Fall/Winter 2002

I have come across some interesting bits and pieces during the past several months that I want to pass on to you: school ideas, snacks, corporate activities, and decorating tips that will help your kite makers enjoy the wonderful fall winds. I am telling you this so you won’t wonder about my sense of order. I’m darting all over the place like a kite in the sky.

Kites…on a Roll® News

There are some wonderful educational ideas that enhance kite-making activities. CNN.com had a terrific feature on June 24, 2002 celebrating the 250th anniversary of Ben Franklin’s experiment, “250 Years Since Franklin’s Kite Experiment”. Check out this site: http://www.cnn.com/2002./tech/science/06/24/franklins.kite.ap/index2.asp This is quite a mouthful, but well worth all the keystrokes. It could lead to lots of good discussion.

Another interesting concept 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!

Fall is a wonderful time for kite flying. Check the American Kitefliers web site for sky filled events at www.aka.kite.org

Hints for an Easier Activity

Some children might be confused about which solid lines to cut to form kite 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.

Decorating tip: No matter which kite kit you use, all the sticks belong in the back of the pattern. That gives the kite maker more space for decorating.
Corporate Fun: One company challenged its departments by limiting the decorating materials to those items located in their desks. One of the teams used so many items that the kites were too heavy to fly. Specifying items can really spur creativity.

Mixed age group: Make sure that your decorating supplies offer choices for all the ages in the group. This way everyone feels creative.

Snacks: Make any bar cookie recipe, including Rice Krispies® Treats. Cut the cookies into diamond kite shapes. Have frosting (thin tip), licorice or other candy strips, sprinkles and other edible decorations on hand. Turn kite making into a delicious event. You don’t have to fly real kites to have yummy fun!


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