There’s something very special about flying a kite as a family activity. Not only does it get you outdoors, doing something fun, but the need to work together to get the kite into the air can be a great bonding experience. Choose your local park or open space, or head to the beach to catch the sea breeze. Experience the thrill of seeing the kite take off and soar up into the clouds. It’s magical.
Or at least,
it should be. The trouble is that many kite kits or pre-made kites that are
sold as ‘for kids’ really aren’t up to the job. They’re hard to put together,
or they’re so flimsy that they break the first time they come back to earth.
That’s why we’ve done the research and come up with five of the best children’s
kites you can buy.
Types of Kites
Although it’s uncertain where the first kite was developed, their early development is normally associated with Chinese culture. However, because kite flying has become an international activity, there are many different styles of kites available. While stunt kites or fighter kites might look awesome, they’re not the best choice for kids.
When it comes to kite flying with kids, you’re better off choosing a prism kite. From the archetypal diamond to the speedier delta, there’s a lot of variety and design choice, but they’re all simple enough for kids and beginners to learn on.
1. Large Cobra Kite (Diamond Kite)
When Mr. Banks took his children out to fly a kite in the 1964 film “Mary Poppins,” they took a diamond kite with them. If you’re looking to recapture a sense of nostalgia, then there’s nothing quite like a diamond kite. They’re also the simplest type of kite to build if you want to make your own.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the diamond can’t be brought right up
to date. That’s what has been done here, with the Large Cobra Kite. With a clever
design, the makers have transformed the diamond into the head of a cobra and
added an impressive 49 -foot-long tail to flow behind it!
What we like: The kite can be put together in a few minutes and comes with high-quality kite-line on a spool/handle to reduce the risk of snapping. It’s easy to get up into the air. It will fly with a light wind, but higher winds really make it take off.
The long tail attaches by Velcro, making it easy to wind back in and
store. It comes with its own storage pouch to keep everything together when not
The bright, unusual design helps to engage kids in flying the kite. They
also tend to draw attention wherever they’re flown so be prepared for questions
about where you got your cool kite.
What could be improved: Ordering from Amazon, the kite may come in a plain black plastic bag, meaning you’ll have to re-wrap if you want to gift the kite. Besides that, this kite gets rave reviews, and there’s really not much to dislike, especially given the reasonable price point.
Pros: -Stunning Design -Low price -Easy to put together
If you’ve seen a striking, triangular-shaped kite in the sky then chances are it’s a delta. Based on the Chinese bird kites, this simple but striking design was introduced into the USA in the late 1940’s by Wilbur (Bill) Green who went on to found the Gayla kite company.
The beauty of a Delta kite is that with the crossbar removed, you can roll the kite up for easy storage so they don’t take up too much space and are easy to transport. You can buy deltas in a range of sizes but if you’re a beginner then choosing something small is best to begin with.
These are engaging kits for toddlers, because the triangular silhouette lends itself to animal shapes. You’ll find birds and butterflies among the Delta designs, along with planes and rocket ships. They also have a single line which attaches to a keel on the underside of the kite, meaning there is less chance of lines getting tangled and more time spent just flying.
The makers of this kite say that kids just can’t break it – it will last forever! Perhaps that’s why they’ve chosen to call it the best delta kite. The vivid colors help it to stand out, and it comes partially assembled with easy instructions for completing it.
What we like: The makers have kept kids front and center when they were designing this kite, and that includes the instructions. Kids can put this together themselves in just a few minutes.
It’s also easy to get flying, so it’s great for younger kids who don’t have
a lot of patience yet.
What really makes this brand stand out is the guarantee: If you lose the kite, they’ll replace it. They call it the “Sea ‘n’ Tree no-loss guarantee.” It’s hard to beat that for customer service!
There are other nice touches too, like a spare crossbar and tail ribbon
being included in the pack. Considering this kite isn’t backed by a big name,
you get a lot for your money.
What could be improved: Some users have complained that the handles degrade and break over time, causing the cords to get tangled. They recommend upgrading your line and handle, if you plan on using the kite a lot which will obviously add to the expense.
The string that comes with it is only 200 feet long, which is great for
little kids but older kids and adults might want to extend the line to at least
A small minority of users have found that the kite breaks if it crash-lands
hard, but others have reported the opposite experience. This may mean that there
are inconsistencies in the manufacturing process.
If you’re looking for something a little bigger in the Delta kite department, then this rainbow kite is an absolute stunner. A full 60” wide and with a 100 meter line, you’ll be able to spot your kite no matter how high it gets.
Like other deltas, this kite will fold down for storage once the
crossbar is removed and the side bars are separated.
Things we like: The size of this kite is impressive, and the six rainbow colored tails make this a visually stunning kite.
The kite is made from very robust material, and will hold up to the highest winds.
What could be improved: The instructions on this kite have caused a few users some problems; they’ve ended up having to muddle through by themselves.
There’s no carry case for this kite. It does come with a storage pouch, but it can be tricky to fold the kite back into the pouch.
Other users have had problems with the strings breaking and have had to
replace the lines with something stronger.
Pros: -Vibrant design -Large size -Robust material
We chose this Hengda Butterfly Kite for two reasons. Firstly, it’s absolutely beautiful. With the pretty shape and vibrant colors, it’s sure to be a hit with butterfly lovers of all ages. Secondly, while it might not look like it shape-wise, it functions similarly to a delta kite. That means it has a single line attached to a keel so you don’t need to worry about tangling lines.
What we love about it: The design of this kite is just gorgeous, and that’s because the manufacturer is in the kite capital of China, Weifang. It’s a big hit, especially with girls, because of the look of the thing.
It’s well made, using durable material. It’s also a real eye-catcher
kite. If you want to widen your kid’s social circle, then this kite will help
as you’ll get people coming over to talk to you about it.
What could be improved: This isn’t the easiest kite to put together. It’s made up of a lot of sticks, and if any of them get misplaced, your kite just won’t fly.
Because of the shape, this isn’t the easiest of kites to fly. It does
well in high winds but for less breezy days you might want to choose a different
Pros: –Stunning design -Well made
Cons: -Not the easiest to put together -Needs high winds
Another kite from Hengda, and another unusual shape. This Octopus
kite is a real stunner and the perfect kite for flying at the beach.
The design is somewhere between the DIY plastic bag kite and a parafoil;
there are no crossbars or poles to put together. As long as the Octopus’ head
gets filled with air, it will start to soar.
What we like: Not only is the design stunning, but this kite is super simple to get into the air. With no poles, it squishes down into even the smallest of spaces, so there’s no need to consider carrying large bags to the park or beach with you.
The price is great, and the kite is ready to fly. It gets up into the
air with ease, so for beginners, this one really is the best choice.
What could be improved: Some users have reported that the ‘tentacles’ aren’t well sewn on and that they have lost some as a result.
The lower price is reflected in the materials, this isn’t a kite that’s
been built to last and you can expect flying to take its toll.
As it has parafoil style tubes in the design, these all have strings attached
which can get tangled when the kite crashes.
Pros: -Fun design -No construction needed -Squishes down for transport
While the name might make you think of something shiny made from aluminum foil, the root of the name of this type of kite is actually parafoil. Whereas the diamond and delta kites are single sheets of material that catch the wind, a parafoil kite is made up of tubes of fabric that inflate in the wind. It is the air moving through these tubes that helps keep a foil kite up in the air.
Because of their construction foil kites look very different to the other prism kites. With rounded edges, they look more like a parachute or paraglider. And whereas most kites are flown just for the joy of it, you’ll see parafoil kites being used for a whole range of activities.
If you’re down at the beach, you might see intrepid souls using foil kites to pull them along as they sit on a surfboard. Spot a kite in a wintery sky, and it might be a snowboarded using winter winds to get somewhere.
This does make parafoil kites a little harder to handle. They have two lines, so there’s more risk of them getting tangled, but they also need more strength to hold them in place. They’re more suited to older kids and teens than toddlers.
to Get Kids Interested in Kites
It might be that you have a really fond memory of kite-flying from your past, or you may be one of the growing number of parents who want to get their kids away from computer screens and outside doing something in the fresh air. Either way, flying a kite is a great way to spend time together as a family, and you’ll be surprised how fast the time flies when you’re all out having fun.
If your kids
are reluctant to get out and play, here are some suggestions for ways to get
Start them Young
Even toddlers can have a go at flying a kite. Take a plastic carrier or trash bag and tie a string that connects the handles. Then tie a long cord to that string and let your kids loose. Even if there’s not much wind, when the child runs then the bag will fill with air and follow along behind them.
Visit a Kite Festival
Keep your eyes peeled for local kite-flying events. February 8th is National Kite Day, so that’s a good time to check if there is something going on in your area. If you go along to a festival, you’ll be able to see a whole range of different shaped kites, and watch the pros handle them. It’s amazing what someone experienced can do with a kite!
Head Out on Windy Days
There’s bound to be a local spot that all the kite flyers use in your neighborhood. When the wind gets high, head on out to it and you’ll see what other people get up to. Your kids could talk to others about their kites and make some new friends.
a Great Kite
Choice of kite is really important when you’re buying for kids. We’ve already shared some of our favourite kites here, but if you really want your kids to get enthusiastic about kite flying then consider choosing one which mirrors their interests or is just plain fun. There is a wide variety of different designs to choose from, so whether your kid loves superheroes or unicorns, you’ll be able to find a kite that suits them perfectly.
Tips for Kite Flying Success
Kite flying can be a lot of fun, but it’s also possible to have a
completely miserable experience if you don’t think ahead. Here are our top tips
for making your kite flying trip with your kids a total success.
Plan Ahead. If you’ve just bought a new kite, then open the packet and take a look before you leave the house. Most kites need some sort of assembly, even if it’s just tying a string into place. Others have poles which need to be fitted together. The very worst place to do all this is in a beach or at a park with impatient kids and high winds.
Take Spares. If your kite came with a spare string or poles, then take them with you. Breakages and crashing are all part of the experience, but they don’t have to be the end of your day out.
Pick a Breezy Day. Kites don’t fly on still days, but you’ll also want to avoid very high winds when you’re taking kids. While adults might want to get out and enjoy the challenge of being pulled and buffeted, your kids are just likely to get pulled around by the high winds.
Be the Launcher. It can be tricky to get a kite up into the air, so let your kids hold the handles while you throw the kite into the wind. Better still if you’ve got two adults, so you can stay close to the kid just in case they drop the handles.
Pack for the Duration. If the trip goes well, then you can easily while away a few hours flying a kite. Make sure that you take snacks, drinks and sunscreen so that you don’t have to leave before you’re all good and ready.
Take the camera! There’s nothing quite like the smile on the face of a kid who has just launched their first kite. Capture those precious memories forever.
go fly a kite!
While some memories of our childhood are tinged with more nostalgia than
others, flying a kite is one of those pure, fun things that really gets etched
in the memory. And with modern advances in technology, kites have so much more
to offer whether that’s amazing shapes or just ease of flying.
We hope that this article helps you to spend some time with your kids, away from TV and computers and out in the fresh air. So go fly a kite with your kids, and send it soaring.
Sarah Dixon is a freelance writer and author who lives in York, England. A Couch to 10K veteran, she takes full advantage of the beautiful Yorkshire countryside to get outside, hiking, geocaching or just playing games with her two children