Looking for a fun, easy activity to do with your child? Make a kite together! The design possibilities are limitless. Crafting a kite at home can provide endless hours of entertainment and spark a love of learning in little ones.

Here’s how to get started: Turn the project into a science (STEM) experiment to encourage their creativity and curiosity. Then, brainstorm ideas on the types of repurposed materials you could try.

After you have gathered all the supplies, share ideas on how you and your child can develop different kite designs or concepts for their homemade kite. Finally, jump right into crafting and bring that vision to life!

Whether they want their projects shaped like butterflies or dinosaurs—the sky’s the limit when making your one-of-a-kind masterpiece! Keep reading to learn more about creating special memories with this family bonding project. We cover:

Child in a red shirt stands at a table looking at a glossy magazine. He holds scissors in his right hand preparing to cut the paper to use in making a kite our of repurposed materials.

Making a kite out of repurposed materials

Making a kite is a fun and creative activity for people of all ages. When selecting what materials to make up the kite sails, it is wise to use light and strong repurposed materials. Paper kites are popular, but you can also recycle materials such as:

  • Old bed sheets
  • Used clothing (rip-stop nylon is an ideal fabric as it is light and sturdy)
  • Sturdy, discarded plastic bags
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Fabric scraps
  • Waxed paper
  • Wrapping paper
  • Tea Towels
  • Tissue foil
  • Dry laundry bags
  • Old T-shirts

Each material will give your unique homemade kite its own characteristic style–from bright colours to wispy fabric tails! With these repurposed and natural materials available around the house or local recycle centre, you can make one kite or several to take kiting and test in the sky.

Toddler laughs facing camera with bright orange material - possibly light enough to make a children's kite fly - covering their head and back.

Which material will make your children’s kite soar the highest in the sky?

Be sure to select resources that are lightweight but will be able to stay in the air when they reach lift-off; this ensures that the kite flies high and is easy to manoeuvre. Other materials and tools that you may need for your children’s kite include:

  • Twine (homemade or bought) or a cotton spindle
  • Kite string
  • Bridle string
  • Duct tape
  • Bamboo skewers or chopsticks (for the spine and cross spar that form the kite frame)
  • Glue

Paper drinking straws or straight thin twigs may also be suitable for the spine or cross spars under the sails.

To make your kite strong enough to withstand windy conditions, try reinforcing the sails by adding an extra layer of plastic or another sheet of material. Kite tails can also help with windy conditions.

Inspire children’s creativity by making colourful kites with patterns on their favourite flyer materials with paints or markers to make it look awesome in the sky.

Ultimately, you can make an incredible working kite out of recycled and natural resources through creativity and resourcefulness!

A sketch of a child's diamond shape kite showing the different parts.

Steps to make a diamond-shaped kite

Kites are amazing projects for children of all ages. They make a beautiful conversation starter in art and science experiences and for a maths geometry lesson on quadrilaterals.

We selected a traditional kite design (above), often referred to as a diamond kite. Other kinds of kites include the delta (or triangular), box—great in light wind, winged box and sled. You can learn more about larger kites and their aerodynamics at NASA. Delta and Diamond kites make ideal kites for children as single-string kites are the easiest to fly.

  1. Draw your diamond shape on your chosen repurposed material. (You could use a pencil, Texta or chalk to draw the body.)
  2. Cut the shape of your kite sails out.
  3. Decorate your kite sail (keep them light!).
  4. Attach your spine and cross spar to the bottom side of your kite sail.
  5. Connect your kite tail at the bottom of your kite. Again, use light material. Longer tails generally work better.
  6. Create a bridle and attach it to your kite. A bridle is an arrangement of strings between the kite and the flying line. You can learn more about bridles at the American Kitefliers Association.
  7. Fasten your line to the bridle’s loop.
A child holds a STEM experiement of a kite made with with string and old repurposed plastic bag on a footpath in the childcare centre's outdoor environment, reaping the benefits of kite flying for children.

The benefits of kite flying for children

Kite flying is a beloved outdoor activity that benefits children in many ways. It allows them to experience the wonders of nature outdoors and provides hours of entertainment. Kiting experiences promote many aspects found in our children’s learning program:

  • Physical strength and coordination as children observe their kites ascending and dipping.
  • Children’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they manoeuvre the kite through the air.
  • Fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and spatial reasoning when building.
  • Knowledge about airflow, wind speed and wind patterns.
  • Essential life lessons such as patience and responsibility.
  • Creativity through the vast array of kite colours, shapes, sizes, and designs.
  • Social skills when flying with family and friends.

Finally, letting your hands relax while you enjoy flying a beautiful kite high above can bring peace and relaxation—excellent benefits for a growing child’s mind.

Together, these advantages make kite flying an excellent way for children to stay active while learning valuable skills.

History of kite flying

Kite flying has a long and fascinating history. Since ancient times, possibly before 400 B.C., kites were flying high in the skies of China. During the Warring States period, Chinese kites were used to measure distances, test wind strength and relay messages.

Kiting then spread across East Asia throughout the centuries, and by 1700 A.C., kite flying had become an important part of many cultures, used for ceremonies and festivals. Today, kite flying is still popular with kites ranging from simple designs made of paper or cloth to complex constructions like Dragon Kites that require expert craftsmanship.

No matter the form or purpose of kiting, it remains a timeless pastime that continues to delight people of all ages—just like it did thousands of years ago.

A child dressed for kite flying and the outdoors with a hat bearing a Petit ELJ logo and binoculars watches the sky.

How to safely take children kite flying

Taking children out kite flying can be a fun and exciting experience. Still, it is crucial to take specific safety measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable childhood experience. Before heading off, dress children for weather conditions. Slap on the sunscreen and a hat.

It is also vital to ensure that children know the area where they are kiting is free from obstructions, including power lines. Discussions on kiting safety can help reduce potential injuries. Ensure children learn not to fly their kites in areas near power lines or other sources of electricity.

Keep an eye on the wind, as children will need extra support if there are strong gusts. Finally, an adult should always supervise children when flying a kite. With these simple steps, families can find enjoyment in the activity of kite flying without compromising on safety.

Australian laws on kite flying

With kiting being a fun recreational activity for Australians, kite flying is subject to various regulations and laws that individuals must be aware of. Some areas have a ban on kite flying, so it is always wise to make enquiries as part of your preparations.

To comply with the regulations, kites can not be flown at heights exceeding 400 feet above the ground, and kite flyers must also stay away from airports, as flying kites near airports may result in disruption of air traffic.

There are also certain areas where kiting is prohibited due to conservation or urbanisation. In any case, kite flyers must always check the relevant laws before flying a kite in Australia.

Finding your nearest kite-flying field is worth it. Constructing and flying a kite is an excellent way to introduce your child to a rewarding recreational experience that supports their physical, mental, and social development. Kites come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, which makes them perfect for children of all ages.

An educator crouches next to a toddler in the doorway between a studio and an outdoor environment helping them with their shoes while listening to their ideas and inspiring them in meaningful conversation.

Inspire your child with Petit Early Learning Journey

We are curious educators at Petit ELJ. Listening to what children tell us, asking them questions and engaging them in dialogue helps us to understand them better and form responsive relationships. Our meaningful connections inspire children to explore rich play and learning experiences.

Are you looking for an early childhood education and care provider that responds to your child’s ideas and motivations? Book a tour now with your nearest centre and discover why families trust Petit ELJ.