Kite Flying: Where to go in Atlanta
Breezy spring days means it’s time to take to the skies.
Where to Buy
Stoie’s Rainbow Kite: This oversized kite is great for young children because it’s easy to launch and doesn’t require too much skill to fly once in the air.
aGreatLife Huge Rainbow Kite: One of the highest rated kites on Amazon, this kite comes with a guide on how to fly and is large enough to be easily launched.
Also check with local toy and craft stores, as well as stores like Walmart or Target, which will carry kites seasonally.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parts of the Kite
Spars – sticks that cross the spine and give support.
Spine – the vertical stick you build your kite around.
Frame – the spine and spars joined together by string.
Cover- paper, plastic or cloth that wraps around the frame.
Bridle – strings attached to the spine or spars that help control the kite while it’s in the air.
Flying Line – where the flyer holds onto the kite.
Reel – used to wind the flying line to prevent it from tangling.
Tail – 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