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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).

Japanese Halloween Videos!

29 Oct

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Halloween is fast-approaching! In past years, our family has done Japan-inspired family costumes like Totoro and Pokemon, but this year we let each kid pick whatever they wanted– so they chose Elastigirl (from The Incredibles), a stormtrooper (from Star Wars), and Cinderella.

The weather in our part of the world has been just awful for Halloween festivities– cold and rainy every day. Perhaps it is the same for you. So I have compiled some of my favorite kid-friendly Japanese Halloween videos, so you and your kids can snuggle up under a blanket, maybe munch on some Pocky? and learn Japanese 🙂 Enjoy, and ハッピーハロウィン!

Shimajiro is always my favorite:

(Learn the lyrics to グーチョキパンプキン here)

 

A 30-minute compilation of Halloween songs by ピンキッツ:

 

Super Simple Japanese always publishes great songs:

 

Learn how to fold a cute origami ghost:

 

Halloween make-up how-to for tweens, by ちゃおチャンネル:

 

Or perhaps order or borrow Studio Ghibli movies to watch! I think Kiki’s Delivery Service is especially perfect for this time of year.

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Kodomo No Hi Videos

5 May

May 5th is Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day) in Japan. Here are some videos to help your children learn about this holiday.

A great interactive video by Benesse, 「しまじろうとこどもの日を楽しもう!」<こどもちゃれんじ>4月ライブ授業:

“What is Kodomo no Hi?” (こどもの日ってなあに?)by CHK名古屋:

The classic children’s song associated with Kodomo No Hi by キッズボンボン, 【♪うた】こいのぼり〈振り付き〉【手あそび・こどものうた】Japanese Children’s Song, Nursery Rhymes & Finger Plays:

Read-Alouds about Kodomo No Hi:

A Just-For-Fun Koinobori Stop-Motion animation:

Kanji-Learning Videos!

3 May

There’s a lot of hiragana-learning videos for kids, but there’s still very few kanji-learning videos for kids (as of 2017). I hope someone will create some high-quality kanji videos in the near future. In the meantime, here are some kanji videos I’ve found. Mostly geared towards adults but I think kids could benefit as well.

This first video IS geared toward kids but is outdated. It is part of a series called 児童教育 右脳イメージトレーニング (Image Training for Children).

This next video is by Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com, and is very well done.

Learn the Kanji Basics with Williams College:

Learning kanji with animation, by キッズボンボン:

By the Japan Channel:

By 英会話のEnglish Garden:

By Easy KANJI Lesson:

First Grade Kanji by LetsLearnJapanese:

 

If you come across any great kanji-learning resources, please leave a comment!

Super Simple 日本語 Japanese Children’s Videos

1 May

Super Simple has released some great Japanese videos recently. They produce videos in many different languages. I think the translation is done really well! I hope they keep adding more.

 

 

They also have a set of “Mommy-and-Me Japanese videos here.

Popular American Children’s Shows: In Japanese!

11 Jan

あけましておめでとうございます!Thank you for following my blog, even though I am terrible at posting regularly.

Did you know that many popular American children’s shows are available in Japanese? Shows like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, Curious George, Little Einsteins, and more! And of course all the Disney/Pixar movies like Frozen get translated to Japanese as well. It is a very fun way for children to learn Japanese with their favorite characters.

My toddler’s current favorite show to watch in Japanese is Sophia the First (小さなプリンセスソフィア). I think the translation has been done really well!

 

So how do you find and watch these shows? One option is to search YouTube. This option is free- however, due to copyright laws, it can be difficult to find full episodes.

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A better option is to purchase the DVD’s and Blu-Rays via Amazon Japan. Many of the DVD’s cost between 1000 and 2000 yen ($10-$20) each, with Blu-Rays being more like $20-$30. The advantage of the blu-rays is that Japanese blu-rays can be played in America (not sure about other countries). Japanese DVDs will only work on Region 2 or Region-Free players. My dream is to own all the Disney/Pixar movies in Japanese on Blu-Ray!

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I really hope that someday soon, we will have access to things like Hulu Japan or Netflix Japan so we can stream great children’s shows from Japan. (Dear people who work for these companies, could you please make this happen for all of us parents who are teaching their children Japanese while overseas?)

Anyway, thought I would share, if you hadn’t thought about this before! Don’t forget that Ghibli movies are readily available in America– even at your local libraries!

And lastly, because my kids love watching this… Pikotaro x Sesame Street Japan 🙂

How to Read a Calendar, in Japanese

23 May

Here are some resources for learning to read a calendar in Japanese.

The trickiest part is learning to read the numbers correctly. Print-kids.net has an excellent printable that shows you how to read dates, with accompanying worksheets, HERE.

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from print-kids.net

Some more printable calendars can be found at Happy Lilac.

After you’ve learned how to read a calendar, I thought this game, by Tatsushi FUKUNAGA, was a wonderful way to review.

 

And here are some YouTube lessons on how to read a calendar in Japanese:

 

And here are some videos about how to say the days of the week in Japanese:

Hiragana Learning Videos for Kids

2 Mar

I’ve found the best Japanese hiragana-learning videos for you! Use them to introduce, teach, and review hiragana with children. (Looking for FREE printable hiragana worksheets? Click HERE. )

I think YouTube Channel SweetDinos has some of the best videos. Here are two to get you started! Visit their channel for all the hiragana and katakana.

You Tube channel Nokkana Animation has many hiragana videos for the youngest leaners. Here’s just two of many:

Ikuman is another YouTube channel with great learning videos for children. Here’s an example:

Here’s even more, in no particular order.

Click HERE for a good video that I can’t embed on this site, but it’s good! It’s called ひらがな見つけちゃおう!/Let’s Look for Hiragana!

A Hiragana song by the Shimajiro Channel:

Learn Hiragana Song by ハグクモーション:

Myu Sings AIUEO by Myu Papa:

Japanese Alphabet Hiragana Song by Hiroto S:

あいうえお by jun egusa:

Japanese Alphabet Song by LetsLearnJapanese:

These are for kids or adults, from Learn Japanese with Japanese Pod 101:

Do you have a favorite video that I failed to mention? Comment below!

Best Online Japanese Educational Videos for Kids

24 Feb

I know I have videos all over the place on my blog, and many of them need updating (sorry!). So I’ve compiled a list of the best YouTube channels onto one post for you. Please let me know if there are any great ones that I’ve missed! Thank you so much to the people and companies who create these videos so the rest of us can learn Japanese! 🙂

Best Japanese YouTube Channels for Babies and Toddlers:

1. ノッカーナアニメーション (nokkana animation):  adorable, short videos that will entertain your little one and teach them a few words in the process. Lot’s of Peek-a-Boo-style videos. There are dozens and dozens of videos and playlists, teaching everything from hiragana, colors, nursery songs, and a lot of more. (They also have a similar channel called Nokkana World).

Best Japanese YouTube Channels for Preschoolers:

1. しまじろうチャンネル(SHIMAJIROCH): I just love everything by Benesse. I credit Shimajiro and his pals for a lot of my children’s Japanese education. This YouTube channel is full of short stories and fun songs. 

2. 東京ハイジ (TOKIOHEIDI) : Lots of cute animations and songs!

3. チブクラ!(Small Crafts): Short videos that will inspire you and your preschooler to craft.

4. oojioo: A YouTube channel just full of cute ekakiuta’s (songs that help you draw).

5. 童謡チャンネルby takanonGB: Lots of Japanese children’s songs with lyrics so you can sing along.

6. 動く絵本、童謡、いないいないばあ の動画「ゆめあるチャンネル」: Lots of Japanese children’s songs, fingerplays, and stories! They’ve added a lot of new content since I last visited a few years ago. Here is their website: www.yumearuehon.com

7. Visit my blog post where I’ve listed all the best hiragana learning videos!

8. YouTube Channel SongsPlace has many children’s songs and fingerplays.

9. SongsLand is another channel with Japanese children’s songs.

10. PinkFong has a lot of Japanese animated short stories (lots of Aesop’s Fables) and songs. There’s English videos mixed in there as well.

11. Takanotetsuya has many great songs for preschoolers. I think this channel is intended to be for prospective preschool teachers in Japan.

12. 保育士バンク!チャンネル【公式】This is another channel full of songs of preschoolers, performed by preschool teachers.

13. TEASOBI channel : even more songs and finger rhymes

14. 子ある日和 手遊び歌 Japanese children’s songs performed by teachers, plus origami instructional videos.

15. Super Simple Japanese has great Japanese videos with good animation.

Best Japanese YouTube Channels for Grade-Schoolers:

1. jun egusa has created a lot of animated videos to teach math, Japanese history, kanji, etc! I’m pretty impressed.

2. The Mr. Men Little Miss videos by Sanrio has many many little episodes that could help with Japanese listening skills.

3. YouTube Channel キッズボンボンhas many videos about animals, science, kanji, hiragana, fairy tales and Japanese folktales, etc.

4. The FujiTV Kids YouTube channel has many educational and just-for-fun videos.

Best Japanese Educational Videos for Grade-Schoolers:

1. NHK for School is hands-down, the best resource I have found. You can search all of their educational videos by grade level or subject matter. Love this website so much! I have sung its praises before in this blog post.

2. The Science Channel website has a lot of great videos for gradeschoolers on up.

Best Japanese Educational Videos for High Schoolers and Beyond:

1. Erin’s Challenge! by the Japan Foundation : lots of videos and other resources for the older Japanese student. (blog post)

2. JapanSocietyNYC: has a lot of excellent videos showcasing the Japanese language and culture.

3. PuniPuniJapan: The animation is interesting but you can learn a lot of Japanese vocabulary! Lots of Japanese lessons.

Please comment below with your favorite resources and YouTube channels!

More Shimajiro Videos

2 Feb

Shimajiro (Benesse) has some of the best Japanese videos for kids on the internet!

 

 

Here is a video that’s  perfect for Setsubun (which is tomorrow!)

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