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Setsubun with Kids!子供と節分!

31 Jan

Sunday February 3rd, 2019 is a Japanese holiday called Setsubun (せつぶん). It is a day when you chase evil out and invite good fortune in by calling out, “Oni wa~ soto! Fuku wa~ uchi!” If you are unfamiliar with this holiday, Chika of Japanagos does a great job explaining in this video:

Setsubun is easily one my my children’s favorite Japanese holidays. We keep it pretty simple– one parent puts on an oni (ogre) mask, and the kids throw dry soybeans a them. Sometimes we make ehoumaki (rolled sushi). Here are some fun and easy ways to celebrate setsubun even if you live outside of Japan!

1) Make an Oni Mask or Craft!

There are many free printable oni masks online. Here is one from glico:

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Also check out ちびむすブログ and KF Studio for ready-to-print masks!

If you want to put forth more effort, there are A LOT of amazing setsubun/oni craft ideas at the website HoiClue. My favorites are these oni hats, oni bag, and oni ball-throwing game. Seriously, go check out HoiClue. So many great game ideas, too!

The Happy Birthday Project has instructions for how to make oni horns (つの) which I thought was really cute.

Instagrammer @hirommy_anniversary has great setsubun party decoration ideas, here.

2. Make Setsubun Food!

I fell in love with this Setsubun bento box. It doesn’t look too difficult so I might give it a try. I found this idea at トクバイニュース:

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They also offer suggestions for how to make Ehoumaki.

3. Learn the Oni no Pants (おにのパンツ) song!

I think every preschooler in Japan learns this song. My daughter learned it at her Japanese School last week and she loves to sing it with the hand motions. This video by ハピクラワールド is pretty similar to the version she learned:

There are many versions of this popular song. Check out videos by キッズボンボンTV and ピンキッズ.

4. Read/Watch stories and videos about Setsubun

There are many Japanese children’s books about Setsubun, but do not despair if you do not have access to Japanese books. Many are available on YouTube as read-alouds. Check out these setsubun videos by PopoKids and KidsTube.

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know I love Shimajiro/Benesse. I think this video is one of the best for teaching young children about Setsubun:

And click here for another Shimajiro video about Setsubun.

If you like Chibi Maruko-chan, here is a ちびまる子ちゃん video about Setsubun.

5. Use this opportunity to reinforce hiragana 😉

Your kids might groan, but you can find printable hiragana-practice worksheets at ちびむすドリル about Setsubun.

 

I hope I’ve provided enough ideas for you to get started!! You are also welcome to check out my Setsubun Pinterest Board for more ideas, or look back at my past posts about this holiday here(2013), here(also 2013), here(2012) and here(also 2012).

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