Introduction: Easy Paper Kite for Kids

Picture of Easy Paper Kite for Kids

This Instructable will show you how to make a simple, easy-to-make, easy-to-fly, paper kite that is great for kids.

Step 1: Materials

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To make this kite, you will need:

1. 8.5"x11" piece of paper

This is your standard copy paper size. Regular paper works fine, but I like card stock because it's a little sturdier. Use whatever you have. If you use plain white paper, let your kid color bright designs all over it before beginning the project.

2. A wooden skewer. A straight drinking straw works too.

3. Kite string. You can find this at a lot of department stores. If not, almost any strong but light string would work. Quilters' string is about the right thickness. Yarn may be too heavy, sewing thread too light. Fishing line is light but strong.

4. Ribbon. Most wide ribbon would work fine. I like using surveyors tape (available at hardware stores) because it's made of plastic, which is lighter (for a longer tail!) and durable. Surveyors tape comes in bright fluorescent colors that kids like.

5. Scissors or hole punch.

6. Tape.

Step 2: Step 1

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Start with your piece of paper:

Fold it in half.

Step 3:

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Mark a point on the top of the paper about one inch from the fold.

Mark a point on the bottom of the paper about one inch from the open side.

Imagine, or draw, a line connecting these two dots.

Step 4:

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Fold the top corner of the paper down along the line that you've just created.

Step 5:

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Next, flip the paper over and fold the other side down to match the side you just folded.

Step 6:

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Flip the paper back over so that it looks the way it did in Step 4.

Tape along the middle seam.

Step 7:

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Lay a skewer across the kite, as shown, and tape it in place. You'll probably have to cut the skewer down to size with your scissors.

Step 8:

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Flip the kite back over and straighten the "spine".

Step 9:

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Mark a spot about a third of the way down the spine, and about half an inch from the edge. Put tape over this mark to reinforce it on both sides.

Use your hole punch or scissors to make a hole in this spot.

Tie your kite string through this hole. Make sure to use a good knot!

Step 10:

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Tape a length of ribbon to the back of the kite, at the bottom.

If you use light ribbon like surveyors tape, the tail can be 6-10 feet long. Heavier ribbon should be shorter. You can experiment with the length; if it seems the kite can't hold up your ribbon as it flies, just trim it shorter.

Step 11:

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Your kite is ready to fly!

These kites don't need very much wind to get lift, and are not the best for VERY windy days. A nice steady breeze is all it needs.

Remember, sometimes it takes practice to learn to fly a kite. Just remember to reel it in some if it looks like it's falling, and let out more string if it starts to tug hard. Make sure that middle "spine" is straight before the kite goes up.

Good luck!


sewash02 made it! (author)2017-10-17

i like pinnaples

sewash02 (author)2017-10-17

DIS is fun

kirube031 (author)2017-10-17

This rocks!

expatty (author)2012-11-13

Excellent Instructable!
Last night we made these with our Cub Scout pack, and I passed on the design to another pack who did the same. The preparation for both was very much last minute for both of us.
Both cub packs had an total success in making the kites. given about 25-30 mins all the kids had a decorated kite with a string they could use to run about with the kite. All of the kids took them home!
Thank you!

Marshall Harris (author)expatty2017-09-29

This is a very good project for the Cub Scouts as well as the Brownies! It's also good for the older Scouts too. By the way, I am an Eagle Scout and very proud to have attained that goal. Our whole family was involved with scouting when I was growing up in Chattanooga TN. My dad became our Scout Master and was awarded the Silver Beaver. That was all many years ago. I am now 76 years of age. When I give classes in kite making, one of the first things I mention is: Be Prepared!

Marshall Harris

ReadsInTrees (author)expatty2012-11-13

I'm glad they worked out well for everyone!

jjsims (author)2014-01-07

you give great directions!

ReadsInTrees (author)jjsims2014-01-07

Thank you very much!

Thank you for adding your comments. I did not realize my idea had ever been posted here. Your advice was perfect, so thank you again.

I have been a member of the American Kitefliers Association since 1989.

Marshall Harris

Marshall Harris (author)jjsims2017-09-29

I originally added this after I joined this site. Not sure when. The original idea came from another source and has been around for many years. I came up with the idea of the lines and happy face for the free kite workshop we do at our Kite Fest Louisiane. It helps the kids to make the kite consistently well. We started back in 2005, (before Katrina came in August of that year.) We usually have as many as 400 to 500 kids come from public schools on that Friday. So there are lots of kites in the air all day. Saturday and Sunday is when all the big kites come out and fill the sky!

I hope you and your groups have fun with this design.

Marshall Harris

kimber.w.v (author)2014-09-16

This is just what I was looking for--thanks so much! I just want to make sure I don't mess it up--where does the string go and what's the best way to attach? Also, has anyone tried using two skewers in a cross formation? (so the second skewer would go along the seam) Thanks so much!

The string is attached to the front or opposite side from the spreader stick. If you use the happy face copy that comes with the instructions, the two eyes (black dots) is where the string should be attached after you enforce it with a small piece of tape and using a punch, make a hole for the string. Try not to tie the string all the way down onto the keel. Leave a little wiggle room. The added tape for the punch will keep the string from pulling through. I don't suggest adding another spreader as the tape that runs down the center will brace the kite well enough. Happy flying!

Marshall Harris

ReadsInTrees (author)kimber.w.v2014-09-16

You won't need to use two skewers. The seam has enough strength on it's own. AS for where the string goes, read back through the instructions (Step 9). Make a hole about a third of the way down that "spine" on the underside of the kite, and just tie the string there.

kimber.w.v (author)ReadsInTrees2014-09-19

Oh good grief thank you so much--it would have helped if I had clicked on "next steps!" For some reason I thought step 8 was the end of your directions. Sigh. Thank you again--excited to do it this at our church fall kickoff this weekend!

AlejandraH (author)2015-02-22

do u have to put the streamer and can it fly by its own self with only the string

The tail is necessary for this kite to add some drag which helps keep the kite flying straight. Also remember to check the keel and make sure it stands straight up when the kite is laid on its back. If it's to one side or the other, it won't fly straight. I hope this helps.

Marshall Harris

ReadsInTrees (author)AlejandraH2015-02-22

It needs SOMEthing on the bottom to act as a weight to keep the kite upright. Otherwise, it'll just spin around. A tail keeps a kite upright so that it can get some height. You can use ribbon, or a strip of cloth, or a couple shoe laces tied together...

BrookeM14 (author)2015-11-02

How long does the string need to be?

The minimum I suggest is 15 to 20 feet for small children as they just love to run with their kite. If you keep the kite as light as you can, you can add as much as 100 ft. or more in a good wind.


Marshall Harris

ReadsInTrees (author)BrookeM142015-11-04

Probably bare minimum would be fifteen feet for smaller kids....but I've had older kids get these up in the air on a hundred feet of light string.

JJCoffee (author)2015-12-29

Can you glue a diamond shaped piece of paper to the underside of the kite to finish it off and cover the tape and skewer? If so, would it be better to use standard printer paper or card stock?

Marshall Harris (author)JJCoffee2017-09-29

It isn't necessary to cover the back, however if you chose to do this, use the lightest paper possible. More weight requires stronger winds. In my instructions, I suggest you use cellophane tape and not the invisible kind as it doesn't hold up very well.

Good winds to you and your kite!

Marshall Harris

Marshall Harris (author)2017-09-29

The best paper for this kite is 20lb or 24lb. Card stock will fly if the wind is really strong! When I give kite making classes, I like to use colored paper and let the kids chose their favorite. Also use light weight cotton string. Remember, heavy string will weight the kite down. Also too much tape adds more weight, so keep it light.

"The Sky's The Limit"!

Marshall Harris

T0BY (author)2016-12-06

How sweet!

Marshall Harris (author)2016-09-13

Layout sheet and instruction sheet for this kite.

Marshall Harris

Marshall Harris

MuhammadI200 (author)2016-08-29

Fix ut wastage of thingss

scientist69 (author)2016-05-16

This is great for my experiments. :) ;)

tammydaDIYmaster11 (author)2016-04-24

recycling at its best

Pablokeller (author)2016-02-16

Great use for waste paper

Traceyymca (author)2016-02-15

how easy and good fun

davidwtcameron (author)2015-11-10

Great and v effective design- thanks!

Blazingspiker (author)2015-04-29


Kiteman (author)2010-03-28

Yay - the "Uncle Jonathan" classic!

I haven't made these for ages, but I do remember that most sewing threads are fine for flying these, as long as it's not too windy.

Alex Mercer (author)Kiteman2012-04-14

Yeah, If not, it will be heavy and low in performance.

Alex Mercer (author)2012-04-14

Go To

NachoMahma (author)2010-03-28

.  Great job. Nice, clear pictures and good explanations.

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