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Go Fly A Kite!


By Troy Corley

April is National Kite Month, and you could spend the whole month breezing through Web sites flying high with kite activities. Start with the official Web site, where the American Kitefliers Association and the Kite Trade Association International celebrate the sky. You'll find kite events, kite retailers and games, and puzzles for kids.

Discover the history of kites along with beginning flying lessons. National Kite Month also offers a good historical kite-flying time line.

We all know that founding father Benjamin Franklin used a kite as a lightning rod. But did you know that he played with kites as a kid, tying one to his big toe to see if it would pull him across a pond? (It did.) Learn how to re-create Ben's kite (perhaps not his experiment). Read a quick overview about inventive Ben.

Kites don't have to be complicated to fly. Young kids can try Kinderart.com's paper bag kite or the truly simple paper and plastic-straw kite at Learn 2 Make a Kite. For a stunning-looking kite, try FamilyFun.com's Dragon kite with a really long tail. Interested in other kite designs? Visit the WorldKiteMuseum.com for a colorful look at kites around the world.

So why do kites fly? Gombergkites.com offers an easy to understand explanation of lift, drag and gravity. You can even learn to measure the wind. For a heftier explanation, PBS.org's Rough Science series discusses Newton's law.

But don't get too bogged down in science. Just go fly a kite!

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