Archive | April, 2013

2013 Koinobori Crafts

30 Apr

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This Sunday, May 5 is Boys Day/Childrens Day (Kodomo no Hi) in Japan.

Our family celebrates by:

– Displaying Koinobori (previous posts with more info HERE and HERE)

– Making a samurai hat out of newspaper (planning to post about that soon)

– Eating Okosama Lunch (previous lunch HERE. this year I plan on making fried rice, ebi-fry, korokke, and purin)

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Craft #1

Since we don’t have giant koinobori (こいのぼり) windsocks to display outdoors, I decided to make a small koinobori bunting (ガーランド) to display inside our house. I made one koi for each member of our family. This little banner reminds me how much I love my little family!

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To make your own, you will just need:

– felt

– googly eyes

– glue gun

– embroidery thread and needle

– glitter glue

– ribbon

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I don’t have a pattern… I just free-handed it. Cut out your koi shapes, glue on the eyes with a glue gun, add scales using glitter glue, and embroider if you desire and attach a ribbon for hanging. Easy! Took me less than 2 hours, not including drying time for the glue. I think mine would look better if I had rainbow colored string or ribbon to string my koinobori.

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There are so many cute koinobi garland ideas online! Here are a few that I thought were especially cute:

– Origami Koi Garland from DekiruNavi (would work double-time for Cinco de Mayo too!)

– Another koinobori felt garland idea, found on Rakuten. I love the pom-poms!

– A super simple and colorful koinobori garland by maki maeda’s blog

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Craft #2

In my craft stash, I found pieces of chipboard I had purchased at a craft store (Michaels) for less than a dollar per pack awhile ago. They turned out to be the perfect shape for making koinobori! My daughter decorated hers using oil pastels.

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What crafts, food, or activities do you have up your sleeve for Kodomo No Hi (こどものひ)?  Please share (and send me photos)! Check back soon for more posts about Boys Day!

Ashida Mana-chan

23 Apr

Ashida Mana-ちゃん is the sweetest, cutest 8-year old girl. She has starred in TV shows, movies, and music videos in Japan. Little girls love her, including my daughter. Learning the lyrics to her songs might be one way to build Japanese fluency :).

Here’s some of our favorite songs:

And of course, the most famous “Maru Maru Mori Mori” song (click to view). Do your kids listen to any Japanese singers? Who do you recommend?

こんなことできません

17 Apr

We were inspired by a segment of Pitagora Switch/ピタゴラスイッチ (Japanese children’s TV show) called “こんなことできません” (translation: “You can’t do this”). Basically, you think of something that humans normally wouldn’t be able to do, and use stop-motion video to make the impossible happen! Our camerawork isn’t great but my 5-year old daughter and I had fun making it. You can see other examples on the show’s website. If you make your own video, please share with us!

Here are some videos made by other YouTube users:

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