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Kite facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Kite Flying by Suzuki Harunobu (鈴木 春信)
Kite Flying by Suzuki Harunobu 1766 - Metropolitan Museum of Art

A kite is an object that flies by opposing the force of the wind with the tension of a string held by the operator. Kite flying is the hobby of flying kites. Those flown by American children are often shaped like a geometric kite. Kite flying is very popular in ChinaJapan, India, and many other countries. In some countries 'kite fights' are held, in which many people gather and fly kites and try to snag each other's kites or cut the other kite down.


Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival held on the fourth Sunday every May in Higashiomi, Shiga, Japan

Kite flying traces its roots back to early China, and the development of paper. Chinese kite designs particularly tend to ecopy flying insects, birds, and other beasts, real and mythical. The finest modern Chinese kites are made from split bamboo (usually golden bamboo), covered with silk and hand painted to form an overall artistic statement within a tradition of long standing.

For larger kites, clever hinges and latches allow the kite to be disassembled and compactly folded for storage or transport. Lower cost kites in quantity production may be made from printed polyester, which will have longer useful life if frequently flown.


Frog kite 01284
Frog kite

Kite flying depends on lightweight, but strong twine. It also depends on the ability to produce paper or tightly woven cloth. Kites typically consist a one or more spars (sticks), that hold a sail of fabric taut. Classic kites use bamboo, rattan or other strong but flexible wood for the spars, and paper or light fabrics such as silk for the sails. Modern kites are made with synthetic materials: nylon or more exotic fabrics for the sails, and fiberglass or carbon fiber spars.

Kites are designed with different shapes, forms and sizes, from historic flat geometric designs, through box kites and other aerodynamic forms, to modern inflatable designs.

Modern acrobatic kites use more than one line to allow fine control in the kite's angle to the wind, in recent years, multi-line kite flying has developed into a sport, with competitions for precision flying and artistic interpretation of music.

Kite festivals are held where kites from around the world are displayed in the sky.

Practical & cultural uses

রঙিন ঘুড়ি (26993086328)
Bangladeshi kites

Kites have been used militarily in the past, both for observation by lifting an observer above the field of battle, and for delivery of munitions. They have also been used for scientific purposes, for example Benjamin Franklin's famous (but very dangerous) electrical experiment. Kites are the precursors to aircraft, and were instrumental in the development of early flying craft. Alexander Graham Bell experimented with very large man-carrying kites.

The Indian festival of Makar Sankranti is purely devoted to kite flying. This spring festival is celebrated on 14 January (15 January on leap years) with millions flying kites all over India. The festival is a public holiday in the state of Gujarat.

Types of Kites

Steve Hobart Sport Kite
Sport kite
Pairs kites
Trick kite

Kites are also used in kite aerial photography.

Images for kids

See also

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Kite Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.