Issue 78: National Kite Month in Idaho

Two kite making workshops with fun flies were held April 5 and 6 in Pocatello and Chubbuck Idaho, where Idaho Kite Festival was based until 2010. Having offered these workshops in the local public libraries for several years, celebrating National Kite Month has become a treasured tradition for the libraries, IKF volunteers, and the children of the community.

Despite moving more than 250 miles west to Nampa ID in 2010, we returned April 5-6 to provide free kitemaking for all ages. This year special children attended both workshops (see thank you note from Marshall Library).

A third National Kite Month kite making class was held April 29 at Meridian Idaho’s Ponderosa Elementary School. This class paired first and fourth graders working as partners to construct kites. We discussed kite history, safety, art, construction, outdoor skills, and group and individual cooperation. We emphasized recycling materials into kites (some students and teachers brought shopping bags to use for future kite sails), the uniqueness of handmade toys, inexpensive creative play, and easy kite first aid so the kite will survive minor damage! This last lesson was timely, as gusty winds came up during the fly, and the children confidently repaired the damage.

So while maintaining ties with the origins of Idaho Kite Festival in Southeast Idaho from which home base we have made and given away more than 2000 kites, I am steadily resurrecting IKF in my new Southwest Idaho location in the Boise area. We are building new activities, holding kite flies in parks, making kites at Nampa Library and at Boise’s Japan Day festival as well as informally with small groups of friends and children.

The next one on the calendar is a fly and demonstration at Boise Rec Fest in June. This is a comprehensive festival for all facets of outdoor activities, and we are invited to spotlight kiting and kite skills. We will be sure to add AKA to our appreciation of supporters list.

We continue to oversee the kitemaking tables in festivals such as Global Village in Ontario Oregon where 200 kites are made annually; and Fall Children’s Festival in Twin Falls Idaho at College of Southern Idaho, where we have made more than 500 kites with kids at their annual event. We also make kites with children at the Race for the Cure in Boise ID, Spokane WA, and Omaha NE each year, and will seek out new venues to share kiting with our communities. Kites for kids is a worthy mantra – every child should have one!

We will provide these community services with or without a grant, and we thank you for this award. Your funds will be used for supplies and materials to supplement our expenditures and would provide spars, tape, line etc. for more kitemaking workshops and tables.


Micki Kawakami