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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kite Flying

            Did you fly a kite when you were a kid? I bet you did. This March has been the perfect time to fly a kite. We've had nice weather and plenty of wind. My kid's column in Two-Lane Livin' this month is about flying kites. I thought I would share it with you.

Fly a kite this spring and fill the March skies with a rainbow of colors
March is the perfect month to launch a dancing kite. But, if winds are too strong or too light, it is difficult to fly them. If your kite sinks tail first, there might not be enough wind. If it comes down nose first, there might be too much wind. A good way to measure the wind is by rustling leaves and waving flags. If you feel the wind on your face, there is probably enough wind to fly your kite.
Kites come in many sizes and shapes. Three common types are flat kites, box kites and soft kites. The most common is the Diamond kite.
Box kites fly better when winds get a little stronger (8-25 mph). But diamond kites fly well in light to medium winds (6-15mph).
Tails on kites help them remain stable. Small kites and flat kites may not last long in the air without tails. But if you want your kite to roll and pitch, then try one without a tail. Use lightweight material or brightly colored ribbons so you can make a longer tail. You can also use a long string with lightweight ribbons tied every 10 inches or so. Tails look pretty fluttering and twirling in the sky above you.
Never fly in lightening or rain. Find a nice open field without any power lines overhead. A happy kite is a kite with a lot of room. But, like Charlie Brown, you must beware of kite-eating trees.
 To launch, stand with your back to the wind and hold your kite up as high as you can. Make sure the nose is pointing up and let go. Do not throw it into the air; just gently release it into the wind. If the breeze is strong enough, the kite will start to rise. Slowly let out on your line and the kite will fly back. Before it reaches the ground, tighten your grip on the line and it will start to rise again. Repeat this process until the kite gets up into steady winds.
If your line becomes slack, bring it in a little. If the kite begins to pull too hard or act unstable, let some line out. To increase altitude, gently pump the line. Each time you pull in, the kite will rise a few feet. Do not be tempted to let out too much line. If your kite gets too high, it is harder for people to see and enjoy it. And, it takes longer to wind in when you are finished.
It takes practice, but soon you will be flying your kite like a pro.
The wind blows past
My kite and I
And lifts it quick
Up in the sky.

With its long tail
It flutters by
And sails about
Up in the sky

With skill and grace
My kite climbs high
And twirls around
Up in the sky.

What kind of kite do you remember flying when you were a child. I flew the simple diamond kites.
Here is a neat PBS site to go to with instructions on how to make a simple kite.

Posted by Janet Smart at Writing in the Blackberry Patch.
©Janet F. Smart


  1. Wow, childhood memories f trying to make kites that flew. I never succeeded and now after reading your post, I think I'll go and buy one. Not too huge, just medium size. xo

  2. As a kid? I'm still flying kites! We fly a kite in the summer at the beach, and love it. We have lots of string, and do let that kite climb high into the sky ... with the seagulls passing by :)

    Thanks for the summertime memories this evening ...

  3. My kid kite was tissue paper-thin, traingular shaped with balsa wood crossbars. My kites always crashed after takeoff, very frustrating, but you should see my adult son fly a kite!

  4. I fly cheap, plastic kites with my kids occasionally and it's awesome! I always sing that song too. LOL

  5. A fascinating post that brought back many memories. As a child I had a bright red diamond kite and I loved it. One day, one very windy day, I let go and it went on its journey into space. I cried for days. :)

  6. Thanks for reviving childhood memories. It's been wonderful kite-flying weather here.

  7. We made kites from old newspapers and sticks. I'm sure they did't fly all that well. The last time I flew a kite I was in my 50s; I wasn't noticing the length of my string and it went sailing off across the road and into a tree top.

    A fun post!

  8. Hi Janet, I love your post! I have such wonderful memories of kite making and flying when I was a girl. Thank you for all the tips! I don't know if I could run fast enough to get the kite up anymore, but I know some people who can. :) I have fond memories of watching the kite contest every spring on the beach in California. They were so beautiful and unique. There would be hundreds of kites in the air, the sound of the happy crowd and the crashing waves, the smell of the salty sea, and suntan lotion! It was a very happy time. I hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead! Delisa :)

  9. Loved the rainbow photo but esp enjoyed the kite article. And the poem. I bet kids love your articles.
    Very smart to tell them how to fly the kites. I always had trouble and then when I did get it airborne I'd be thrilled.
    Fun for kids and adults too.
    blessings, Barb

  10. What a charming post! We flew a kite with our grandson a few years ago. It would be fun to do it again. Loved all the info, and the poem!

  11. I was never any good at kite flying-but your post makes me want to try it again : )


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