paper plate bomb, I mean, kite

We ran across this paper plate kite project while Smootch and I were reading an issue of Ladybug magazine. The story's premise was that the great big store bought kite wouldn't fly, hugely disappointing the wee girl, but this humble paper plate was a fantabulous flyer that saved the day. Handmade beats store-bought. My kind of story. And great little project too: the paper plate is thick enough for water colours and we love anything to do with ribbons.

The downside was having to go buy some kite string, and then finding the only thing in the whole store was these monsterous plastic doohickeys with no way of stopping your string from unwinding without strong arming the winding mechanism. Not good for preschoolers. Still, we bought. Silly us.

And then we waited, and waited, and waited until a windy day finally came (accompanied by a tornado, but that's another story), took the kite out to the top of the green space hill and -

Pphhutttt. Nothing. No fly, no soar. No this-simple-homemade-kite-kicks-plastic-store-kite's-be-streamered-butt. Just... nothing.

But we had lots of fun with the water colours :D

I'm on the prowl for proper instructions for homemade kites. Anyone have a success with one?


  1. We made uber simple kites in school when I was very involved thin bamboo sticks (skewers?) and tissue paper. Simply build a diamond, add the cross/skeleton to the middle, glue it all together, and stretch tissue paper over the whole thing. Glue that on, attach a string, and go fly a kite.

    It must be a LITTLE more complicated than that, but I do remember the kite flying very well...right onto the roof of my house. I went out every day and watched the tissue paper slowly melt off my kite. LOL

  2. We did the paper plate thing this spring, but we called them 'hand kites'. We used crepe paper streamers for the tails and a simple ribbon loop handle. Then they ran around the yard as fast as they could to get the kite/streamers to 'fly' behind them. We took them out a few days later on a really windy day so we could stand still and see the streamers fly in the wind.
    I did think the whole thing was lame but still played it up. The kids loved, really loved making them and running around. What more can you ask for?

  3. -2 pieces of light Dowling for the cross pieces, with notches cut in the end or holes drilled near the end to thread string though to make the frame
    -string, for framing purposes
    -garbage bags or newspaper for the kite material. This can probably actually be made of anything really, almost worn through bedsheets, old nylon windbreaker...

    This makes a basic diamond shaped kite. I've noticed that in store bought kites the "wings" are at an angle to the main shaft, I guess to give the kite better lift, but I can't think of an easy way to do that.

    In a pinch you can always tie a string to a grocery bag and run around the yard. My brother and I had tons of fun doing that as kids.

  4. I haven't tried this one myself, just came across it while reading, but it seems to have a how-to video.

    Hope it helps!


  6. I've tried several different directions for homemade box kites using Paper shopping bags and never had much success. - That's not really an idea more of a lesson learned from past failure!

  7. Aww. I don't have tips on handmade kites (never made them), but that plate does look pretty, with that paint on it. Just call it a frisbee and the project is an instant succes! ;-)

  8. I adore Ladybug Magazine! It's so great for kids this age.