STEAM Saturday – Newspaper Kites! (5/27/2023)

This May weather has been absolutely fabulous!  You and your little scientist can take advantage of the wonderful Spring breeze by making these fabulous newspaper kites from Buggy and Buddy on this STEAM Saturday. We love this activity because it is a perfect combination of art, science, and physical exercise.  Your kids will love watching their handiwork soar through the air!

Here is what you’ll need to make your kite:

  • Newspaper
  • Two 1/4-inch round wooden dowels (one 24 inches, one 20 inches)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • String
  • Tape (masking or packing will work best!)
  • Yardstick (or a ruler)
  • Yarn and/or ribbons (to decorate your “kite tail”)
  • A small handsaw (***make sure an adult helps with this part***)

Start by cutting your wooden dowels with your handsaw.  You will need one that is 24 inches long and one that is 20 inches long.  Then use your handsaw again to make notches at both ends of each wooden dowel.  Take your pencil and mark your 24-inch dowel 6 inches from the top.  Then have your kiddos take the smaller dowel and place it across the “mark” to form a “t” shape.

Grab your string and wrap the dowels together in the center, making sure that the notches on the ends of your dowels remain parallel to the floor.  To secure your dowels, take some masking tape and put it over the string in the center.  Next, wrap string all around the outer edge of the kite – the string should run through each of your notches!

It is time to add some newspaper!  Don’t worry if you do not have any newspaper, instead grab a trash bag or some construction paper.  Take your paper and lay it on the floor.  Place your kite frame on top of the paper.  Cut the newspaper in the shape of your kite, leaving approximately one inch on the outside.  To secure the newspaper, have your kids fold the edges over the string and tape them down.

We’re almost done!  Next, you’ll need to run a piece of string from the top of your kite to the bottom.  Your string should be about 24 inches long, but you might have to make it longer or shorter depending on the size of your kite!  Make a hole in the top and bottom of your kite and tie the string on both ends.  This is called the “brindle string.”  Finally, tie the rest of your roll of string to the brindle string.  This is what you’ll use to fly your kite!  You are now ready to fly, but if your children are feeling extra crafty, they can use the string and art supplies to add a ribbon to the bottom of the kite!

Instead of going out and buying a kite, build your own and teach your kiddos about physics and let them make something that’s fun!

See the full project from Buggy and Buddy HERE, and watch a video on the science behind kites below.

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!
We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

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