Archive | September, 2012

こぶたぬきつねこ Neverending Shiritori Card

25 Sep

My daughter came home from Japanese School last week with a very clever card! Using the children’s song/shiritori “こぶたぬきつねこ” (pig-tanuki-fox-cat), they created a “never-ending card”. Here’s my daughter demonstrating how it works:

If you’re not familiar with the song, here are the lyrics:



(the second line is the sounds that the animals make)

Cute and clever, right?!? She has such a creative preschool teacher. (Another lady made something similar out of fabric, here).

Here’s how you can make your own neverending card (or “Fabulous Folds” card, according to Stampin’ Up):

And some videos of こぶた、たぬき、きつね、ねこ (kobuta,tanuki,kitsune,neko): Printable, Customizable Japanese Drills

18 Sep is a website where you can customize and print various drills for learning in Japanese (all free!) . There are drills for math, Japanese language (mostly kanji practice), geography, and English. You can even search for drills by grade level (1st~6th grade).

Looking at these drills makes me nervous for my daughter to enter elementary school. Some of these worksheets are very difficult!


Kids Wonder Project

13 Sep

Those of you with older children, you are going to be thrilled with today’s website. “キッズワンダープロジェクト/Kids Wonder Project” is a project aimed at helping children explore the exciting and wonderful world through enjoyable, educational games. Children can explore the deep sea, outer space, etc and discover little-known animals. I love that the narration is so clear (makes for great Japanese listening practice).

Here are some scenes from the Deep Sea adventures:

In the Deep Sea adventures, you take a submarine under water and search for sea creatures.

The website is created by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. I think they did a wonderful job!

If you are an older student/adult learning the Japanese Language, I think you will find this site enjoyable and educational as well. Let me know what you think!

PS I know I am very behind replying to emails recently. Please forgive me! Life is very busy for us right now.

Teruterubozu: Rain, Rain, Go Away!

7 Sep

Tomorrow is Undoukai Day (similar to a Field Day) at my daughter’s Japanese School. Everyone has been practicing hard for the athletic events and dances for a few weeks. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is calling for rain tomorrow– oh, no!

Obviously, the weather is out of our hands, but my kids and I made some teru teru bozu (てるてるぼうず)this morning hoping and praying that the rain will go away. Teru teru bozu is a “sunny-weather-monk” that Japanese children have been making for decades in hopes of good weather. I guess it’s a kind of good luck charm. There is a Japanese children’s song that goes along with this (usually only the first verse is sung), but as you can see, the last verse has a dark twist.

てるてる坊主 てる坊主
あした天気に しておくれ
いつかの夢の 空のよに 晴れたら

てるてる坊主 てる坊主
あした天気に しておくれ
私の願いを 聞いたなら
あまいお酒を たんと飲ましょ

てるてる坊主 てる坊主
あした天気に しておくれ
それでも曇って 泣いてたら
そなたの首を チョンと切るぞ

If you need the English translation, this YouTube video does a good job:

Are you hoping for good weather this weekend too? Here’s how we made our teruterubozu:


For one teruterubozu, you will need:

1 paper towel

1 tissue

some yarn or string


Directions: Crumple the tissue into a ball. Place the balled-up tissue in the middle of the paper towel, then fold down the paper towel around the tissue to form a round head. Use the string to tie around the neck. Use markers to draw a face on your teru teru bozu. Hang it near a window and hope for no rain!

Other ways to make teruterubouzu HERE and HERE. I also sewed one out of pellon and fleece (seen in the first picture at the top of this post)… maybe I can hang it in my car.

Have you ever made a teru teru bozu? Did it work?

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