The Fourth of July and Memorial Day are both associated with cookouts, fireworks and parades. But in the midst of all this fun, it's easy to overlook the reason for celebrating. Making a Freedom Kite is a great way to show appreciation for independence on a special day, and enjoy the summer sunshine with family.
Large piece of paper (at least 26"x 26") colored red, white and blue
String, twine or fishing line
Several strips of fabric
What You Do:
First, ask your child to brainstorm a list of personal freedoms. Explain to him that part of the reason he is free to do so many different things is because the people who came before him made many sacrifices and stood up for what they believed in. Sometimes, people have even died to preserve our way of life and the freedoms that many take for granted. Memorial Day is an important time to reflect on how many citizens have died while serving in the military.
Now it's time to make your kite: with the craft knife, carve a notch into both ends of the wooden sticks.
On the longer wooden stick, mark off a spot that is 6 inches from the end. On the shorter wooden stick, mark off a spot that is 10 inches from the end.
Place the shorter stick crosswise over the longer stick, matching up the marks you just made.
Wrap the string tightly around the center of the sticks, binding them together with an X shape.
Make a taught frame for your kite by threading the same continuous piece of string through all the notches. Do this twice. You should have a diamond shape.
Bring the string back into the center of the kite, wrap it around in the "X" shape and tie it off.
Cut your paper so it is a little larger than your kite frame. Let your child decorate the paper in a way that represents his freedom.
Next, fold the paper over the string and tape it down, reinforcing the top and bottom tips with more tape. Punch a small hole through the tips.
Now make the bridle: cut a piece of string two feet long, knotting one end through the top hole and the other end through the bottom hole. Take the rest of your string and tie it around the bridle so that you can fly your kite.
Knot a length of string about two yards long to the bottom tip of the kite. Take the strips of fabric and on each one write a personal freedom your child enjoys from the list you created. Then, tie them onto the string to make the tail.
Then go out and let freedom fly!
Brigid Del Carmen has a Master's Degree in Special Education with endorsements in Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders/Emotional Impairments. Over the past eight years, she has taught Language Arts, Reading and Math in her middle school special education classroom.