Tag Archives: お

Rainbow Origami Slinky!

13 May


I’ve made a lot of things out of origami in my lifetime, but I have never made something as fun as this! I was inspired by Kozue of Kozue’s Show and Tell) to make a slinky out of origami paper (折り紙スリンキー). You guys, it is seriously so cool!




The instructions for this slinky are pretty simple (video at the end of this post). BUT you have to fold 50+ pieces of paper so it takes quite a bit of patience. It took me about 2 hours to complete my slinky (while watching a movie with the kids), and mine used 64 pieces of origami. My 5-year old daughter attempted to help me, but she did not have the patience to make more than one ;). This would be a great little project for a child in elementary school, or really, anyone for the matter. It would be the perfect activity for an airplane flight, or a great cure for summer boredom.



One piece of advice I have is to tape all the pieces together as you go (using just a little bit of tape). If you’re going to put a lot of effort into something, you don’t want it to fall apart right away! My kids have been playing a little rough with this slinky so I am very glad I reinforced it with tape.



Sorry I went a bit overboard with the number of photos in this post… I had too much fun taking the pictures!


Here is the how-to video by the creator of the origami slinky, Jo Nakashima!

I couldn’t find 8cmx8cm (or 3.1 inches) origami paper like Jo suggests. So I used paper from a memo cube, which was 3.4inches square. This size worked perfectly! If you use memo paper too, make sure they are NOT sticky on the back. This memo set is similar to the ones I used (I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post): 

What is the coolest thing you have ever made with origami?

P.S. “Slinky” in Japanese is “Slinky/スリンキー” or “Rainbow Spring/レインボースプリング”. 

Olympics! オリンピック

1 Aug

image from ameblo.jp/tomatodaisuki111

I love, love, LOVE the Olympics. I volunteered as an assistant to the Japanese Team during the 2002 Olympics, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. It is exciting to watch the world’s strongest and fastest go for the gold. Who are you rooting for?

This is a good opportunity for you to learn/teach new Japanese words related to the Olympics. Click HERE to see what all the sports are called in Japanese on the Japan Olympic Committee’s website. You can read more about how Team Japan is doing on NHK’s website, HERE.


31 Jan



Our family made the oni omen (ogre mask) above to celebrate Setsubun on Thursday. Click here for a B&W version, or here for a blue version. (Can I say again that I LOVE KF Studio?)

Nurieyasan (ぬりえやさん)has oni coloring pages here and here.

NAVER matome (NAVERまとめ)has oni coloring pages here and here.

See my post about SETSUBUN for even more resources!

I’ve already shared this video before, but it’s appropriate for this post :). It is an anpanpan(あんぱんまん) episode where baikinman (ばいきんまん) sings “Oni no Pants” (おにのパンツ)or, “The Ogre’s Underwear.” It is a popular children’s song in Japan… almost all little kids know it!

Here are some lyrics from worldfolksong.com and my translation (thank you to the reader who pointed out that it is slightly different from the Baikinman version):

鬼のパンツは いいパンツ

(Ogre undies are good undies)

つよいぞ つよいぞ

(They’re strong/durable?, they’re strong)

トラの毛皮で できている

(They’re made of tiger skin)

つよいぞ つよいぞ

5年はいても やぶれない

(They won’t tear even if you wear them for 5 years)

つよいぞ つよいぞ

10年はいても やぶれない

(They won’t tear even after you wear them for 10 years)

つよいぞ つよいぞ

はこう はこう 鬼のパンツ

(Let’s wear them, let’s wear them, ogre’s underwear)

はこう はこう 鬼のパンツ

あなたも あなたも あなたも あなたも

(you and you and you and you)

みんなではこう 鬼のパンツ

(Let’s all wear ogre’s underwear)


Hahaha. Silly song, I know. Catchy though- it’s hard to get out of my head!

お:おおきい、ちいさい  (は:はんたいことば)

20 Jan

おおきい/ちいさい (big/small)、あつい/つめたい (hot/cold)、はやい/おそい (fast/slow)。。。I think learning these “Opposites (はんたいことば)” is a great way for children to increase their vocabulary.

My favorite songs for teaching toddlers the words “big” and “small” (おおきい、ちいさい)are 1)おおきなくりのきのしたで(Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree) and 2)おおきなたいこ (the Big Drum).

Here are the lyrics (click on the name to go to the link):

1) おおきなくりのきのしたで

2) おおきなたいこ

Click here for a video

For older children, I found a game for learning bigger/smaller at んじゃ!JP here.


17 Jan


Origami is a fun activity for all ages. I love it because it is inexpensive, (usually)quick, and there’s a project to satisfy everyone from the beginner to experienced folders! According to Yuri and Katrin Shumakov, founders of Oriland.com,

“…Origami helps the development of children: creates conditions of intensive interaction of the brain’s hemispheres and effectively allows development of motor skills of both hands, intellectual and creative abilities.”

Cool beans. If you don’t have origami paper, you can buy some here or, just cut wrapping paper into perfect squares. (I don’t recommend using thick paper for most projects).

Here are some websites I recommend for getting started:

#1) Origami-club.com

There’s step-by-step origami instructions grouped by category (I especially love the holiday ones), and it even tells you the difficulty level of all projects. (You can change the site to English mode).


#2) Oriland.com

This website has instructions as well as some crazy-difficult looking pieces of art made with origami.


#3) Oriplane.com

This site teaches you how to make paper airplanes out of origami.

You could always make up your own projects too! Have fun!

お:おはなしゆびさん (このゆびなあに?)

13 Jan

Many Japanese words that begin with お involve family members (家族): おとうさん (father)、おかあさん (mother)、おにいさん (older brother)、おねえさん (older sister)、おばあちゃん (grandmother)、おじいちゃん (grandfather)、etc. A great children’s song for teaching some of these words is Ohanashiyubisan /おはなしゆびさん, which is the Japanese equivalent of “Where is Thumbkin?”.

Here are the lyrics to the song:

このゆび パパ ふとっちょ パパ やあやあやあやあ
ワハハハハハハ おはなしする
このゆび ママ やさしい ママ まあまあまあまあ
ホホホホホホホ おはなしする
このゆび にいさん おおきい にいさん オスオスオスオス
へへへへへへへ おはなしする
このゆび ねえさん おしゃれな ねえさん あらあらあらあら
イフフフフフフ おはなしする
このゆび あかちゃん よちよち あかちゃん ウマウマウマウマ
アブブブブブブ おはなしする

Click here for a printable PDF of the lyrics+pictures of the actions from dakko.jp.

If you want to learn the names of all family members, check out this page at e-keizu.com. I’ve never heard of half the words on there!


11 Jan

おかあさんといっしょ” is the “Sesame Street” of Japan. It is broadcast every morning on NHK and children have been watching the program for generations (including me!). Even as an adult, I learn something new every time I watch the show, and it is very entertaining. I really like the current hosts of the show, Takumi-oneechan and Daisuke-oniisan. They are adorable! If you subscribe to TV Japan in the United States, you can watch this show (it translates to “With Mother” in English). Here is a list of all the other children’s shows that come with a subscription.

If you’re like me and can’t afford a monthly subscription, you can do what I do and search YouTube for ”おかあさんといっしょ”, “いないいないばー” and other shows.

My daughter and I especially love the various dances/exercises, because they get us off the couch and moving! When she was really young, she loved “Gurugurudokkan(ぐるぐるどっかん)” but now we like more challenging dances like this one (ドンスカパンパンおうえんだん):

If you know some Japanese, the NHK “Kid’s World” website has some fun TV show-related online games and activities.

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