- 0 - 1 years: Kite flying is technically possible if they can
grasp a string! However, there's really no point in trying it, unless
you are plotting to set up a photo to amaze and astonish other parents
;-) The kite's flight might last just a fraction of a second, before the
unsuspecting young kite pilot lets it go! However, from 18 months or so
they can probably appreciate a piece of ribbon attached to a finger and
allowed to flutter in the breeze. All the better if they are capable of
trotting along on their own 2 legs, finger-tails held high!
- 2 - 3 years: We have experience in this area. Our boy Aren
has flown a small diamond, an ideal kids kite, for short periods.
Sometimes from his pram, at other times while standing. Just see that
video down there! However, attention span can be very limited in this
age group. After a short while, watching the line or the kite, they tend
to play 'toss the reel'! Even so, they can appreciate a flying kite and
look forward to going out to see it fly. Running around with
finger-tails a-flutter would also work in this age group.
- 4 - 5 years: This is the ideal age group for child
fliers. When kids fly kites at this age, they can get quite excited
about making one, with some help, and going out to fly it. Our Aren was 4
when he first flew our big Dowel Rokkaku. In very light wind, mind you!
- 6 - 8 years: The excitement factor wanes a bit, but some in
this age group will still love to fly a small single-line kite. Others
will begin to get distracted by more expensive kites of various kinds,
or non-kiting activities.
- 9 + years: The child might be starting to develop into
a kite-person for life. Or not! A small number of people, including
myself, are able to get considerable enjoyment out of single line
designs for their entire lives.
When the weather's good and you have the time, it's great to get out with a kite or 3. But what about on bad weather days? Then it's time to pull out...
"Kites Up!" - my downloadable kite-flying board game! Apart from towing indoor kites, doing a spot of imaginary flying is the next best thing :-)
Kite flying is just one example of preschool activities
that can engage children as young as 3 years old. At this age, they
could also help decorate the kite sail with marker pens or even a
sticker or 2.
Although too young for any of the construction, they could
select plastic bags for the tail. An adult could then cut out and
attach the tail.
And of course, kiddy art work on complete plastic bags could then be used for making kites. A bit safer for the kites than letting eager fingers at them, at an earlier stage :-)
If you can find some thin 30cm (12") bamboo skewers in your local shops, try my e-book Making Skewer Kites to help you get a kite in the air. On the cheap! The skewers I use are 2.5mm in diameter. Just use the thinnest ones you can find.
As mentioned earlier, there's another alternative to towing indoor kites if it's just not possible to fly outdoors...
"Kites Up!" is my downloadable board game. It's a PDF file which has all the documentation for the game plus images for all the components. Tokens, cards, the board itself and so on. Anyway, just click that link to see more info :-)