One of our very helpful teachers gave us 2 very good ideas to pass on. Make sure you allow enough time for both the drying of markers and glue on the kite sails and the flying of kites once they’re completed. We give an approximate time allotment for each pattern, but you know your group. Consider your kite makers when planning the amount of time needed for the whole activity.
She also suggested numbering the kite patterns as you cut them off the roll in case you don’t use all 20 of them. Make sure the first pattern left on the roll has the next number. Thus, you will have an idea of how many more kites you can make another time.
Make the designs BIG, bold and bright so that they can be seen against the sky.
Add craft materials like feathers and ribbons and challenge the “artists” to think of other supplies. The more variety of materials, the more creativity.
Some children need more structure than others, so you may want to give them more guidance in decorating.
Be sure to make the sample kite that we include in your order ahead of time so there are no surprises.
The SLED patterns are imprinted on writeable plastic. That means you can use crayons as well as permanent (not water soluble) markers. The DELTA and MALAY BIRD patterns are not imprinted on writeable plastic, so only permanent markers will work.
Mixed age group: Make sure that your decorating supplies offer choices for all the ages in the group. This way everyone feels creative.
A great suggestion from a camp’s arts and crafts director. If the tails for the sled kite are too hard to cut out for little hands or require too much time for your group, tape scraps left over from the cut-out pattern together to create a tail.
Paints – We recently tested a variety of craft paints, both in jars and tubes. If you do use paints on the kite sails, make sure you allow enough time in your schedule for the colors to dry – at least 1 hour. I suggest you try the paint first before letting kids use the material. Check for age recommendations on arts and crafts supplies.
The SLED and MALAY BIRD tails take time and scissor skill, so you may want to cut them out as strips and tape the pieces together, instead of trying to cut the curves.
Kites fly up and away so designs have to be large to be seen.
Sometimes it is difficult to come up immediately with a design for a kite. Give the kite maker a piece of paper to use for sketching an idea. Practicing on a scrap piece of paper might make the activity less frustrating. Learn more in our 2005 Summer/Fall Newsletter.