Benjamin Franklin . Make a Kite | PBS

make a kite

- one 24-inch wooden dowel or lightweight, straight wooden stick
- one 20-inch wooden dowel or lightweight, straight wooden stick
  (hint: longer sticks can be cut to length with adult supervision)
- large piece of paper (at least 26” X 26”) or a heavy duty trash bag
- tape
- lightweight string, twine, or fishing line
- craft knife (requires adult supervision!)
- ruler
- pencil, pen, or marker
- scissors
- ribbon

Step 1: With the craft knife, carve a notch into both ends of each wooden stick.
step 1 illustration

Step 2: Take the longer wooden stick. Using a ruler, mark off a spot that is 6 inches from the end (or 1/4 of the way into the stick).
step 2 illustration

Step 3: Take the shorter wooden stick. Using a ruler, mark off a spot that is 10 inches from the end (or halfway into the stick).
step 3 illustration

Step 4: Place the shorter stick crosswise over the longer stick, matching up the marks you just made. When the sticks are laying down, all the notches should run parallel to the ground.
step 4 illustration
Step 5: Take the string and wrap it tightly around the center of your sticks, binding them together. You will be making an "X" shape with the string. Double check that the notches remain parallel to the ground.
step 5 illustration

Step 6: Thread the string through all the notches, creating a diamond shape. Wrap it around twice, making sure the string is taut. This is the frame of your kite.
step 6 illustration

Step 7: Pull the end of the string back towards the center of your kite. (Make sure the frame is still taut.) Wrap your string tightly around both sticks (mimicking the "X" shape you made earlier with the string) and tie it off with a knot.
step 7 illustration

Step 8: Cut your paper or plastic bag so that it is slightly larger than the kite frame.
step 8 illustration
Step 9: Fold the paper over the string frame, and either tape or glue it down.
step 9 illustration

Step 10: Reinforce the top and bottom tips of your kite with tape. Then, using a pen or needle, punch a tiny hole through these reinforced tips.
step 10 illustration

Step 11: Cut a 2-foot piece of string. Knot one end of the string through the top hole and the other end through bottom hole. This will form the bridle of your kite.
step 11 illustration

Step 12: Take the remainder of your string. Attach one end of it to the bridle (about 1/3 of the way down). This will be your flying string.
step 12 illustration
Step 13: Either tape or knot a 2-yard-long string to the bottom tip of your kite. Then, take your ribbon and tie bows around the string. The tail of your kite will add stability when itís in flight.
step 13 illustration

Now, itís time to fly your kite! Find a breeze and an open space with no power lines or trees. Let the wind work its magic! (Hint: If your kite jerks or dips when you fly it, try moving the location of the flying string knot up or down the bridle.)