- If at all possible, make the kite ahead of time to become familiar with the product and its assembly. Hang up the finished kite so kids can see what their efforts will create.
- Some children might be confused about which solid lines to cut to form the patterns. (Some lines outline the kite shape; some refer to placement of sticks, etc.). Depending on the age of the group, cut out the kite shape for them, draw the kite shape for them, or have them trace the shape on the appropriate lines to form the kite pattern before cutting it out. Always have a completed sample hanging in front of them.
- If there is an age or time issue, you may want to cut out all the parts and place the pattern pieces, instructions, sticks and string in a bag to give to each kite maker. Place newspaper under the cut-out pattern pieces before the kids decorate. After the sails and tails are decorated, the kite makers can then tape the sticks and tails to the sails.
- Kites…on a Roll® are made of plastic. With that in mind, use adult (not child) scissors to cut the patterns.
- If some children have difficulty cutting patterns, cut out the shapes before class begins. Remember to pass out all the pieces. Then have the children decorate each part. Have newspaper under the pieces they are decorating to save clean up time.
- Another interesting concept that relates to kiting is its international flavor. The word “kite” translates into so many languages, e.g. in Dutch it is ‘vlieger,’ in French it is ‘cerf volant,’ in Spanish it is ‘cometas,’ while in Mexican it is ‘papalote,’ which also means butterfly. Each word has its own story or meaning. What fun to discover them all!
- Fly Me Kite Kits do not come with flying line. 6′ of string is required to finish making each kite.
When you have a group of children of different ages, coming into the activity at different times, it helps to create stations for each step of the project. The more stations you create, the smoother the flow of people. Make sure you have plenty of newspaper on hand, not only to cover the floor from marker and glue damage, but also to create a sense of territory.
The first station is a welcome station where you can create name tags. That is always helpful when working with people you don’t know.
The second station is the decorating station. (Make sure the kids have the top of the kite in the correct position.) The Delta pattern is the exception to this chronological stationing. The pattern needs to be cut and assembled into a kite before it is decorated.
The third station is the cutting station. If you don’t know the ages of the children and/or have concerns about them using the adult scissors, you may want to cut out the sails and tails ahead of time.
The fourth station is the taping station. Here the children tape the sticks, tails, and bridle line and create the bridle point. Make sure they press down on the tape to make it really stick.
The last station is worth all the confusion – the flying. Always have extra tape on hand at your flying site.
- Press tape firmly over sticks, string, and tails where indicated.
- Take extra tape to the flying field.
- If your group is multi-age, make the SLED kite. Kids over ten can assist younger ones with the assembly. The older children will not be bored as long as you have a variety of decorating supplies.
- Green Tip: Recycle newspaper bags. If you plan to have supplies and patterns separated to pass out to individual kite makers, place all the component parts in a newspaper bag. They’re narrow and long enough to hold the pieces.