Create kites with preschoolers using basic materials and some creativity. Learning about shapes, creating them with crayons and then cutting them out with scissors encourage fine motor skills and shape recognition. Kids also enjoy flying their own handmade kites and can experiment with basic kite construction.
Look at examples of kites in books, along with actual kites with preschool children. Read Spot's Windy Day and Other Stories by Eric Hill with preschoolers and discuss what they learned about kites from the story.
Part of flying a kite is using the wind. Discuss with preschoolers what wind is and whether wind can be made. Use a fan to experiment how wind can be created, along with blowing bubbles using your breath. Have children brainstorm other ways of creating wind.
Discuss the shapes found in kites and how triangles can work together to create diamonds. Provide children with paper and crayons and encourage them to draw triangles and diamonds.
Give each child an 8 1/2 by 12-inch sheet of card stock with a diamond drawn on it. Provide preschoolers with child-safe scissors and encourage them to attempt to cut out the diamond. Offer the children assistance as needed.
Place watercolor paints, brushes and small cups of water for children to use for decorating their kites. Encourage kids to paint their kites with a colorful design so they can recognize them while flying high in the sky.
Have the preschoolers glue a length of crepe paper to one end of the long sides of the diamond.
Punch a hole in each of the four corners of the diamond. Provide children with lengths of string to tie through each hole. Lacing the string through the holes encourages their fine motor skills.
Help the children finish the kite by gathering the four strings and tying them together at the center of the diamond kite. Attach a string, around 4-feet long, to the four tied strings connected to each corner of the kite. The colorful card stock kites will not fly as high as store-bought kites and may not hold up to strong winds, but preschoolers will take pride in their creations and enjoy the challenge of getting them off the ground.
Take children outdoors and let them fly their handmade kites while running and pulling the kites behind them. Running and pulling the kite encourages their balance and gross motor skills.
- kite image by belmac from Fotolia.com