Learn how to make a gliding snake!

Snake Kite Instructions and Template

Ages: 5-11 years
Time Required: 15-30 minutes


  • Spiral Snake Pattern (print or trace)
  • Crayons or markers
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • String

Try this!

Step 1: Decorate your snake by coloring it with crayons or makers (snake pattern on page 2 of PDF instructions). Try to find some pictures of Florida snakes to get some ideas!

Step 2: Cut out the pattern along the black lines.

Step 3: Tape one end of the string to the “head” of the snake kite.

Step 4: Hold the end of the string that’s not on the head and run with your snake kite and see how it behaves.

What’s going on?

Yes, there are real snakes that can actually glide in the air! Commonly known as flying snakes, these reptiles live in Southeast Asia and they mostly eat lizards, frogs, birds and bats.

See how they glide:

You may be asking yourself, how can they do that? The answer is the physics of flight! These snakes flatten their bodies as they jump into the air in such a way that they take advantage of the air pressure that circulates their bodies as the undulate in the air. When they do this they are able to create enough “lift” to help them glide through the air. Although Florida doesn’t have any species that can glide in the air, we do have species that are excellent climbers like the Yellow Rat Snake, which can often be found high up in trees looking for bird eggs in nests. Learn more about Florida snakes.

Extension Activity

Use iNaturalist.org to discover the snakes that have been seen close to where you live or your favorite park! You can do this by: 1) visiting the “explore” section on the website; 2) using the map grid and locating your point of interest; 3) filter results by “reptiles” and look at the species that have been reported nearby. Try to make your snake kite look just like one of the snakes you can find near you!