A Super Easy and Fun Craft and Toy
There has been a bit of an eagle obsession this month at our house. We have been hunting and hatching imaginary eagles, downloading color pages and reading books. I just found out that both golden eagles and the American bald have made a comeback about 15 minutes from our house. Next month we can go observe their nests.
Eagles are one of the national symbols of Kazakhstan and using them to hunt is an ancient tradition. Only in the last few years have organized eagle hunting competitions had a revival in Kazakhstan since it was occupied by the Soviets. With a renewed passion in this cultural tradition has come the first female berkutchi (eagle hunter). Her name is Makpal and she is quite a famous and skilled role model for girls. I have been creating fairy tales about her at home.
Stunning Photos of Eagle Hunting (link)
To make our flying eagle I first searched on line for eagle silhouettes. I enlarged one with our copier and used it as a template to cut out an eagle from brown paper.
I stapled this to a paper toliet paper tube
We decorated it with some feathers (from the dollar store)
Next glue a straw to the side of the tube closest to the eagle
Without the straw the eagle will flip over due to gravity.
Feed two long pieces of string through the straw. You want something that is pretty slick and smooth.
You need two partners to make the eagle fly. Partner A holds an end of string in each hand and keeps his fists together in a closed position thumbs touching. Partner B also holds an end of string in each fist but has her arms open as wide as they can go. The bird is suspended in the center of the strings. Partner A then opens his arms at the same time as Partner B closes hers, this causes the eagle to shoot to one end. Then partners coordinate to do the opposite movement and the eagle goes back to the other end. This is repeated over and over. It takes some concentration and verbal communication to get the timing just right but it is easy for even preschoolers to do together with a little practice and coaching.
Experiment with how long to make the string. If it is too short, opening the arms wide will not create enough force for it to fly all the way to the end. If it is too long, you can't open the arms wide enough to get the bird to the end. Both partners need to keep their arms at about the same level and coordinate their movements into a smooth rythmn. If you follow my suggestions your eagle will fly quickly and easily from one person to the other. What a fun way to teach kids about eagles!
I found this gorgeous eagle kite at Cost Plus World Market.
We plan to fly it on Nauryz after our picnic. Hopefully I won't be too burnt out from getting our dossier to China. We are having hudge issues with our homestudy. The agency that did it had their license expire and they have been giving us the run around as to when the new one will be ready for weeks. Meanwhile the rest of our dossier is gathering dust as it is ready to be sent. So if I have the mental energy I will do one more Nauryz post with recipes this month. Lesley