Learning how to build kites and flying them are a rite of passage for many children. Who hasn't spent a warm spring day running through a field with a kite? But there is more to kite flying than just running with a string in your hand. Kite building actually has a long and fascinating history and it also can be a great way to learn about science at the same time.
Ben Franklin is possibly the most famous kite flyer in history. His well-known experiment with a kite tied to a key was a new discovery about how electricity travels and how charges can be stored. But Ben wasn't the first to use kite flying as more than a leisurely pastime-more than 3000 years ago, kites were used by armies to measure the distance of their enemies. It's even believed that the Chinese lifted soldiers up by kites so they could spy on their opponents.
Most kite flying today happens in backyards and beaches. Giant kites can even lift thrill-seekers over water or they can provide a gentle glide along a mountain. These kites, of course, need proper supervision to ensure that everyone remains safe during their fun.
While store-bought kites are the norm, at-home methods of how to build kites are also a fun way to learn more about the aerodynamics of flying while using your own creativity. Many kites can be made from material you already have on-hand or you can purchase kites online and in retail stores. The great thing about kites is that it's a fun way to let your creativity and ideas soar!
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