Monday, January 18, 2010

Tutorial - Simple Bag Kites for Kids

My very first tutorial, YEAH!

I made these kites with my kids when it was my turn to host their pre-preschool.  We were "studying" the letter K, so I wanted them to be able to make their own kites.  Making a kite that will actually fly with 3 year olds isn't as easy as it sounds.  Most kite tutorials out there require dowels and pretty specific measurements.  I wanted something they could use do on their own and add as much creativity to it as they wanted. So I came up with a bag kite.

Supplies you will need:
Large plastic bag
Craft stick (popsicle stick)
Scotch and Masking Tape
Hole Punch
Colored Crepe Paper/Streamers

You can use any kind of lightweight plastic bag.  A grocery bag will work if you're on a budget, but I wanted to give them something that was a little more appealing then a grocery bag so I found clear gift basket bags at Michaels Craft that were perfect.  These are the kind of bags that you'd wrap around a gift basket of food or gifts, not the bags that you'd put gifts into.  They come in small, medium and large sizes and I opted for the large.

The first thing you need to do before turning your kids loose on the kites is secure holes for the yarn to feed through.  Lay your plastic bag out flat on a table and find the bottom right and left corners of the bag at the opening end.  Using your masking tape, cover the inside and outside of the corners with a small piece of tape (about 2 inches long).  Then punch a hole in each taped corner.

Now you're ready for your creative genius' to take over.  Let the kids cover their bags, front and back side, with a variety of fun stickers. This is a picture of my very boring adult kite, with two boring stickers on it.

While the kids are covering their bags in stickers, cut off a piece of yarn between 5 and 15 feet long.  The length is up to you depending on how high you want their kite to fly in the sky.  Tape one end of the yarn to a craft stick with a piece of masking tape.  Then thread the other end of the yarn through the two holes on the bag and tie it off.

Have each child wind the yarn around their craft stick until there is only a foot or two of yarn left.  I was worried that this would be too difficult for my young 3 year olds, but they proved me wrong and did a great job winding.


The last step is to give the kites a tail (or tails in our case).  I let the kids pick out a couple colors of crepe paper and tore off a couple of feet of each.  Then I put a piece of scotch tape on one end and had them tape it to the opening end of their kites.

The great thing about bag kites is that it doesn't have to be windy to use them.  The bags catch air from just running with it, which is perfect for younger kids with too much pent up energy (the faster they run, the higher the kite goes).  All 5 preschoolers ran around my house with their bag kites and had a blast.  Here are the final masterpieces that my kids produced.

Now if it would just stop raining long enough for us to give them a test run outside...


D said...

sweet! We'll have to try this when it stops raining here too!

Michelle said...

Seriously... where do you get the time to do all these fun things and then to document them and take pictures? You are amazing! I'll have to show you my latest crafty project. So cute! I made them for my young women. I have to kill two birds with one stone so I try to do fun things for Young Women's that I can use for my girls.

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