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Macaroni Fun in the Sun: Let's Go Fly a Kite!

April 24, 2014

Some fun facts about this popular warm weather activity

By: Melissa Hucal
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With over 50 million kites sold in the U.S. every year, chances are you and your kids are planning on or have already participated in a kite-flying afternoon this spring.

Did you know that kite flying is popular in almost every country in the world and is one of the fastest growing sports/outdoor activities?

We've got even more interesting facts about kites for you to share the next time you head to an open field with your family and your kite!

Were kites always used as "toys" or entertainment?
As a matter of fact, no. Kites originated in China in the 5th century BC (that's a REALLY long time ago!) and were made of silk and bamboo. Early kites were used to measure distance, test wind and for military operations. In 1750, Benjamin Franklin wanted to use a kite for science. Specifically he wanted to prove that lightning was caused by electricity. And the Wright Brothers used kites to help research the first airplanes. It wasn't until this century that kite flying became more of a hobby for people. (Want to know more about the history of kites? Click here.)

What's the highest a kite has ever flown?
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest altitude a kite has ever reached is 14,509 feet above its takeoff point.

What's the best wind speed for flying a kite?
Kite flying is best when the wind id 5-25 miles per hour. That way you don't have to work too hard to hold on to your kite. At this wind speed, you can also help your kite "dance" across the sky.

Is is hard to make a kite yourself?
Not at all! A simple diamond shaped kite can be made with wooden dowels or skewers and some thin plastic (like a garbage bag or plastic shopping bags). It's a great starter kite for young kids!

Happy Kite Flying!