Make the Most of Your World - South Asia

45 min.

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Wonder of the Day #157

Who Invented the Kite?


Introduce wonder for kites and their introduction to world culture from China and South Asia

Big Idea

Appreciate the many cultures found in Cleveland, OH, and some of the cultural highlights

As part of the Cleveland Public Library summer reading program - we are exploring the cultures of Asia.

In looking for a craft activity, a colleague Jeanna Sauls suggested a fish kite. I was grateful for her suggestion, because, originally, we were going to do batik - and as a one person operation today - it was too much.

Here are the instructions:

I made an example kite - that was not representational (Jeanna suggested a fish). I wanted to encourage creativity - but lesson learned - the individuality comes out in execution more than in leaving a craft open-ended. Here is a more representational fish "kite" - also called "windsock"

We read along with the description of who invented a kite at Wonderopolis. Every child was given a paper bag pre-cut for the craft.

Kids decorated the paper bag first and then followed the steps outlined below.

The kites were a hit - but in hindsight, it may be better to make an example kite that is representational (in other words, have it look like something)

All of the kids completed their kite. We reviewed the steps it took to make the kite:

  1. Open out the base of the paper bag by cutting around the bottom leaving one of the longer edges intact. (we did this before the program)
  2. Decorate the kite with paints, markers and / or stickers
  3. Tape the drinking straw along the fold between the paper bag and the opened out base.
  4. Fold the base of the bag over the straw and tape inside the bag.
  5. Cut 4 strips of tissue paper at least as long as the paper bag (or longer) and about 1 inch wide. Attach these to the base of the kite (i.e. the end with the straw)
  6. Pierce two holes in the kite - just above each end of the hidden straw (about 1/2 inch in from the edges of the kite) - see image
  7. Cut a piece of yarn about 12 inches long. Tie one end through one of the holes that you have just made. Now tie the other end through the other hole.
  8. Tie an overhand knot in the middle of the yarn to create a loop (see image)
  9. Securely attach the free end of the ball of yarn to the loop you have just made. This will be the string for flying the kite. If you wish you can cut this to about 10-12 feet and wrap around a card square. This will make it easier for smaller children to handle.
  10. You are now ready to fly your kite.