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This Instructable will show you how to make a simple, easy-to-make, easy-to-fly, paper kite that is great for kids.
Step 1: Materials
To make this kite, you will need:
1. 8.5"x11" piece of paper.
This is your standard copy paper size. Regular paper works fine, but I like card stock because it's a little sturdier. Use whatever you have. If you use plain white paper, let your kid color bright designs all over it before beginning the project.
2. A wooden skewer. A straight drinking straw works too.
3. Kite string. You can find this at a lot of department stores. If not, almost any strong but light string would work. Quilters' string is about the right thickness. Yarn may be too heavy, sewing thread too light. Fishing line is light but strong.
4. Ribbon. Most wide ribbon would work fine. I like using surveyors tape (available at hardware stores) because it's made of plastic, which is lighter (for a longer tail!) and durable. Surveyors tape comes in bright fluorescent colors that kids like.
5. Scissors or hole punch.
Step 2: Step 1
Start with your piece of paper:
Fold it in half.
Mark a point on the top of the paper about one inch from the fold.
Mark a point on the bottom of the paper about one inch from the open side.
Imagine, or draw, a line connecting these two dots.
Fold the top corner of the paper down along the line that you've just created.
Next, flip the paper over and fold the other side down to match the side you just folded.
Flip the paper back over so that it looks the way it did in Step 4.
Tape along the middle seam.
Lay a skewer across the kite, as shown, and tape it in place. You'll probably have to cut the skewer down to size with your scissors.
Flip the kite back over and straighten the "spine".
Mark a spot about a third of the way down the spine, and about half an inch from the edge. Put tape over this mark to reinforce it on both sides.
Use your hole punch or scissors to make a hole in this spot.
Tie your kite string through this hole. Make sure to use a good knot!
Tape a length of ribbon to the back of the kite, at the bottom.
If you use light ribbon like surveyors tape, the tail can be 6-10 feet long. Heavier ribbon should be shorter. You can experiment with the length; if it seems the kite can't hold up your ribbon as it flies, just trim it shorter.
Your kite is ready to fly!
These kites don't need very much wind to get lift, and are not the best for VERY windy days. A nice steady breeze is all it needs.
Remember, sometimes it takes practice to learn to fly a kite. Just remember to reel it in some if it looks like it's falling, and let out more string if it starts to tug hard. Make sure that middle "spine" is straight before the kite goes up.