DIY – Make a Kite!

With Easter fast approach­ing, one of its great­est Bar­ba­dian tra­di­tions will also be in full flight (pun intended). Kite fly­ing is very pop­u­lar in Bar­ba­dos, as illus­trated by the com­pe­ti­tion held annu­ally on Easter Mon­day at the Gar­ri­son. Kites for this com­pe­ti­tion or for gen­eral recre­ation can be pur­chased in stores and even from ven­dors who sell them at the side of the road, but mak­ing your own kite is so much more fun and excit­ing. This arti­cle will present a very sim­ple way you can cre­ate a rel­a­tively sim­ple kite for you, your chil­dren and the entire fam­ily to enjoy over the Easter weekend.

The Basic Parts of the Kite

backgrounds-1423863616-Kites activity 011The spine – the ver­ti­cal stick that runs along the length of the kite.

The spar – the sup­port stick placed hor­i­zon­tally over the spine. For cir­cu­lar kites, there are a vari­ety of spars placed at slants across the ver­ti­cal spines and in dia­mond kites, the spars can be slanted as well.

The frame – the spine and spars are binded by string or tape in the cen­ter, and also con­nected by a string that extends all the way around the kite (see in the Direc­tions sec­tion). In Bar­ba­dos, kite frames can also be pur­chased sep­a­rately and dec­o­rated at to your preferences.

The cover – paper, plas­tic or cloth used to over the frame of the kite.

The bri­dle – attached to the spine or the spars and helps to con­trol the kite as it flies.

The fly­ing line – the string run­ning from the kite’s bri­dle; it’s length deter­mines the height and dis­tance of the kite in the air.

The tail – a long strip of paper or plas­tic rib­bon that helps keep the kite bal­anced in the air. How­ever, not all kites require tails.

The reel – the object used to wind the fly­ing like to keep it from get­ting tan­gled. It should be noted that here in Bar­ba­dos, the fly­ing line and reel are attached together, com­ing as one ensemble.


  • Thin gar­den twine or butcher cord, or cord on a reel pur­chased from a store
  • Scotch tape and or glue; prefer­ably strong tape such as pack­ing tape or elec­tri­cal tape
  • 1 sheet of strong paper, a strong plas­tic bag, or cloth
  • 2 strong, straight wooden sticks (prefer­ably bamboo)
  • Mark­ers (optional to dec­o­rate the kite)
  • Tape mea­sure
  • Scis­sors


Step 1

frame1Make a cross with the two sticks (as dis­played in the image). Note that the longer of the two sticks forms the spine, while the shorter one is placed hor­i­zon­tally to form the spar. Both sides of the spar need to be equal in length.

Step 2

Tie the two sticks together with the string or strong tape, so that they are at right angles to each other. Cut a notch at each end of both sticks, to ensure that it is deep enough for the string to fit into. Cut a piece of string long enough to strength all around the kite frame, and as you reach each notch, secure the string inside. Leave enough string at both ends to make loops at the top and the bot­tom of the frame. Fas­ten the loop at the top by wrap­ping the string around the stick. Stretch the string through the notch at one end of the cross-​piece, and make another loop at the bot­tom using the same tech­nique. Wrap the string a few times around the top of the stick and cut off what is not needed. This string frame must be tight enough so that the frame is secure, but not too tight so as to cause dam­age to the sticks.

Step 3

how-to-make-a-kite-for-kids-51Lay the mate­r­ial you will be using for the kite, whether plas­tic, cloth or paper, flat on a sur­face and place the kite frame face down on the top. Leav­ing about 2-​3cm for a mar­gin. Fold this excess cen­time­tre of mate­r­ial over the string frame and tape or glue it down ensures that the mate­r­ial is tight and secure. Secure the ends of each of the 4 sides where the string is secured in the notches with tape, to ensure extra rein­force­ment at the ends.

Step 4

Punch two small holes along the spine for the bri­dle. Take a piece of string and place it through the loop at the top of the kite and tie it to the spine. Take the other end of the string and do the same with the loop ad the bot­tom. The bri­dle should be long enough so that when you pick up the kite, it stands at least 8 inches from the kite’s sur­face. All kites do not have a bri­dle, but hav­ing one helps to con­trol the kite.

Step 5

Attach the string that you will be using to con­trol the kite (the fly­ing line). Choose the angle that is best for you, but usu­ally the start­ing point should be near the top of the kite.

Step 6

Make a tail by tying a small rib­bon (made from cloth) or small pieces of cloth, roughly every 10 cm along the length of a long piece of string. Attach the tail to the loop at the bot­tom of the kite.

Step 7

Fly your kite!

This method pre­sented in this arti­cle is a rel­a­tively sim­ple way to make your own kite. While your chil­dren may look for­ward to the actual fly­ing of the kite more than any­thing else, mak­ing the kite itself can be fun fam­ily activity.

©Photo 1 taken from Guim​.co​.uk
© Photo 2 taken from Ama​zon​aws​.com
© Photo 3 taken from Skratch​-pad​.com
© Photo 4 taken from Mag​natalk​.com

© Arti­cle of Caribbe​an​dreams​magazine​.com

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