Archive | December, 2012

An Origami Christmas

21 Dec

Are you on a budget? Do you love DIY projects? Do your kids need something to keep them busy? Try folding paper to make beautiful decorations, ornaments, and gifts. Have you seen the amazing origami paper crane Christmas tree at Rockstar Diaries? One of my friends didn’t have a tree topper so they made one out of origami paper. It looked awesome! Just type in “origami wreaths” or “origami Christmas” on Pinterest and you will find beautiful projects like these (Next year, I want to make a wreath out of newsprint!):


For Valentine’s Day a few years ago, I made an origami heart garland (see it HERE).

Lot’s of origami tutorials and inspiration here:

1. Origami Club

2. Daily Origami

3. Origami Fun

Do you like to DIY for the holidays? Or would you rather buy everything from a store?

Japanese Christmas Music Videos

20 Dec

I guess I was really just kidding when I said I wouldn’t be posting anymore in December! Haha.

A very cute Japanese Christmas song that we don’t have in the U.S. is あわてんぼうのサンタクロース/Awatenbo no Santa Claus. Lyrics can be found HERE.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in Japanese is also pretty popular (another cute version HERE):

And a Christmas song from the always fun Shimajiro:

Try singing these songs with your kids today!

DIY Paper Yoyo’s for the Holidays!

12 Dec

I volunteered to be in charge of a Christmas craft for a playdate this week. I looked on Pinterest for craft ideas and didn’t see anything that I liked ( I needed something easy enough for 3~5 year olds, inexpensive, quick, and not messy). I looked at the materials I already have and thought and thought. Then I came up with this idea (inspired by something I saw on a Japanese children’s show… I think it was “Shimajiro’s Wow”?). Paper Yo-yo’s!


I don’t know about you, but I have TONS of wrapping paper. I bought a roll at Costco last year, and I think there’s enough paper to last me my entire lifetime. This craft will make use of some of that paper. I hope you will try this craft with your kids– it is very easy, fun, and only takes 3 materials!


Materials Needed:

1) Wrapping paper (or any other kind of long paper)

2) Tape (I think double-sided would work great)

3) Disposable chopsticks (or any other sturdy stick)



1) First, cut your wrapping paper into a long, skinny strip. Mine was about 3 inches by 3 feet (but it does not have to be exact). In the photo, you can see that I cut many strips– one for each child.


2) Break the disposable chopstick in two (where you’re supposed to break it). Place the chopstick on one edge of the wrapping paper with the top of the stick lining up with the top of the paper.


3) Tape the chopstick down with tape.


4) Carefully and tightly begin rolling the paper onto the stick, being sure to keep it lined up straight as you go.


5) When you have wrapped the entire length of the paper onto the stick, unwrap and re-roll (to ensure that the yo-yo works well).



6) When you let go, it will look like this:


7) And you are done! To use, gently flick your wrist as you hold the bottom of the stick, or hang upside-down to “bounce” the yo-yo in the air. If you spin out the yo-yo too powerfully, the paper can unravel and you will need to roll it again. Isn’t it fun?


Please let me know if you make these paper yoyo’s. I think they would make great birthday party favors and classmate gifts as well.

I also want to rave about the awesomeness of masking tape. It has come in so handy for the holidays! You can use masking tape to secure your yo-yo when not in use, keep your roll of wrapping paper from unraveling, wrapping gifts, taping holiday cards to the wall, etc. The great thing about masking tape is that it will not damage paper or the wall when you peel it off, and can be re-used. has the cutest masking tapes ever! (I am not sponsored by them, I am just in love with their store/blog– so pretty!)


Thanks for reading, please share/pin this post if you enjoyed it!


Summary in Japanese:


Happy Holidays, Love Hiragana Mama

12 Dec


No matter what you celebrate, we hope you are having a joyful holiday season full of family and friends.


Shimajiro Wow! Videos

3 Dec

I know I said I wouldn’t post anymore this year, but I wanted to share these videos real quick. My kids have been sick a lot this past month so we’ve been spending a lot of time at home and they’ve been driving me crazy! These videos are giving me  a little break to regain my sanity 🙂 Maybe they will do the same for you.

しまじろうのわお” is a newer children’s program in Japan with an emphasis on science. Click here for more sample videos, activities, and information about the show. The Shimajiro YouTube Channel also has great previews and full-length song videos.

Here are some samples from the show:

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