A good breeze and a few materials are all you need to tackle this DIY Kite STEM project at home, with a group or in the classroom! Take our simple kite design and make it your own, or just grab the funny pages from your local newspaper! You can fly a kite just about any time of the year but this is a great outdoor STEM project for spring or summer! Fun for camp or scouting groups too.
HOW TO MAKE A KITE FOR KIDS
Get ready to add this simple DIY kite project to your STEM activities this season. If you want to find out how to build a kite that flies high, read on! While you’re at it, make sure to check out more fun STEM activities.
Our STEM projects are designed with you, the parent or teacher, in mind! Easy to set up, quick to do, most activities will take only 15 to 30 minutes to complete and are heaps of fun! Plus, our supplies lists usually contain only free or cheap materials you can source from home!
HOW DO KITES WORK
WHO INVENTED THE KITE?
Kites were first seen in ancient Chinese about 2,500 years ago! In very early times, kites were used by the military to send messages and for measuring distances. Soldiers could see them flying and knew what they meant.
The earliest kites were built of wood and cloth. Paper was invented around the year 100 A.D. and was soon used for kites.
WHAT MAKES A KITE FLY?
A kite is pushed up into the air by the wind. Trying flying a kite on a still day, it won’t get very high before it drops back to the ground.
When the kite is flying there are several forces at work. The force from the kite string pulls the kite forward and downwards , the force of the wind and lift around the kite pushes the kite upwards and backwards and the force of gravity pulls the kite straight down.
The kite climbs into the air when the force of the wind and lift pushing it upwards is greater than the pull of the string and gravity.
How to make your kite fly better…
The force of the wind will be greater when the kite is on angle to the wind. The force of gravity will be less when your kite is made from light weight materials.
WHY DOES A KITE NEED A TAIL?
Trying to fly a kite without a tail may result in the kite spinning and rolling a lot because the kite is unstable. A tail on a kite helps to provide drag and stabilize the kite. The more windy the weather the longer the tail may need to be or you can even add more than one tail. Experiment with the length of your kite tail!
HOW TO BUILD A KITE
Let’s get down to the basics of building your kite so you can be off flying a kite in no time!
- 2 x 1/8” dowels
- Colorful tape
- 2 Embroidery floss strands or strong string
HOW TO MAKE A KITE
STEP 1. Measure a 24” and 20” dowel and carefully cut with scissors. Then measure 6” down from the top of the 24” dowel and place the center of your 20” dowel across.
STEP 2. Tie the center of the dowels together by weaving a piece of embroidery around each side and tie off into a knot.
STEP 3. Carefully cut a notch into the ends of the dowels, wrap a piece of embroidery thread around the kite and tie into a knot. You can hold those in place with a dab on hot glue.
STEP 4. Lay the “t” shape onto a large piece of newspaper and cut an inch larger all the way around.
STEP 5. Fold each edge over the string around the kite and firmly tape the edges.
STEP 6. Poke a tiny hole at each point of the kite. Then starting at the top, place a piece of string through the top hole, tie a knot onto the back of the kite and tape.
Place that same string through the bottom hole, tie a knot onto the back of the kite and tape.
STEP 7. Let that string hang about 24” from the bottom and tie about 5 7” pieces around the string.
STEP 8. Repeat STEP 6 across the width of the kite.
STEP 9. Use a piece of leftover dowel and wrap an entire strand of embroidery thread around it. Then tie the end to the center “t” of the strings and the dowel will be what you use to fly the kite.
Now time to go fly your kite!
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HOW TO MAKE A KITE
Click on the image below or on the link for more fun STEM Projects for kids.