Kites are fun to watch but very difficult to keep up in the air so I decided to find a way to capture the essence of flying a kite into a foolproof activity. Kids of all ages can now have the freedom to walk in any direction which is not possible with traditional kites.
I call it 'things on a string" because that is what it is. Small objects on a piece of string that get blown by the wind. They turn and twist and sometimes float. It's not high like a kite but more of a below the waist dangle and flutter and it's robust enough to let you try tricks by jerking and moving the string. What more could you ask for?
This instructable was hacked based on an item that I bought and enjoyed watching it dance in the wind. It is pictured above.
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Step 1: Materials
1) String like object that isn't too heavy so it can blow in the wind (ribbon, string, fishing line (invisible), yarn but it tangles easily)
2) Something to attach to the string that is durable enough to be blown in strong wind and light enough to be carried in a light breeze. You may need a hole puncher to make a hole and attach the string. (Plastic bags of any size, cardboard cutouts, duct tape art, decorated balloons, streamers...). Remember that your object can be 3D so think of kite shapes, wind socks, hang gliders, airplanes, rockets, birds, animals...
3) Windy place or a fan
Holding the string that is attached to your object, extend your arm out with the string above your waist level. Release enough string to allow the wind to blow your object above the ground. With a constant wind your object will continually be tossed and turned and now you can try moving the string any way you like to do tricks.
Some designs you might try are narrow vs wide shapes, light vs added weight, length of string, big vs small, rigid vs flexible material...I enjoy making the object resemble an animal so it is interesting to see it do tricks.
Variation: Change the shape of the object
Variation: Change the material the object is made of
Variation: Change the length or material of the string
Variation: Try different wind conditions
Variation: Try making your object do tricks
Variation: Try random movements. Try walking and performing random movements - fast / slow.
Variation: Try decorating / adding accessories to your object such as tails, eyes, wings, fins, rods, lights, sound...
Variation: Try your object without wind or wind that is intermittent
Variation: Add props for your object to interact with. I used a hoop for my dolphin.
Variation: Instead of one length of string try linking different shapes of string.