Where To Buy A Kite

Flying a kite is a fun activity that can be enjoyed by children and parents alike. Here are some ideas to help you get started.

For many parents, taking a child outside on a sunny, spring day to fly a kit can almost be a rite of passage; a tradition passed from generation to generation as the elders recollect engaging in the same activity with their own parents. The sight of a brightly colored kite catching that first wind and taking flight is exhilarating indeed, filling both parent and child with wonder.

In fact, people have been flying kites for over 3000 years, with their origination most likely having been in Asia and the islands in the South Pacific. Early fishermen used kites to attract fish by putting bait on the tail and attaching a net to catch the fish. Some cultures still employ this method of fishing. Kites were also found in China as early as 202 BC. One legend tells of a Chinese military man who, after noticing how his hat blew off his head, came up with the idea to make simple kites and fly them over the enemy's camp throwing the enemy off guard. Kites were also used by early soldiers in Japan and China to lift them up in the air, giving them a military advantage, a sort of precursor to the modern-day parachute.

Finding a kite used to be a simple matter. Inexpensive paper kites were sold at the local five and dime, and could be quickly assembled and then attached to a ball of string. But in today's high tech world, such a simple toy may get lost in the displays of electronic gadgets that so captivate today's children. The five and dime stores are certainly a thing of the past, replaced by slick box discount retailers that, while offering a wide assortment of merchandise, sometimes seem to forget the simpler things in life.



Where then does one go to purchase a kite? The first place to look is your local dollar store. These modern-day versions of the five and dime stores of your parents' childhood offer an interesting selection of inexpensive toys, and frequently, one can pick up a kite for only a dollar. Because these stores have quick inventory turnover, though, you might have to visit several stores before finding this item. It is always a good idea to call ahead and ask. Store personnel generally have a pretty good idea of their inventory, and making a phone call can save you time and aggravation.

You can also try one of the larger toy stores in your area. Kites are sometimes considered a seasonal item and are often available in the early spring. Again, save time and energy by calling ahead to check stock. Or, try a store that specializes in Asian food and other items. Often they will have beautiful kites tucked away, and all you have to do is ask.

If you are unsuccessful in a brick and mortar store, try searching on the Internet. Using your favorite search engine, type in "kites toys." There are literally thousands of sites involving kites, many of which offer a wide variety for sale. For example, one family-run site offers not only the standard diamond shaped kits, but box kites, delta kites, and stunt kites as well. Another entrepreneur sells a beautiful assortment of handmade kites in every conceivable shape and color. Online auctions also offer a variety of different kites as well. Start by searching for "Kites," and then narrow your search by price or style.

If all else fails, try making your own kite. Again, use the Internet to search for sites offering instructions on this craft. Print out the instructions, and then you and your child can have fun picking up the materials and working on the kite together. With all the distractions that kids have today, it is refreshing indeed to experience the simple activity of flying a kite with a child.

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