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Making Kites from Recycled Materials


Let your



Kites have a long history that goes back thousands of years.  In that time kites have been made from everything you can imagine.  Bamboo and paper continue to be widely used for making kites.  Certainly Jello wouldn't work, but what about candy wrappers?  Would they fly? 

You can make a kite from recycled materials too.  Here's how:

  1. Collect a variety of recycled items, such as:
  • Sails: paper, plastic, trash bags, wrappers, foam trays, paper cups, junk mail

  • String: heavy duty button thread, yarn

  • Spars: bamboo, food skewers, old blinds, wood sticks, straws

  • Tails: streamers, ribbon, strips of plastic

  • Do not use: heavy materials like metal

  • Do not use: stretchy materials like plastic wrap or cotton fabric

  1. Design your kite:

  • Design and build a unique and interesting kite

  • Eddy kites, Sled kites and all kinds of flat kites are recommended

  • The kite should be symmetrical.  Fold the sail in half to make sure

  • Use lightweight recycled materials

  • Use your imagination!

  1. Construct your kite:

  • Your goal is to make the kite fly

  • It should also be creative and unique

  • Attach colorful tails to the bottom at the center

  1. Flying Recycled Kites:

  • Your kites can be flown any time of year
  • Outdoor flying - weather permitting
  • Indoor kite flying - Use a gymnasium and have students run around the gym (always in one direction!)

Contest Ideas:

  • Best flying
  • Highest
  • Most artistic
  • Best use of materials
  • Most innovative use of recycled materials
  • Smallest kite (must fly!)
  • Largest kite (must fly!)
  • Best recycled kite photo
  • Create a recycled kite exhibit


Kyoto contest http://www.geocities.com/kitesforkyoto/kites.html
Teaching resources http://classroom.KitingUSA.com/resources.htm
Kites in the Classroom http://classroom.KitingUSA.com

Book on Amazon:

Building Free and Recycled Kites




How to make tails from recycled plastic:

    (1) Take a plastic grocery bag and lay it flat. 

    (2) Start with the closed end and roll the bag into a long tight tube.

    (3) Use scissors to cut the tube into many rolls.  They look like hot-dogs that are 2" long but still tightly rolled.

    (4) Unroll your tails and use tape to attach the tails together to make long tails for your kite!


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