Girl Scouts of Rhode Island Inc Kite flying day May 28 2008 A little history and background about kites Kites h by keara


									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
     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
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
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
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

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

*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,

*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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