STEAM at Home: Paper Kite

Learn how to build and fly a paper kite.


  • Paper (colorful so you can see it in the sky)
  • String
  • Masking Tape
  • Thick/wide Ribbon
  • Light Sticks
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Spindle (or small piece of cardboard)

Hold the piece of paper horizontally (landscape) and fold it in half. Keep the crease to the left side. Measure 1” along the top from the crease and make a mark. Measure 3” along the bottom, from the crease, and make a mark. Line up the ruler on the right side of the 2 marks and fold the paper over the ruler. Flip your project over. Fold the top sheet over to give your project a kite shape. Put a piece of masking tape along the crease. Add the kite frame: use chopsticks, pencils, bbq skewers, or long coffee stirrers. If they are very long, cut them so that they fit inside the size of your kite. Using masking tape, tape them to the kits making a “+”. Flip your kite over again. You should have a creased piece apart from the main kite. Measure an inch up from the bottom and move .5-.75” in from the crease and make a hole. Use a piece of string to make a loop in the hole. Cut a piece of your ribbon 1-yard long and tie it to the string loop. Start wrapping your kite string to a spindle or small piece of cardboard. It's best to use fishing line although this is hard to tie (watch this video to learn how to tie it securely). Wrap a lot of string around a spindle or small piece of cardboard so your kite can fly high. Tie the end of the kite string to the loop string and you are finished. Take your kite out on a windy day and watch it fly in the sky.

What To Try Next:
Try to make a bigger kite. Try different materials like a plastic bag. How does this affect how your kite flies? What about the ribbon, why do you think you need that? Does heavier or lighter ribbon affect the kite? Can you make changes to the frame? Are there other materials you can use to make it sturdier or lighter?

Want To Learn More:
Check out this website from NASA to learn more about kites, types of kites and how they fly.

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