Archive | September, 2011

Katakana Resources

29 Sep

It’s almost time for my daughter to start learning katakana (かたかな/カタカナ)! Here is a list of katakana resources for you (katakana charts, practice sheets, etc):

1. Kids @ Nifty

2. Kotoba.littlestar.jp

3. Another page from Kotoba.littlestar

4. Kids-points.com

5. Jakka.jp

6. Kantan-net

7. Happy Fu-Fu

8. Minnano-nihongo

9. KF Studio

10. brother.co.jp

11) アクリートくらぶ

katakana

Let me know if you find any resources you think are great!

Updated Hiragana Practice Pages

26 Sep

I just updated my popular “Hiragana Practice Sheets” page so that it’s hopefully easier to use. I added thumbnails from each site (if available) under each link so you can get a preview of what the website is like before you click.

Hope that helps someone out there 🙂

Honda Kids

26 Sep

Have I already told you about the Honda Kids website?

It is pretty awesome. There are language and science lessons and printable worksheets. There are mazes, hiragana practice sheets, and numbers practice sheets. And they’re all really well-designed. Check it out!

Japanese Cold Remedies

20 Sep

風邪を引いてしまいました〜。

Blah. Any of you out there sick like me?

When I get sick, I crave comfort and warmth. And I like them in the forms of okayu and yuzu tea (yujacha).

Okayu is rice porridge. Here is a recipe from about.com. It is easy to digest and oh-so-comforting. You can top the rice with umeboshi, pieces of fish, furikake, etc .Ochazuke is comforting too.

Yuzu Tea, or yujacha, is a deeeelicious hot drink that soothes the throat and body. I picked up a box of Yuzu Citrus Tisane Beverage at Trader Joe’s this morning. All you have to do is mix with hot water. If you like to drink honey-lemon tea, you will LOVE yuzu tea. I am already regretting the fact that I only picked up one box this morning. I should have bought several boxes! You can also find large jars of yuzu marmalade at Asian grocery stores. You just mix a spoonful of the marmalade with hot water. Sooooo good.  (More about yuzu HERE and HERE)

What do you do/crave when you are sick? In addition to having these comfort foods on hand, I’ve been eating a lot of garlic. It’s supposed to help shorten the duration of your cold. Do you believe in wearing masks when you’re sick, like the Japanese do?

You can read about more Japanese comfort foods HERE.

Win 2 Tickets to Tokyo Disney

19 Sep

Tokyo Roomfinder is currently holding an essay contest for 2 tickets to Tokyo Disney. They are looking for personal essays about your experience with the earthquake in Japan. From their website:

We welcome heart-warming experiences following the earthquakes in Japan. You may want to write about when the earthquakes hit, when you went to Tohoku for volunteer, when you raise fund for support, what you have seen in the TV…,etc and any experience will be okay. You can attach photos with your writing.

Please visit their site for more information.

ら:ラジオたいそう

19 Sep

My daughter had her first undoukai last weekend and had a blast!!

Before the students began their races and other events, they warmed-up their bodies with Radio Taiso/ラジオたいそう. It was really cool to see the entire student body (and teachers) moving together. My parents taught me these exercises when I was young (and of course I thought it was so stupid back then) but now I see the benefits of this warm-up exercise. Everyone in Japan, from preschoolers to senior citizens, seems to know these routines. It is, after all, the “Anytime, Anywhere, Anyone” exercise.

Try it before your next work out, or right after you wake up in the morning. People swear that it will give you a good start to your day. Instructions for the exercises found HERE.

う:うんどうかい Undoukai

13 Sep

This Saturday my daughter is participating in her Japanese School’s annual Undoukai/ うんどうかい (Sports Day) for the first time. We are so excited! I am almost more excited than my kids… the last time I participated in an undoukai, I looked like this:

me and my mom, 1985-ish

Haha… I look so wanpaku/わんぱく.

An undoukai is like a mini-Olympics for kids. One of the events my daughter will be participating in with her preschool classmates is a bonodori /ぼんおどりdance. They will be dancing to the song “Mottainai Baasan/もったいないばあさん” which is based off of this book (I think it’s about a grandma who warns you to not be wasteful). Anyway, it is a CUTE little dance and easy to learn. You should try it!


They are going to be wearing jinbei’s /じんべい made out of garbage bags and duct tape. Can’t wait to see them! She’s also going to be participating in some races, ball-throwing, etc. I’m not an expert on undoukai so I’ll tell you more about it after this weekend. In the meanwhile, you can learn more about undoukai by following these links:

1. All about Undoukai from allabout.co.jp (in Japanese): Learn how to get the best pictures, making a special bento box for undoukai, see cool pictures of undoukai, etc.

2. Want to know what kind of music is played at a undoukai? This undoukai dance music CD from Amazon.com looks fun. You can listen to a sample of each of the songs.

3. Kotoba.littlestar.jp has some printable machigai-sagashi worksheets (find the mistakes).

And here is a video of what an undoukai looks like:


Have any of you ever participated in an undoukai? What is your favorite event?

と:とけい

9 Sep

Here are some resources for learning/practicing how to tell time in Japanese:

1. Printable worksheets from kotoba.littlestar.jp. There’s also a printable clock you can cut out and put together.

2. “What time is it?” PDF download from KF Studio will let you make up your own quiz.

3. Telling Time in Japanese lesson from About.com.

4. 時計の読み方 App for practicing telling time, $2.99. The game is at a second-grade level.

5. From Amazon Japan: Study Clock by Kumon and How to Tell Time/How to Count DVD.

6. (not Japanese but) a cute game called What Time is it? by eeBoo. We have this and it’s very well made!

7. Make sure you check out my post about counting.

Shop for Japanese Products

5 Sep

I’ve recently added some new products to my online store. If you haven’t checked out my store before, please do! I scour Amazon.com for the best Japanese books (mostly books for children), music CD’s, DVD’s, toys, learning resources, etc so you don’t have to. I only recommend products that I own and love, or ones that I know are good/get good reviews. If you have found any great products on Amazon for learning Japanese, please share with us!

(Thank you to the one person who has bought something from my store so far and helped me earn 49 cents… 🙂 lol)

Thanks for reading! Hope you had a happy Labor Day. Our rainy day included hanging out with great friends, naps (myself included), leftovers, and a dance party in our living room. It was the perfect, relaxing way to spend a day off from work!

Check out my article :)

1 Sep

おはようございます!! I hope you’re enjoying the end of summer (I guess in some parts of the world, summer is just beginning).

My big news for today is that I have an article published in In Culture Parent magazine. I was contacted by the owner, Stephanie, a month or two ago about submitting an article about bilingual parenting. I felt like I could have written a book on the topic, but I managed to whittle it down to just a few hundred words. What do you think of it? I am feeling both proud and sheepish about it. Proud because this is the first time anything I’ve written has been published since my high school days. And sheepish, because I’m not confident in my writing skills.

Read my article HERE.

And, I guess my “secret identity” isn’t so secret anymore. Oh well. You all aren’t going to stalk me now or anything, right?

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