Kites are quite simple; they’re just a light material carried by the wind.

A manta ray… or a superhero… There are all sorts of surprisingly different models.

The kite is controlled from the ground by one or several long strings. The more strings there are, the more the kite can be flown precisely.

There are some famous kite meetings and festivals all over the world.

But who invented the kite?

Well, it’s a long story; people started flying kites nearly 2,500 years ago!

We think kites were invented in Asia, probably in China. But we’re not quite sure…

In those days, kites were a military tool.

They were used to communicate with allies… or to frighten the enemy, who thought they could see bad spirits or supernatural creatures flying in the sky.

After a visit to China in 1282, Marco Polo brought back the first kite to be seen in Europe.

Trade with Asia helped the kite to be introduced to the West.

Kites were then used in many different areas; such as science, with the invention of the lightning conductor by Benjamin Franklin in 1752.

Both in Asia and the West, it’s still a favorite toy for children. Why not fly a kite this summer on the beach?