と:どんぐり、トトロ

9 Aug

Hiking with little kids is always fun. They see things that we adults don’t notice or are too tall to see. Whenever I take my kids into the woods, we never get very far because 1) they’re picking up rocks and throwing them 2) they stare at every little critter 3) they want to climb every tree stump and 4) they fall and need a band-aid. Are your kids the same way?

In addition to rocks, my kids love to find and collect donguri (little acorns). I find them stuffed in my diaper bag all the time. Little kids in Japan love donguri too. There’s even a famous song about them called どんぐりころころ/Donguri korokoro:

Here are the lyrics (and my rough translation):

  1. どんぐりころころ ドンブリコ (Acorn rolling, little acorn child)
    お池にはまって さあ大変 (Oh no– fell into a pond!)
    どじょうが出て来て 今日は (An eel* came out and said Hello)
    坊ちゃん一緒に 遊びましょう (Little guy, let’s play together)
  2. どんぐりころころ よろこんで (Little rolling acorn was so happy)
    しばらく一緒に 遊んだが (He played for a little while)
    やっぱりお山が 恋しいと (But soon started to miss the mountain)
    泣いてはどじょうを 困らせた (It cried and the eel felt perplexed)

*Dojou is actually weatherfish, but nobody really knows what that is, right? So that’s why I said “eel”. Also, my mom said she thinks the first line is supposed to be “donguriko” instead of “donburiko”… I just wrote down what I found on wikipedia.

My mom taught my daughter how to turn donguri into little characters by using a permanent marker to draw faces on them. They turn out very cute! Kagawa Prefecture’s website has instructions for how to make Totoro-donguri:

from Kagawa Prefecture's Website

If you haven’t seen the movie Totoro, you should. It’s a Japanese kid’s classic. Totoro’s like to collect acorns in the movie, so this is a very appropriate craft! I’ll be sure to make these when Autumn rolls around. Little acorns can also be used to make spinning tops, necklaces, and other crafts.

kodomo-next.jp

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