Spring 2013

Kites…on a Roll® Newsletter: Spring 2013! Time to Make a Kite

Even though we are going through some rough weather, Spring is just around the corner. My daffodils are pushing through the soil, birds seem to be chirping more–the air just smells differently. Time to get the kites made or kite making events planned!

Kite Patterns: Ideas for themes and encouraging creativity

Sometimes when you want to make a kite, but you don’t have any inspiration, it helps to think about the season. Here are some ideas for kite patterns: Several dates to consider when planning to make kites with a group: Ben Franklin’s birthday Jan. 17 (a little late for this year, but keep in mind for 2014), Chinese New Year Feb. 10 2013 (The Chinese were thought to have developed the kite.), Alexander Graham Bell’s birthday on March 3 (In addition to the telephone, he designed the tetrahedron kite while trying to create man lifting devices), National Kite Month, April 2013 (visit www.nationalkitemonth.org for lots of information) , and various kiting events throughout the country found at http://www.kite.org.. This is a new website for the American Kitefliers Assoc., and I think you will be pleased with all the information.

Once you decide on a kite pattern, encourage each child to express their own creativity.

When you help kids decorate their kites, stress that there is no right or wrong design. The kitemaker is free to interpret his/her world. However, this does not apply to the assembly of the kite: for it to fly, instructions need to be followed, not interpreted.

We have 3 different patterns for different ages and abilities. In addition to our guidelines for age-appropriate kite making projects, visithttp://www.examiner.com/article/how-to-choose-age-level-appropriate-artprojects- for-youth-groups for more age-directed suggestions.

Kite making is not only fun, it is also quite educational. The activity is a good introduction to flight (aerodynamics) and weather (meteorology). Each kite pattern flies a different way and its fun to experience each one. There are different ways of presenting these sciences depending upon the age group.

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Winter 2012/2013

Kites…on a Roll® Newsletter: Make Kite Crafts during cold months or as gifts!

I think Kite Making and Kite Flying are like gardening; there’s prepping, enjoying, harvesting and cleaning up/repairing to be ready for the next year. We have had a gorgeous autumn with many kite flying days. But the time will come that those days will be tucked away. Time to repair and build new kites while waiting for Spring to be in the air.

Kite Craft: Give a personal gift from the heart.

The holidays are almost here. Time for family and friends to be together. What to do during all these times– step out of the box for a minute: our kite craft kits assemble into wonderful gifts. Think about it—lots of holiday gifts are hand crafted. Instead of candy, cookies, fancy foods, why not make kites and decorate them for the person receiving them? A perfect individual gift that tells whoever is getting the kite that you are encouraging him/her to release the kid inside.

Enjoy the Holidays in more ways than one by making a kite craft for a loved one this year.

Shop our kite crafts for kids of all ages.

Helpful Links:

NASA has updated its KiteModeler software based upon users comments. Visit www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/kiteprog.html and try to experiment with their software. Could be a great class project!

Additional Kite Information Sites

A middle schooler, Brittany, found this site for us. An easy-to-read kite flying guide with lots of information. Thanks, Brittany.http://www.cheapflights.com/travel/unique-flights-kite-flying/

Another site, www.best-breezes.squarespace.com, focuses on the history and science of kites. A blog is part of this too.

And don’t forget www.my-best-kite.com/how-does-a-kite-fly.html and www.my-best-kite.com/simple-explanation-for-how-kites-fly.html for a simple explanation of how flying a kite works.

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Summer/Fall 2012

The last time I “talked” with you, we were experiencing a very early spring. It was wonderful. We are now begging for rain and a break in the heat and sunny weather. I guess we are never satisfied. Hopefully, your summer is going well, and that you have had lots of chances to fly kites.

Kites…on a Roll® News

We are learning how to use social media. We have a Facebook page–facebook.com/kitesonaroll, a Linkedin membership and a Pinterest board. Sometimes, I miss the telephone conversations, but we would love to hear from you through those media. Please contact us with kite information, a kite question or just send a “hi”.

As it gets closer to school planning, consider kite making for the 3 R’s: Reading instructions, wRiting decorations on the kites, aRithmetic for correct measurement. This is also a good activity for the beginning of the school year because the kids still have summer energy that can be harnessed for the wind.

Please note that shipping charges, with UPS and USPS have increased.

Hints for an Easier Activity

I recently found an interesting website explaining how kites fly. The site comes with 2 descriptions, one more scientific than the other, but basically covering the How. Visit http://www.my-best-kite.com/how-does-a-kite-fly.html and http://www.my-best-kite.com/simple-explanation-for-how-kites-fly.html.

If your kitemakers feel that they have indeed created a flying masterpiece, you might want to suggest that they sign, date and frame (or leave alone) their artwork to hang on a wall. That makes the kite a year-round objet d’art.

Someone passed on this suggestion: Mr. Clean’s Magic Eraser works well on our kite sails when there is a mistake made with crayons (writeable coating on the Sled and Malay Bird) or oil pastels.

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