate Kite Day in seclusion. They found a peaceful mountain meadow alive with the buzzing of insects and the gentle swaying of brightly colored meadow flowers. The wind was calm and steady, and with very little effort, the two old men launched their kites. When their kites were firmly fixed in the sky, they lay back on the grass and began to debate on the topic of virtue. Presently they decided that the only began to debate on the topic of virtue. Presently they decided that the only path to truth and enlightenment lay in ridding oneself of one's earthly possessions, no matter how unpretentious or innocent. They decided to let loose their kites, thus freeing themselves of the last remaining obstacle in their paths toward inner peace. But Rooster was a tricky fellow. While Fat one was busy setting free his kite, he tied his own kite string to his big toe. Fat One let go of his kite and turned to look at Rooster. When he saw Rooster's sly smile and the kite line tied around Rooster's big toe, he leapt up and scuttled after his own kite, whose string was floating lazily across the meadow. Rooster let out a sharp cry and ran after Fat One, who in his hurry hadn't noticed that he was charging headlong toward the edge of a cliff. With a desperate leap, Rooster grabbed Fat one by his robe, almost tearing it off him in the process. The men tumbled together, coming to a rest at the cliff's edge. Panting, they watched Fat One's kite drift out over the valley and out of sight. Rooster pulled in his own which was still attached to his big toe. He looked solemnly at Fat One and presented him with his own kite. "I give you my kite," said Rooster, "as a lesson and a reminder that you shouldn't be so keen to sacrifice your last earthly possession for the sake of your kite." Activity #12 – Kite Poetry Use the following poetry and make “kite” book marks, „kite” post cards, etc. Kite Days And they all took a dive: One Two A kite, a sky, and a good firm breeze, Three Four Five And acres of ground away from trees, And one hundred yards of clean, strong string -- A Kite O boy, O boy! I call that Spring! I often sit and wish that I Could be a kite up in the sky, Kites And ride upon the wind and go Five little kites flying high in the sky Whichever way I chanced to blow. Said, "Hi!" to the cloud as it passed by, Kites Said, "Hi!" to the birds, said "Hi!" to The March wind is calling, the sun, "Come fly your kite!" Said, "Hi!" to an airplane--oh what fun! The wind is blowing Then whish went the wind, With all its might. The kites are tossing And chase the clouds. Oh, what fun! In the sky. Whichever way the wind chanced to The wind is calling, blow "Come fly up high." Is the way that I would go. I'd fly up, up, up. I'd fly down, down, Kite Flying down. On many spring days I wish that I Then I'd spin round and round and Could be a kite flying in the sky. round. I would climb high toward the sun Finally I'd float softly to the ground. Activity #13 - Kite Snacks *Kite Toast - Slice pieces of bread to resemble kites. Paint the bread with food coloring and water. Toast the bread and assemble into any type of sandwiches you desire. *Graham Cracker Kites – Frost half of a graham cracker. Rotate (turn) your graham cracker to look like a diamond. Place some red string licorice at the tip of diamond. Decorate your kite using colored sugar, sprinkles, raisins, chocolate chips, etc. *Kite Petit Fours - Spread softened cream cheese on two bread triangles and top them with decorations such as raisins and flaked coconut. Then arrange the two triangles together on a plate to form a diamond-shaped “kite.” Add thin strips cut from fruit leather for kite strings. *Make Jello Jigglers in “kite‟” shapes. "How to Get Your Kite to Fly" A kite has no "spirit" until it has been flown. Even if your kite is only for decoration, it should be flown at least once. Single Line Kites: Stand with your back to the wind. Hold your kite up by the bridle point and let the line out. If there is sufficient wind, your kite will go right up. Let the kite fly away from you a little, then pull in on the line as the kite points up so it will climb. Repeat this until your kite gains the altitude necessary to find a good steady wind. Light Wind? Have a helper take the kite downwind and hold it up. On command, the helper releases the kite and the flier pulls the line hand-over-hand while the kite gains altitude. Practice this high-launch technique. No Helper? Prop the kite up against a bush, post, or wall. Reel out enough line for altitude and simply pull the kite aloft. If the kite sinks tail first, there might not be enough wind. If it comes down head first or spins, there might be too much wind. Different kites fly in different winds. Bridles: If your kite has an adjustable bridle, move it higher (nearer the top) in higher winds, and lower (towards the tail) in lower winds. (Adjust no more than 1/2" at a time.) Tails: Adding tails to your kite helps it remain stable in stronger winds. Use light- weight materials so you can use lots! Looks great! Professor Kite says: "Never be a danger to yourself or others. Most of all...Slow down, take it easy, and enjoy!" Many wonderful people just like you, enjoy the pleasures and fellowship to be found at the end of a kite line. Sharing seems to make the fun even greater. See You In the Sky!
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