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We had an awesome camp this past summer. We learned about light and sound, solar energy, and flight. One of the activities we started with was with mini kites. The Chinese were making kites as far back as 300 BC. Early understanding of flight came from studying kites. We made our own mini kites to see what we could learn.

Step 1: Materials

  • 3 Stir Sticks (Coffee Stirrers)
  • Permanent Marker
  • Reused Plastic Bag
  • Ruler (Straight Edge)
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Tape

Step 2: Cut Bag

  1. Cut out one whole side of the plastic bag, leaving you with two large pieces of plastic.
  2. Put one side of the plastic bag to the side.
  3. Save to make improvements on your next kite or recycle plastic bag.

Step 3: Cut Stir Stick

  1. Cut one of the three stir sticks in half.
  2. Tape one of the halves to one, and only one, of the whole sticks. We need to make one stick longer.
  3. We now have three sticks of different lengths.
  4. Set the smallest to the side for your next kite or recycle.

Step 4: Tape

  1. Make a cross with the two stir sticks.
  2. Place the cross onto the plastic bag.
  3. Tape down all four sides of the stir sticks to the plastic bag.

Step 5: Lines

  1. Using a straight edge, line up the tips of the stir sticks.
  2. Draw a line from one tip to the next, as shown in the picture.
  3. We now have our kite shape.

Step 6: Cut Plastic

  1. Cut along the lines.
  2. Continue all the way around the plastic.
  3. Make the kite shape shown above.

Step 7: Scrap Tail

Using cut off pieces of the plastic, we made a tail.

  1. Cut a piece of the extra plastic bag into at least two strips.
  2. One strip is taped on to the kite.
  3. The other strip is pulled a part and tied to the tail.

Some kites needed this tail and some did not.

Try the kite both with a tail and without and decide what works best.

Step 8: Finishing Up

  1. Tape or tie the string on to the center of the cross (where the two sticks come together).
  2. Make sure the sting is lined up with the center of the cross.
  3. Color (optional)

Step 9: Fly

Go outside and fly your kite on a day that has a fair amount of wind.

Every single one we made flew!

<p><strong>Great Idea!</strong></p><p>Back in the sixties we used to make fighter kites similar to these. We used tissue paper &quot;Papel Seda&quot; and instead of the stirrers, we used the nerve from coconut leaves that were sun dried for a couple of days! For ties and flight string, we used heavy duty #8 sewing thread, waxed for strength. We used double cotton rag 1/2 inch wide and about 5 to 6 feet long tails. one shorter than the other, about 3:1 relation. Nobody ever explained the reason for a double tail, but it worked!</p>
<p>That sounds like a lot of fun!!</p>

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Bio: Science Geek! Been to Space Camp 3 times and want to go again!!
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