Kites & Jump Ropes: The Age Old Signs of Spring

Kites & Jump Ropes: The Age Old Signs of Spring
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As the days get longer and the weather, we're surrounded by signs of spring. Children are flying kites and jumping rope as they engage in these age-old activities of youngsters through the years. When the breezes of spring waft across the countryside, kids of all ages head for the open fields with their kites of varied colors, shapes, and sizes.

Originated in Japan

Kite flying is thought to have originated in China and Japan, where it has been a popular relaxation since earliest times. These kites of the Far East are extremely colorful and often are shaped like fish, birds, or dragons. Some are as large as eight feet in height and width.

Kites in America

People of any age fly kites in Japan, whereas in Europe and America, kite flying often was considered a children's activity. However, nowadays adults often go out with their kids to fly the kites on high. Dads sometimes have to rescue kites that have gotten caught in treetops. They also teach their children about kite safety and keeping them away from power lines.

Different Kinds of Kites

A tailless kite was invented by American William A. Eddy, and the box kite was Australian Lawrence Hargrave's invention in 1893. The box kite once was important to weather bureaus throughout the world as they used it to record wind direction and velocities, humidity, temperature and pressure. But with the use of airplanes and balloons, kites became obsolete for weather observations by the 1930s.

Jump Ropes for Spring

Jump ropes, too, are a sign of warmer weather.
"Hold one end, please, Mrs. Allen," children beg when I have recess duty as a substitute teacher. Games of "High Water, Low Water" and "Salt and Pepper," are jumped at recess.

When my daughter Beth was small, rope jumping was a daily ritual in spring. We'd tie one end of a rope to the clothes line pole and I'd turn the other end.

"Come turn the rope, Mom," was the constant call each evening. We'd head for the clothes line in the side yard where she practiced jumping. Nowadays my granddaughter and her fourth grade friends have joined the activity that earlier generations engaged in. Even though our world is becoming more and more technical, children still enjoy these springtime activities of days ago.

(c)Mary Emma Allen

About the Author

Mary Emma Allen is a columnist, children's writer, travel writer, and book author. Visit her web site at or email her at


About The Author

Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her multi-generational NH home. Check out her new site, Tea Time Notes

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