Kite project for group

by Amy Ehm
(Littleton, CO, USA)

Q:

I lead a 4-H group and we wanted to do a kite project for our spring project. Can you recommend a kite that would take us about 2 hours to complete? I will have about 20 kids ranging from K-5th grade.

I would like to spread the project over four 1 hour meetings and then plan to fly the kites for the last meeting.

I appreciate any recommendations,
Amy

A:

The Tiny Tots Diamond or the Simple Diamond should fit the bill. Both of these designs would take somewhat less than 2 hours to construct. However, the remaining time is easily used up by decorating the sail (and perhaps the tail) with colored permanent markers.

The Tiny Tots Diamond may be flown on polyester sewing thread, while the Simple Diamond would fly fine on Acrylic knitting yarn from a supermarket. Cheap flying line in both cases! Some-one has to make up the flying lines too. I would suggest at least 10 meters (35 feet) of line for each child, wound onto a simple square winder cut from heavy cardboard, such as the flaps from a cardboard box. About the size of an adult hand.

The bigger Simple Diamond is perhaps more fun, but the smallest kids would need supervision since it pulls harder than the very small Tiny Tots design. Dowel costs more than bamboo skewers, as well!

Your choice, both designs are easy to make and very reliable in the air. However, try to avoid flying them in very windy weather. The less the better really - the kids can always run and tow the kites up if the air is very calm.

Hope your project goes well!

Comments for Kite project for group

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Aug 03, 2013
Sleds From Bags
by: Terry

Paper Sleds from flat sacks (Kinko's, Office Max, etc) have worked very well for me when entertaining the grandkids. Inexpensive (free), easy to make, and fly very well. All good attributes for group builds. Google "kinko sleds" for plans.


Feb 07, 2013
Kite Arch For Kids
by: Tony Sangster

Another interesting project for a class might be the mini-diamonds made into a kite arch. That is, the lateral (side) corner of one diamond is joined to corner of next kite etc with cord about the width of each kite. Of course the cord has to be stronger than the flying line or bridle of an individual kite - a class project.

The ends the row of kites need to be anchored with sufficient length so that the lowest flying diamonds will fly as the kite arch arches up. The alignment of the arch is 90 degrees to the wind direction.

Who gets to keep the arch is, of course a bone of contention.

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Sode is a traditional Japanese design, and this MBK version is exciting to watch in rough air!

If you have made Diamonds before, this kite takes a little more time to make. It's still a straight-forward build though, using the same techniques as used for my Dowel Diamond. 

Get the e-book for making the MBK Dowel Sode kite. The cambered sail makes this a very efficient design. Of the Dowel kites, this design is one of my personal favorites!

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Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7