Can you remember the last time you flew a kite? Feeling the need for a little Mary Poppins’ time with the family? Well, here’s your chance — April is National Kite Month.
Last month I took my twins to a kite flying festival near our home. The first time I’d been kite flying since I was a child, I’d forgot how much fun it could be.
We took the twins (as babies) to the same festival last year so they could lay on a blanket and watch the pretty kites in the air. This year, we weren’t sure if the twins (almost two) were ready for kite flying, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend a beautiful day outside.
We chose to buy kites, but if you feel adventurous make your own. Choose a simple kite to make with your kids or a more challenging kite if you’re an expert. Don’t forget to get a little refresher course on the art of kite flying.
With kites in hand, we packed a picnic lunch, complete with kite cupcakes, and a few backup toys for the tots and were on our way. My daughter was very into holding the string and watching the kites. My son, on the other hand, spent most of the time playing ball, but would come by once in a while to yank on the line. Myself, I’m hooked and wanted to know more about kite flying.
Of course, like any hobby, kite flying has different levels of involvement — the dabbler (moms like me) to the die hard. But what I didn’t realize was how integral kite flying has been to innovation.
We all know that Ben Franklin discovered electricity while flying a kite. But did you know that the Wright Brothers used kites as prototypes to test their flight theories before launching their flying machine?
And in 1847, 10-year-old Homan Walsh used a kite to aid in the building of the first bridge over Niagra Falls. Nearly 100 years later, Lieutenant Commander Paul E. Garber used kites to improve the accuracy of U.S. Navy gun crews before World War II.
Science, aeronautics, engineering, warfare . . . who knew that kites had such an impact on our lives? I always thought kites were just for fun. Never did I realize that they were an huge influence for innovation throughout history.
Now that you know the importance of kite flying, get out and enjoy a beautiful April day flying a kite on your own or at a festival.