Search results for 'valentine's'

Happy Valentine’s Day!

14 Feb

origami heart wreath I made in 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day, Dear Readers! Are you doing anything special? We are leaving the kids with a babysitter and going out for some fondue… yum!

Check out my valentine’s posts from 2011 HERE and HERE.

Also, one of my friends who is a teacher in Japan shared this on facebook this morning. Those of you who are familiar with Valentine’s in Japan might appreciate it. It is a note that a middle-school teacher wrote to her students in preparation for the stresses of Valentine’s Day (sorry I don’t have time to translate it right now for all you non-Japanese readers):

note to students about vday



Valentine’s Day バレンタイン

10 Feb

I’m not sure what children do to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Japan (if anyone knows, please enlighten us). I’m pretty sure they don’t exchange valentines cards or treats at school like we do in the U.S. Adults celebrate the holiday a little differently as well:

“The custom that only women give chocolates to men appears to have originated from the typo of a chocolate-company executive during the initial campaigns. In particular, office ladies give chocolate to their co-workers. Unlike western countries, gifts such as greeting cards, candies, flowers, or dinner dates are uncommon, and most of the activity about the gifts is about giving the right amount of chocolate to each person.”

I’ve rounded up some projects to work on with your kids for Valentine’s Day. The easiest (and my favorite of the bunch) is this origami heart (from

my construction paper origami heart

Don’t you think it would be a unique valentine to pass out to the kids at school? It would be cute to attach a Hi-Chew (Japanese candy) and write, “I Chews You.” 🙂

Other (more advanced) crafts:

Make Valentine’s cards and boxes at NIFTY.

More cards, boxes, etc here, here, and here.


Read more about Valentine’s Day in Japan here, and ways to say “I love you” in Japanese here, at

The way I tell my children “I love you” in Japanese:



Japan-inspired Classroom Valentines

24 Jan

Eek! It has been a long time since I last blogged! So sorry. (I post more often on my –> Hiragana Mama facebook page if you’d like more updates!).

So the fall/winter holidays came and went in a whirlwind and now it’s almost Valentine’s Day! At my children’s school, they still exchange valentine cards so I’ve been trying to brainstorm ideas for cards. If you want to be unique, why not try a Japan-inspired Valentine’s card?

For example, use origami. Here are some ideas I found on Pinterest. There are hundreds of ideas on there! Here are my favorites.

First, a unicorn origami valentine bookmark, found at


Next up, Origami Troll valentines, by


Aren’t they sooo cute??

Here is an origami Kissing Lips valentine by


You can visit Origami Club to learn how to make basic hearts out of origami: Origami Club.

If you and your kids are not the crafty types, you can always purchase pre-made cards from places like Etsy.

Check out this cute Totoro valentine by Etsy seller playerNo2

il_570xN.1107014459_9bpl 2


You could also buy clip art from sellers like Cockatoo Design

il_570xN.1164639423_2xb0 also has these adorably clever cards that you can order.

Udon Card


Wasaaaabae (this one is my favorite)


Check out Minted for even more! (No, not sponsored. No part of this post is sponsored. I just like to find good stuff and share them with you.)

My children’s school doesn’t allow food to be passed out, but if your school allows it, I thought it would be fun to pass out candy like Hi-Chew, interesting-flavored Kit-Kats, or little packs of Konpeito (Amazon Associate links). I have seen some of these foods being sold at World Market, and of course at Asian grocery stores.


Aren’t these little bags of konpeito so cute? $9.99 for 50 packs!

I am sure you all could come up with some Japan-inspired Valentine’s Box ideas as well. What have you done in the past, and what do you plan to do this year? I would love to hear.




ゆめがあるなら: Animated Picture Books and Songs

12 Feb


Our current favorite Japanese YouTube Channel is “動く絵本・童話童謡のゆめあるチャンネル“. (Translation: Animated Picture Books/Children’s Songs Full of Dreams Channel). There are dozens of wonderful and classic Japanese songs and stories made into quality animated videos. Check it out! Those of you with young toddlers or preschool-age children will especially love it! 🙂 You may also want to check out their website, and free iPad/iPhone app.


Here are some videos by Yumegaarunara (some videos are in English):

PS Valentine’s Day is in 2 days! You can read my past posts about Japan-inspired Valentine’s Day activities HERE.


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?


Origami Heart Garland

13 Feb

origami heart wreath by Hiragana Mama

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thanks for reading Hiragana Mama 🙂

I was inspired by this origami necklace tutorial and made this heart garland for a Valentine’s Party we’re hosting tomorrow. It was easy and only took about 30 minutes, some colorful paper, and a piece of ribbon. (Click here to read my Valentine’s post). Have a wonderful day with the people you love!

You can purchase origami HERE.


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