Kiting is a fun activity that the whole family can participate in. Whether at the beach, at a park in the city, or at a competitive kiting festival, the pure and simple joy of flying a kite is unmatched. Just be careful to avoid power lines and getting tangled in trees, and kites can provide an unmatched source of fun and education.
Kites can be a single sheet of paper folded to fly, or a complex creation of embroidered silk hung on a bamboo frame. The most common types of kite are made of polyester and are triangular or trapezoidal in shape. More advanced kites can be decorated very elaborately to resemble planes, animals or dragons. Tails help balance the kite and keep the nose pointed up so it can fly. Some kites use long spinners or windsocks as a tail, and can add twenty feet or more to the overall length of the kite.
Children of any age can learn to fly a kite with very little practice. As they get older and have more practice, they can enjoy learning how to move from just getting the kite up in the air, to having very good control and being able to make the kite soar, dive, turn and roll very quickly. Having kite dogfights will entertain teenagers, as they learn to have their kites chase and ram into
each other. Many types of sport kites are available for kids to learn to fly a kite, with the focus on durability and strength to perform acrobatic moves and respond quickly.
Kiting is a great way to teach kids of all ages about science, and is a very 'hands on' method to teach them about wind currents and how flight works. Kites have been used in scientific experiments for hundreds of years, and are a fun way to get kids involved in learning science. Flying a kite shows exactly how kite boards and hang gliders work and literally lets you hold the strength of the
wind in your hands.
Grown ups can appreciate the beauty and complexity of more intricate kites. Larger kites can reach fifty or one hundred feet long, and some require several people to fly them. Sport or competitive kites often feature multiple lines of string to control them, and their movements can resemble a puppet dancing in the air. Kite festivals provide a chance to enjoy watching ornate and highly decorated kites flying around. Common in many Asian countries, kite festivals are also popular in America now as part of many cultural fairs and events.
Learning to fly kites is a great recreational activity for families. Start with building simple kites for the kids, help them decorate and customize them, and then go outside and practice getting them in the air. After they have some practice, a day at the beach and a trip to the kite store will provide a happy and memorable family outing.
Have fun, and go fly a kite!