Kite flying was a typical hobby of many children, including us, when we were growing up. When we were older, we forgot how fun it could be to be able to control something that looked so close to the sun.
Kites are also a great way to keep your children entertained and healthy, especially over the long summer months. Kite-flying can also be educational: first you learn how to make a kite, and next you learn how to fly one; finally, you will also learn how to troubleshoot your kite!
1. Improves Motor Skills
Motor skills are usually divided into two categories: gross motor skills and fine motor skills.
Gross motor skills refer to skills which use many large muscle groups and the whole body to make big movements. They include skills needed to climb, walk and jump. Children generally need to develop gross motor skills before mastering fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills include small, controlled body movements involving a smaller number of muscles. These skills allow us to hold a pencil, write, hold a book, or to open a package. These skills require more patience for kids, especially for more detailed and delicate tasks.
In kite flying, both gross and fine motor skills are used. Children will most likely walk or run with a kite to get it flying. They will also use fine motor skills to hold on to a kite, or kite string.
2. Improves Balance and Coordination
Balance refers to the ability to keep a controlled position or posture during a specific task. Walking, climbing, or even sitting all require balance. There are two types of balance: dynamic balance, and static balance. Read why it is important for your child to develop balance and coordination early.
Dynamic balance refers to the ability to stay in position during activities that require movement, such as walking, dancing, climbing stairs, walking over obstacles, or when riding a bicycle.
Static balance refers to the ability to hold or stay in position during stationary tasks such as standing, sitting, squatting down, standing on 1 foot, or when playing a game of “Freeze”.
Coordination refers to the ability to correctly interpret multiple signals to do more complex physical tasks.
The more commonly known hand-eye coordination, for example, requires children to correctly interpret visual information in a way that allows them to catch a ball. This seemingly simple task involves neurological activity, physical control, and reflexes, among other abilities. Kite-flying requires this sort of coordination so that the kite does not fly away or fall to the ground.
Eye-foot coordination is a perceptual-motor skill that requires the ability of the eyes to perceive and understand objects within our environment in relation to our bodies – this is known as visual coordination. When flying a kite, it is important to be able to know where one is standing in relation to obstacles around. Our muscles, joints, and body systems move and respond to this information in a controlled and appropriate manner – this is known as gross motor coordination. When we want to retrieve our kite, we can move in a way that will bring the kite down.
3. Provides A Sensory Experience
As a child, I had often wondered if I could ever touch the sky. Flying a kite was one of the closest things that made me feel like I was touching the sky. With screen-time at an all-time high now, being outside provides a sensory experience that can’t be replicated.
Your child will learn that there are many different smells in the outdoors. They can see Nature’s different colors, shapes, and sizes – aqua and blue for the sea, cream for the sand, or green and brown for the trees, and pets, and other people. Your child will also be able to feel the wind, both on their face and through the movement of the kite through the kite line that they hold.
It can be a very exhilarating and thrilling feeling, and we recommend that every child try kite-flying at least once!
4. Allows Creativity To Blossom
Children are often attracted to bright and bold colors. When you and your child are making a kite together, it allows your child to use their creativity in designing or coloring the sail. If you already have a kite, check out our article on how to make a kite tail. Alternatively, you can teach your child to pack their own kite-flying kit, and choose their own kite lines.
If you have an older child with some experience in kite-flying, you could also let them try their hand at flying a dual-line sports/stunt kite. These kites come with 2 handles with a kite line attached to each handle and to the kite. These sort of kites are fast, and can do sharp turns and sudden stops in midair, fly backwards, and even do figure-eights in the sky amongst other complex acrobatics.
5. Learning To Solve Problems
When your kite is constantly crashing, spinning around, if your child is having trouble launching the kite, or bringing it down, you have a chance to teach your child how to solve these problems.
We have some useful articles that will help you to troubleshoot and solve these typical kite-flying problems:
- How To Stop A Spinning Kite
- Why Your Kite Keeps Crashing
- How To Balance A Kite
- 8 Steps To Flying A Kite Easily
- How To Bring A Kite Down Quickly
6. Making Friends / Socialising
Kites often bring people together, regardless if they are related to each other or not. There are often other families and children flying kites in the same area as you. Kite-flying is an easy activity to prepare for as part of a family outing or picnic; it can even be a part of team-bonding activities!
Kites that are colorful or have an unusual design are often the perfect conversation starter, which can lead to new friendships that can last for many years. Because a kite is generally flown or piloted by 1 person at a time, your child will have to learn how to share with others in the family, or if you and your child are feeling generous, with another family.
If at a school-organized outing, invite your child to invite classmates to learn to fly the kite. Your child may also interact with other children when they come up to ask about flying the kite. Take this chance to teach your child how to negotiate with others, how to take turns, and to help others to fly a kite.
7. Exercise / Being In Nature
Flying a kite generally requires the outdoors, so that means you and your child have got to get out and about and moving! In a world where we are often glued to our electronic devices (yes, even children these days), kite-flying promotes movement and can help to relieve strain on both the neck and eyes.
Children can launch a kite in the air with a running start, and even keep it in the air by running around. This introduces them to exercise and movement that improves their gross motor skills. If traveling away from your home to a park or the seaside is not feasible, you can even teach your child to fly a kite in your backyard.
Being out in Nature also provides an opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of the sky and surroundings, which we often take for granted. Fresh air and bright sunshine are also beneficial for both your child and you!
8. Promotes Mindfulness
Teaching your kid to be mindful of their surroundings helps them to be aware of the here and now. In turn, this can help improve pain management, decrease anxiety, and improve management of emotions as well.
You can teach your child what happens if they let go of a kite as part of being mindful of what they are doing. We also recommend that you go over with your child our tips for flying a kite safely to ensure that they have a fun and safe time.
While kites by themselves are not dangerous, we highly recommend adult supervision at all times when your child is handling or flying a kite.
9. Teaches Confidence
Even to this day, I get a little tingle of excitement every time I launch a kite successfully. This started when I was much, much younger, still learning to launch and fly a kite. Over the years, I’ve become more and more confident with handling kites, and being confident in general.
Confidence is so important in aiding a child in learning. With higher confidence levels, a child is more likely to take on bigger and more complex challenges, and to try and solve problems.
When your child has improved at kite flying, they may even start to teach other children how to fly a kite, which can be a major confidence boost!
10. Teaches Tenacity
“Try, and try again” was what I told when I couldn’t get my kite to fly right! Troubleshooting a kite can often involve a process of fixing something, and then performing a test flight to see how the kite handles in the air. This teaches your child patience, determination, and tenacity.
On some days, there may be just not enough wind (or no wind at all) to keep a kite in the air. Take this opportunity to teach your child about patience, how to read the wind, and to try again another day. It is so important to teach our youth about not giving up when they feel like they have failed.
Kite flying has been a big stress-reliever for me. When I watch my kite float in the open, blue sky, I am in the moment, and the daily stresses of life melt away. Kite flying can be mesmerizing and therapeutic for both the pilot and the spectators. It is a great low-stress exercise as well! We hope that you and your child will enjoy kite flying as much as we do!