Are you a parent, looking for kids kites suitable for your young child?
The flying of simple kites has proven itself to be a great family bonding activity. As long as you let the kids fly the kite and don't hog it for yourself too often!
Kites for fairly small kids is the emphasis on this page.
been to a few festivals, and it's not hard to tell when there has been a
recent workshop for making kites for, or by, children. Small kids and small kites here,
there and everywhere! A mini kite-festival off to one side of the main
event, you could say.
Here on this page is a whole lot of info on all the different kinds of retail novelty kites and small more traditional designs that are being bought these days.
There's also a whole world of multi-line kites out there, but
these are generally more expensive and better suit 8 year olds and up.
Besides, I personally have a bias towards single line designs of all
Just before launching into the retail scene, take a moment to consider whether you can get your hands on some 30cm (12") bamboo BBQ skewers. The thinner the better...
Making Skewer Kites is a printable e-book. A handy PDF file download which has numerous small kite designs suitable for small kids. You'll be making them though, while they'll be doing much of the flying!
Kids Kites In The West
A very small kite flier
A very small kite flier
Here's a short list of the most popular types.
Novelty: This covers a wide variety of cute designs which don't easily fit into any of the more traditional categories. For example...
Diamonds: The classic kids simple kite!
With a little care, these can last quite a while and the good ones fly
nice and high. The flat sail means the decoration is clearly visible in
Deltas: The Baby Bat Kite
is a particularly well-known small Delta for kids. These bird-like
triangular designs are efficient fliers, particularly in the larger
sizes. They are known for achieving high line angles in even fairly
light breezes. Like the Diamond, the sail decoration is plainly visible
in the air, and they are popular starter kites for children.
Parafoils: The nice thing about a kids parafoil is that it has no spars. The inflatable design allows it to be scrunched up into a small space for transport. We've seen a few of these around, and they seem to be reliable fliers. They won't fly quite as high as other types though, for a given length of line.
Sleds: These are very simple 2-spar kites and roll up for easy transport. The very smallest ones aren't hugely efficient, like the Baby Sled our 5 year-old Aren is flying in the photo below. However, the larger ones compare well to similar sized parafoils. Most modern Sled kites can take a fair amount of rough handling by young kids!
The very small kite flier again - grown up a bit
Small Parafoils and Sleds are certainly easy kites to play around with in a family setting. Dragons:
Not the traditional Chinese variety, these have a curved leading edge
and usually a long broad tail. These kids kites can be a little erratic
in the air, but they sure put on a great display of color and swirling
"Love the easy to understand step by step instructions, made from next to nothing materials and above all so much fun to fly... cheers Tim for sharing your well thought out pdf kite designs with the whole world. Very satisfying making your own and watching them get air-born for the first time."
"I decided to run kite making as an elective again on this camp in the past week - so I bought all your e-books, a bunch of materials, and then took a group of 10 high school students through making the kites over 4 days. We built a diamond, a Barn Door, a Delta, and two skew delta kites. Again - every single kite flew."
Getting Into The Hobby
So how do you go about getting your young child into flying kids kites? There are 3 approaches.
- Make a kite from scratch.
When it comes to cheap kites for kids, this is the cheapest of all!
Try my free Simplest Dowel Kites e-book. Finding suitable materials is not a problem in most countries.
- Buy a kite. A huge range of inexpensive and colorful kids kites are available, particularly online. Just have a browse around this site :-) or check out these kites for sale in particular.
- Buy a kite kit. Besides being cheap, this option involves your child in assembling something. With some help from you if necessary. Kites In The Sky have a good selection.
When buying a kite online,
the information listed with it is usually quite informative. For example the sail size, wind speeds you can fly it in and what age range it suits. There might even be testimonials from other customers!
are a great idea if your child enjoys making things. Pretty well
everything is included, for just a few dollars. If some aspects of
building of the kite itself are a bit much for the child, then they can
at least have fun with the decoration of the sail.
for children use materials that are commonly available either from
shops or already sitting in a cupboard somewhere at home. You can just
go out to fly with a plain kite, as I prefer. Or, you can get a bit arty and get into some kite crafts to really dress up your kite!
the last few years we've raised a little boy who has been around kids
kites for his entire short life. Hence, we've not been able to resist
putting together a small collection of 'child flying kite' pictures!
Also on the topic of child fliers... A cartoon kite is usually depicted being flown by a very young person!
Age is a factor in how a child enjoys kite flying.
about the non-Western world? The above list would no doubt be true to a
large extent no matter where in the world the child comes from. I can
think of one big contrast though, and that is the fighter-kite
cultures of the world.
With kite-fighting, the last one flying is the
winner. In a number of countries, using kites in this way is very
popular, particularly in the poorer neighborhoods. For these children,
flying is just as much about competing with other fliers, as it is about
flying the kite itself. You just don't see that in the West, although
an increasing number of adults are aware of this sport. Having fun in a
group setting with fighter kites is definitely on the rise in the West.
Let's Go Fly A Kite!