Kite Flying: Where to Go and How in Atlanta
Breezy spring days means it’s time to take to the skies
Where to Buy
Tomi Kite: This kite is great for young children because it doesn’t require too much skill to fly once in the air and is huge and easy to launch. Available on amazon.com for $14.95
aGreatLife Huge Rainbow Kite: One of the highest rated kites on Amazon, this kite comes with a guide on how to fly kites and is large enough to be easily launched. Available on amazon.com for $12.90
Treehouse Kid & Craft: Decatur
Richard’s Variety Store: Two Atlanta locations
Kazoo Toys (seasonally): Buckhead
Learning Express Toys: Five Atlanta locations
Where to Fly
Open spaces around the metro area:
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Stone Mountain Park
Lillian Webb Park, Norcross
Georgia Perimeter College, Decatur
Tips for Flying
Open spaces: Choose an open field or grassy area with plenty of space overhead. Never fly kites near power lines. If the kite gets stuck leave it there!
How to launch: Contrary to popular belief, running is not the best way to launch a kite. In fact, it can actually make launching your kite very difficult, causing it to crash. It’s best to let the wind do most of the work. Source: kites.com
Buddy system: Kite flying can be much easier with two people. Grab a friend to help you launch the kite.
When to add a tail: A tail will add more drag to your kite. They are most helpful when wind conditions are stronger than what is recommended. Source: kites.com
Control with the line: Once your kite is in the air, use the line to control its flight. Pulling on the line will move your kite in the direction it is pointing while letting out the line will change its direction. You should never let your kite out so far you have no line left on the reel. Source: kites.com
Wind speed: 4-18 mph (light-moderate); causes leaves to rustle, trees to dance
Wind direction: Pay attention to which way the wind is blowing and position yourself with your back to the wind so the kite can catch the wind. As the wind lifts the kite, let line out.
Apps for testing wind speed: Wind Compass by Anapa Apps for iOS and coming soon for Android and Wind Vane by haveanapp.com for Android
Parts of the Kite
The Spars are sticks that cross the spine and give support.
The Spine is the vertical stick you build your kite around.
The Frame is the spine and spars joined together by string.
The Cover is paper, plastic or cloth that wraps around the frame.
The Bridle are strings attached to the spine or spars that help control the kite while it’s in the air.
The Flying Line is where the flyer holds onto the kite.
The Reel is used to wind the flying line to prevent it from tangling.
The Tail is a long strip of plastic or paper that gives the kite balance.
How to Make a Diamond Kite:
2 wooden dowels, one 16 inches and one 24 inches
Strong, thin string
1 large sheet of paper
Markers, crayons, ribbons, etc. for decorating (optional)
Position the two rods together at right angles, making a cross shape. Bind the dowels together with string where they meet, tying a knot and cutting off the excess string.
(This step requires an adult). Use a utility knife to cut notches in the ends of both dowels. Place string through the notch at the top of the kite frame, wind it around the top of the dowel, and wrap it tightly around the edge of the frame, making sure it fits well into each notch. Secure the string by tying the ends together at the top of the frame.
Place the finished frame on top of the large piece of paper and cut around it, leaving a 1/2-inch margin. Fold the edges over the frame and glue.
Tie a length of string to both ends of the longer dowel and tie another length of string to both ends of the shorter dowel. Each length should be a bit longer than the corresponding dowel. Tie the two strings together where they meet in front of the kite; this is where the flying line will be attached when it’s time to fly.
Decorate using markers or crayons and make a tail by gluing ribbons to the bottom of the kite.
Adapted from familycrafts.about.com
– Teresa Farkas