When was the last time you took the family outside on a blustery day and flew a kite? In the era of smartphone games and social media, the old-fashioned charms of kite flying have, for many, been lost. However, disconnecting from the digital world for an afternoon and going out to fly a kite can be a great opportunity for family bonding, and a lot of fun to boot!
What's so fun about flying a kite?
During medium-wind days, it's easy to hold on to a kite and make it dance patterns and twirls across the sky. Whether you are trading one kite back and forth between family members or flying multiple kites all together, there's a simple childlike innocence to flying a kite that you can't really get from anyone else. And since kites are fairly inexpensive, you can easily have everyone in the family out at the same time, keeping a different color kite soaring around in circles. To add an extra layer of fun for young kids, opt for kite decorating kits and allow each child to customize his or her own.
Tips for Successful Kite Flying and Overall Safety
- Find an Open Area to Fly
- Have a Strong Grip
- Take into Account the Weather
- Avoid Potential Collisions
Find an Open Area to Fly
Once you have your kites ready to go, head to a clear, wide-open area. If there is an open field near your house, a schoolyard football field that isn't in use, for instance, that's a great place to go. Beaches and parks are also ideal. Your goal should be to find a place with lots of room to run and few or no obstructions. You'll also have more fun if you can locate a spot that you and your family can enjoy just to yourselves. Since the image of a kite stuck in a tree is so common, you probably already know to avoid spots with many trees. Also steer clear of power lines, fences, and buildings, and pick a space far away from streets or railroads. When we say "wide-open area," we mean it!
Have a Strong Grip
The basic kite flying motion is very simple. You have a kite spool, with a piece of string or thread attached to your kite. You can reel the string out or in by spinning the spool, which will affect how your kite is flying and how far it can get away from you. These motions are easy enough to master, even for small kids. However, it's best to pick a day that isn't too windy (but also not too still) to avoid a situation where your child has trouble holding onto the kite or where the string snaps.
Take into Account the Weather
Heavier wind days are also often harbingers of thunderstorms or other inclement weather, both of which should put your kite flying plans on hold without exception. Kites aren't just difficult to handle in storms, but they can also attract lightning, turning kite flying from a fun and innocent family activity into an incredibly dangerous one. If the wind is at a medium level and you have a wide-open space, though, by all means head outside and start flying your kites.
Avoid Potential Collisions
If everyone in the family will be flying his or her own kite, just remember to leave ample space between each person. Flying kites side-by-side sounds like great fun (and can make for some great pictures).But if the wind takes a turn and your kite is too close to someone else's, they can immediately collide and become tangled with one another. Untangling two kites once their strings have intertwined is no easy task, either, so have a knife or a pair of scissors handy (along with some extra string) to make sure you can get everyone back up in the air after a crash and tangle.
Flying a kite is often thought of as a fun activity from yesteryear, but if you give it a chance, it can still be just as much fun today. So why not leave behind the computers and smartphones for a day and get everyone out to the field to fly a kite? With a steady wind and some extra string, there's no reason that a kite-flying outing can't provide hours of good outdoor fun.