Making a bird kite is a great way to teach children about wind, flight and birds while engaging in a fun craft. A bird kite that uses actual bird feathers can give the appearance of a bird in flight, and you can have children search for their own feathers to use for the project, though purchased or synthetic feathers work great as well.
Things You'll Need
- Styrofoam ball
- 3 straight tail feathers
- 2 wing feathers
- Paint or markers
- Thick thread
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Cut the Styrofoam ball in half and carve one half into the shape of a bird’s body. Carve out a wide egg shape for the middle of the body and taper it down to a small knob at the both ends for the head and tail feathers.
Insert three straight tail feathers into the bottom of the body with the plumes facing downward. These feathers should be fairly short and clustered close together.
Insert one wing feather in each side of the body, just below the head. Place the wing feathers so that the upward curves draw up toward one another, making a wide U shape if you view the bird kite from above.
Drop the bird kite a few feet above the ground to see if it floats smoothly to the ground. Add more tail feathers if it tilts forward quickly. Adjust the wing feathers into a sharper tilt upward if the kite spins to one side.
Glue the feathers in place with craft glue once the feathers are adjusted so that the kite sails gently when dropped.
Decorate the kite with paint or markers. Add buttons, googly craft eyes or any other embellishments you wish.
Thread a thick strand of thread through a needle and push it through the center of the bird’s body from above. Knot the string tightly so that it doesn’t pull back through the Styrofoam.
Cut the thread so that you’re left with 6 to 8 feet. Tie the end not attached to the kite around a pencil and wrap the string around the pencil to use as a spool.