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As a member of the baby boomer generation, I have so many memories of kites and kite flying. When I was a kid, I remember seeing people flying lovely kites in the air and it seemed so easy. Then I would try and build and fly my own kites. I got so frustrated with them breaking, falling, not going up, always going down…. I REALLY didn’t like them! Twenty years later, I tried them again with my kids. It was a frustrating rerun of my childhood memories and I ended up leaving the kite flying “fun” to my husband who loved working with wood of all kinds – including the wood pieces on a kite.
Now that it’s 30 years later and I have grandkids, I’ve managed to successfully avoid any kite flying activities…until last week. One of my sweet grandkids spotted some in Walmart and thought flying kites would be fun! I tried to switch his focus to something much easier but to no avail. And with those sweet little eyes looking at me like, “Of COURSE you can fly kites – you’re grandma!” my cart ended up with four new (CHEAP) kites in it!
Guess what I discovered! It’s a brand new ball game when it comes to kite flying – to mix my metaphors! I was delighted to find that kites have “come a long way, baby!” All we had to do was:
- Snap two plastic rods together to make the cross bow (the long rod down the kite was already installed).
- Snap the string clip on the “string reel” to the string circle on the front of the kite. (Make sure you don’t accidentally clip it to the inside of the kite – yup, I figured that one out the hard way. 🙂 ).
- Unroll the two ribbons that make up the tail.
- Make sure you have some wind – we had PLENTY! Hooray!
- HAVE FUN!
After 15-30 minutes of practicing, all of the grandkids were flying their kites beautifully. Even I was able to keep these easy kites for the kids up in the air. Hooray! It was a total kite-flying success – the first I’d ever enjoyed. Oh, we did have a couple of issues. Strings getting tangled with each other and two kites lost to the kite-eating trees. But that was just plain funny. And fun that we even GOT that far. (Can you tell I was REALLY kite-challenged for the past 50-something years! 🙂 ).
We had so much fun, we even went back to flying kites one more time the same day and again, a few days later in the midst of another windy day. So, how about you and your grandkids? Are you as kite-challenged as me or regular kite-flying pros? We’d love to hear.
P.S. For those of you who are kite flying-proficient and looking for even more fun challenging activities with your grandkids, check out Kites: Flying Skills and Techniques, from Basic Toys to Sport Kites. It had an excellent review by another kite-flying grandma.
P.P.S. For that matter, if you’re really brave (much braver than this Sandwich Generation grandmother, I should add) there is also Kites for Everyone: How to Make and Fly Them. Click here to take a peek at it.