This is a simpler version of the box kite. By making it out of everyday materials and changing the structure so that it’s more rigid, all you need is an afternoon to make this simple and colorful kite.

The directions here are for making a single cell (image is a pyramid of four cells), and the largest we’ve ever made is ten without needing stronger materials. (It’s the straws that bend under the weight). You can add a tail to keep it from spinning during flight.

Here’s what you do:

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13 Responses to “Tetrahedral Kite”

  1. Michelle Palmer says:

    When you said “who says science isn’t fun” my son said “everyone who does public school science”. He loves your science course.

  2. I tied mine around the bottom triangle right at the point, and it was about 10 feet long for a single cell kite, and about 25 feet for the four-cell kite. Try it and see! You can try it without a tail and with, and vary the tail length to see which works best for you. Have fun!!

  3. Melanie Johnson says:

    How do I attach the tail to the tetrahedral kite? Do I tie it to the frame with string? How long of a tail should I have?One streamer or many?

  4. Great idea! I just added pictures to this experiment – does that help?

  5. Catalina Posada says:

    Hi Aurora, it would be nice if you show the kites flying, we made the tetrahedral, but we do not know where to put the tale, how long is the string! thanks!

  6. Jia Zhi Chien says:

    I like it but we don’t have string and we are in TN

  7. Sure – download this PDF file template for the kite skin.

    Most kites we’ve shown you in this section fly best in moderate wind (exceptions: the Bat Kite flies in nearly no wind, and the Rotor Kite needs a LOT of wind).

    You can test the ‘towing point’ of your kite by moving the point where the bridle attaches to your kite line. The bridle holds the kite at just the right angle for it to fly. When your kite faces the wind in the right way, the wind will smoothly move post it and lift off. (Tip – try moving this towing point up for stronger winds and down for lighter winds.)

  8. Anonymous says:

    Do you have a template for the tissue paper? We made these last year just with our own family and now we are going to be teaching our homeschool class how to make them and then connect them together to make a larger cell version. Also can you explain more about how the bridle works?

  9. Video Tech says:

    There’s no sound 26 sec through 46 seconds because there’s no talking. I am not sure why the background noise cut out, but there’s really nothing there at all in the original. Sorry if it was confusing!

  10. Hmmm… it sounds like something strange is going on. What web browser are you using? If it’s IE8, make sure your compatibility mode is ON. What happens when you try it on a different computer?

  11. Ben Wagner says:

    Hi Aurora.
    The Footage is working now but the sound stops when you get to the 26 secs mark!

  12. Thanks for your eagle-eye. New video uploading… try again!

  13. Ben Wagner says:

    Hi Aurora.
    I am loving all your experiments and was interested in this one so I went to watch it and there is no footage! Only sound.
    I’ll come back to it soon.
    Thanks, Ben.