If you’re a parent coming to our site to find out what’s the best age for children to go kite-flying, you’ve come to the right place! In case you’re not a parent, we also have an answer for you as to what the best age is for kite flying.
So, what is the best age for kite flying? Children as young as 5 years old can be introduced to kite flying as a hobby. However, all ages from 5 to 102 years old are able to enjoy kite flying.
In this article, we will discuss introducing kite flying to children, parental guidance, motor skills, balance, coordination, and perception. We will also discuss kite flying for all other ages, and how you can enjoy kite flying!
Introducing Kite Flying to Children
As a parent, you’d generally want to give your children the various experiences that you yourself have experienced. If you’ve made and flown a kite like me, it was an amazing experience to see your own kite actually flying high in the sky.
While it may be tempting to introduce your child to kite flying at a very young age, there are a few things to consider before doing so to prevent frustration, such as motor skills, balance and coordination, and perception.
Motor skills are usually divided into two categories: gross motor skills and fine motor skills.
Gross motor skills refer to skills which include and use many large muscle groups and the whole body. They include skills needed to climb, walk and jump. Children need to develop gross motor skills before mastering fine motor skills.
Fine motor skills include small, controlled body movements involving more limited numbers of muscles. These skills allow us to hold a pencil, write, hold a book, and open a package. These skills require more patience for kids, especially for more detailed and delicate tasks.
In kite flying, it is a mix of gross and fine motor skills that will be used. Children will most likely walk or run with a kite to get it flying, or if they are simply trailing a kite behind them. They will also use fine motor skills to hold on to a kite, or kite string.
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.
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 maintain 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.
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 (known as visual perception); whilst our muscles, joints, and body systems move and respond to this information in a controlled and appropriate manner (known as gross motor coordination).
Why are balance and coordination important?
With good balance and coordination, there is less likelihood of injury as the child is likely to have appropriate postural responses when needed (e.g. putting hands out to protect themselves when they fall down). The physical attributes of balance and coordination also allow appropriate posture for table-top tasks and subsequent success at fine motor tasks.
Age-appropriate balance and coordination also allows the child to be involved in various activities (i.e. sports) with a reasonable degree of success as it aids fluid body movement for physical skill performance. The involvement in such activities is helpful in maintaining self-regulation for daily tasks, as well as developing a social network and achieving a sense of belonging in a community or social setting.
It also helps children develop and maintain appropriate controlled body movement during task performance which in turn, limits the energy required thus minimising fatigue.
While balance may not seem like a big thing if your child is sitting down or standing still while flying a kite, it will greatly aid them should they be running with a kite. Coordination will help your child to ensure that they do not run into things while focused on kite-flying.
Perception refers to how children use their senses to gather and understand information and respond to the world around them. This is not the same as how clearly someone can see things, for example “20/20 vision”. A person can have perfect eyesight, yet still have problems with visual perceptual processing.
Infants and toddlers use perception during interactions, for exploration, and to make sense of their experiences. Preschoolers rely on perceptual information to develop greater awareness of their bodies in space and to move effectively to perform tasks, such as kicking a ball to a friend.
Good visual perceptual skills are important for many everyday skills such as reading, writing, completing puzzles, cutting, drawing, completing math problems, dressing, running around without tripping or bumping into others, as well as many other skills. Without the ability to complete these every day tasks, a child’s self esteem can suffer and their academic and play performance is compromised.
With kite flying, a child requires perception to know when the kite is flying or trailing behind them. It also helps them to develop better spatial awareness of how close or faraway a kite is, especially when it is up in the air.
Now that we know how learning how to fly a kite is affected by these skills, we can go into more details about how and what children are learning while they are growing up.
3 – 4 years old
At 3 – 4 years old, children are still setting their sights on skills, developing fine motor skills, and improving their hand-eye coordination. They also love to use pretend play to mimic athletic activities of their siblings, adults, or what they see on the television.
Such play enhances their emerging skills, and children will enjoy games that require quick gross motor reactions such as soccer, or executing fast turns on their tricycles. At this age, children are exuberant and will usually participate in loud and high-energy games.
Children at this age can be taught to hold on to a string or a ribbon, either sitting or standing. However, their attention span can be very limited, as they will constantly seek out something that will test and refine their motor skills. After a short while of either watching the line or the kite, they may toss the line and let go of it. Even so, they can appreciate a flying kite and look forward to going out to see it fly.
5 – 7 years old
The development of physical skills that use both small and large muscles during kindergarten represents one of the biggest growth spurts of childhood. Children can go from having very simple physical abilities to very complex ones in just one year. For example, learning swing hand over hand on the monkey bars is a huge achievement, considering that at the beginning of the year they couldn’t tie their shoelaces, and had difficulty climbing stairs.
At this age range, children tend to stretch out in size, moving with a mature stance and gait. Developmentally, most children can now skip, catch and throw a ball, hop and balance on one foot, ride a small bike, and walk down stairs alternating their feet.
Their confidence in their physical skills makes 5- and 6-year-olds interested in games like hopscotch and jump rope, and in sports like T-ball and swimming. Children often become interested in dance at this stage. This is a good time to introduce children to these noncompetitive physical activities, which are ideally both challenging and supportive.
It is also a fantastic time for children to be introduced to kite-flying. They can expand their energy running to lift a kite high into the sky, or to have one trail behind them. They can also get quite excited when learning how to make a simple diamond kite with some help from an adult, as this will increase their confidence in learning new skills.
8 – 12 years old
You may see waning interest in kite flying in your child in this age range, simply because there are a lot more experiences that they have well, experienced, and they crave the excitement that such experiences bring. For instance, camping, learning to cook, playing logic games such as Rush Hour, all bring a lot more fun when compared to standing still and watching a kite float in the sky.
There are, however, various types of kites that can still elicit interest and excitement. It is also good to note that there are online instructions to make kites; if your kid is fond of craft, this may be a good way to get them into kite flying.
13 – 16 years old
At this age, teenagers are usually more focused on technology as it broadens their horizons more than real life experiences can. Alternatively, they get into competitive sports or physical activities. It can be difficult to get them to slow down and enjoy kite flying, which they might see as an outdated or antiquated way of enjoyment. However, just because they seek enjoyment is other forms, does not mean that kite flying isn’t suitable for them.
Kite Flying Is For Everyone
As mentioned at the start of this article, kite flying is indeed suitable for all ages! There are various kites to provide different challenges for everyone. Depending on how mobile you are, you can either fly a kite outdoors or indoors. Yes, there are now indoor kites which require no wind at all!
Flying kites is something that most people can get into; I was amazed at how much fun, and how mentally relaxing it was. Standing on the beach, with a strong wind whipping your shirt and the warm sun tanning your skin, with a kite tugging at your arm while your mind wanders – it was a great way to escape from city life!
I know we’ve been talking a lot about kite flying, but keep in mind the journey is also important! In this case, if you are inclined to craft your own kite, it can be very rewarding to see your own handcrafted kite soaring high in the sky.
Kite flying is good for hand-eye coordination. It is especially good for our upper bodies; in a world where we are constantly looking down at our computer monitors and cell phones, kite flying can relief strain in our shoulders and neck as you have to look up at your kite flying through the sky.
Kite flying is a social event, where it brings people together, and is perfect for family picnics, school projects, and team building. Kite flying is accessible to everyone of any age, gender or race. From toddlers to grandparents, anyone can fly a kite! Colourful and interestingly-shaped kites can be a perfect conversation starter and may lead to new friendships that can last for many years.