DELMARVA ALMANAC

Let’s Go Fly A Kite!

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Kite flying is great non-digital fun to get kids of all ages out of the house into the fresh air this spring. It is also an environmentally friendly pastime. Kites can be made from recycled materials and they don’t require batteries or any other sort of energy – except maybe what it takes to run a short distance.

Kites have been around for a long time. People have been making and flying kites in almost every country in the world for centuries. Acrobatic competitions and even kite fighting began in Asia and are now popular here. Ben Franklin was famous for his electrical experiments flying kites during a lightning storm. That was a pretty dangerous so we don’t recommend that anyone tries that now.

All you need is a nice day with a little bit of a breeze, and many a back yard, local park, or playground will work. That is, as long as you keep clear of utility lines, buildings, and trees. Probably the best place to fly a kite is at one of our local beaches where there are no hazards and prevailing breezes off the ocean that will keep your kite aloft for hours.

There are lots of books in the library and websites with free kite plans and instructions. The materials are easy to find and inexpensive. You can even make them from recycled newspaper or plastic bags. If you want try something a little harder try making a box kite, but a simple diamond shape kite is very easy to build for first timers.

Flying a kite may take a little practice at first. And there will be a few crashes. But soon you’ll get the hang of things.

If you want to see the acrobatic artwork of expert kiters don’t miss the annual Delaware Kite Festival at Cape Henlopen Park in Lewes or the Maryland International Kite Exposition held in Ocean City the last weekend of April. Both events have all kinds of demonstrations and activities for the whole family.

Visit the links below for more information about these events and links to instructions for making and flying kites. And as the song says - Let’s Go Fly A Kite!

More About Kites