Tip #197: Using Kites to Liven Up Training Rooms

This week, we’re going to discuss the use of kites to liven up training rooms!. Please be aware that I do not sell these products, nor do I receive any commission on their sale. They are simply items that make a trainer’s life easier!

I happen to like colorful decorations to liven up a training room. This preference is reinforced by the fact that accelerated learning principles promote engaging all the senses, including the visual.

My preference is explained in part by the fact that I have spent a number of years facilitating training for state employees in basement rooms with no windows and nothing on the walls. Often filled with piles of unused chairs and tables, cast off boxes and metal coat racks, there was nothing pleasant to catch the eye. Needless to say, these were very dreary surroundings.

Then I attended a workshop conducted by Dave Meier, the accelerated training guru. He transformed a rather lackluster hotel ballroom by placing kites on the walls. I remember that I was particularly taken with a huge red kite of a dragon!

Kites. Imagine that. Kites are colorful, light, portable, and easy to put up on a wall. What an elegantly simple solution!

Plus, there are all sorts of kites to catch your imagination. And we’re not talking plain vanilla kites- these are kites that come in lots of different shapes. I started to surf the internet and first discovered graceful sailing sloops in rainbow colors. Those are still my favorite kites and the ones that participants most often mention (and occasionally try to purchase from me!)

I love nature, so I was quickly drawn to kites of birds with large wing spans and colorful streamer tails. There are kites for a variety of interests. You can probably even find kites that reinforce the focus of your training.

I have now used these bird of paradise kites for almost ten years, so recently I went out on the web to see what else was available. The idea of butterflies and the transformation they represent attracted me. I couldn’t believe how many types of colorful butterfly kites were available!

Some pointers to keep in mind if you are going to purchase kites:

1. I have found that five or six kites are plenty. In addition to three bird-shaped kites, I have a very colorful banner to place on the front of my training table and a huge octagonal kite to put up when a room’s walls are very very bare.

2. Be very conscious of the size of the kites. I’ve made the mistake of purchasing a kite because I liked the shape and color-only to find out that it was much too big for me to put up on most walls. By this I mean not only the width but the height of the kite. I am also limited by how high I can reach, even when standing on a table or a chair.
I typically stick with 33″ by 23″ or so.

3. If you find a kite you like, comparison shop on the web. Some sites are much less expensive than others.

4. Make sure you have mounting putty to put up the kites. Tape doesn’t always adhere for very long. If the walls are carpeted, you could use stick pins or T pins.

5. Check out the sales areas on the kite sites. That’s how I found my huge octagonal kite for a great price.

6. If you are going to purchase kites to remain on the walls of one training room, it doesn’t really matter what the kites are made of. However, if you are going to travel with the kites and will need to fold them up to fit into a suitcase, make sure they are made of nylon to last longer.

If you have used kites and have other pointers or suggestions about vendors, please let us know.

Next week, I’m going to provide a tribute to flip charts, which are extremely underrated in a PowerPoint world!

Last week, we discussed using kites to liven up training rooms. Ginger Bryers wrote about a great kite shop on South Padre Island, Texas: B&S kites. You may want to check that out. Thanks, Ginger!

This week, I would like to provide a tribute to flip charts!

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