Tag Archives: は

DIY Training Chopsticks (トレーニングはし)

10 Oct


Recently, we took the kids to a Japanese restaurant, where they ordered a bowl of ramen. I was delighted when the waitress brought them some training chopsticks. As I studied the chopsticks, I realized it is super easy to make yourself! It took me a few tries to get the tension just right, but it WAS really easy. So the next time you go out to eat at an Asian restaurant, just take along a rubberband (or hair tie) and you are ready to make your own training chopsticks in just a few minutes!

I made you a short video so you can see exactly how it’s done:

After I published my video, I saw that a few others have made similar videos. You can watch them all to see which technique works best for you 😉

Please share with your friends who have children, or adults who have yet to master the art of using chopsticks!


P.S. Eating Japanese food with a fork is silly. Learn to use chopsticks! (past post about training chopsticks here)

Click HERE and scroll down to see how to use real chopsticks.

は:はみがき/Hamigaki (Brushing Your Teeth!)

9 Feb

Japanese videos about brushing your teeth:

And click HERE to learn all about brushing your teeth with Shimajiro!

は:はる (Spring)

30 Mar


Where we live, it’s still cold enough to snow, but I guess it’s still SPRING (haru)! I imagine spring in Japan in very beautiful and exciting with cherry blossoms blooming and children getting ready to graduate/begin a new school year.

There is a cute interactive Flash game on shimajiro.co.jp all about “Finding Spring“. Check it  out with your little ones!

I also love this song about spring, called “Haru ga Kita” (Spring is Here). I don’t especially love these videos, but you’ll get the gist of how the song goes:

は:はし Training Chopsticks

6 Mar

A few weeks ago, I decided to make somen for lunch. And I thought it would be fun to let my daughter use chopsticks for the first time. Somen is NOT the best food for first-time chopstick users! … but it was definitely fun to watch my determined 2-year old try to shovel the slippery noodles into her mouth.

After the experience, I thought, “THAT didn’t go well. I guess I’ll put the hashi away for another year or two.”

Then, one of my (very thoughtful) friends presented me with this gift:

Training Chopsticks! They are really awesome. It is just right for little hands and my daughter got the hang of it in under a minute. (In Japanese, this particular set is called コンビ ベビーレーベルはじめてサポートおはし. The Japanese on the front of the package says “Made for a growing child’s hands”, “From ages 2 and up”, “Teaches correct positioning”, “For both right and left handed children”, “OK for the microwave”, and “Won’t slip easily”).

The back of the package has detailed instructions:

What a great invention! AND the best part is, it is available for purchase in the USA. You can buy it from Amazon.com by clicking here. It is priced pretty reasonably at $6.49. (If you haven’t joined Amazon MOM, you should! It’s free and you get free shipping on almost everything, including these はし!).

If this particular set doesn’t appeal to you, there are other types of training chopsticks, here and here.

When you introduce your child to chopsticks, make sure to teach them about chopsticks etiquette too (from JustHungry).  You’ll learn things such as… Never use chopsticks as a hair accessory. It’s like sticking a fork in your hair. You’ve never been guilty of that crime, have you?

てあそび: Japanese Fingerplays

1 Mar

sozai no puchi-chi

Fingerplays (children’s songs with coordinating hand movements) are called Teasobi/てあそび in Japanese. て=hand and あそび=play. One of my favorites is a song called “Hajimaruyo/はじまるよ” which translates to “We’re About to Begin”. It is a great song for getting the children’s attention and getting them settled before giving instruction or reading a book. My Japanese playgroup often uses this song to gather everyone together and it works great! It is also a good song for teaching children their numbers.

You can listen/view the song at Teasobi.com by clicking here. てあそびドットコムis a great, great website full of videos, lyrics, and sheet music of popluar children’s songs and fingerplays. They also have handy diagrams for their songs.

My other favorite teasobi (also on Teasobi.com) are:

1) おべんとうばこのうた (The Bento Box Song)

2) グーチョキパー (Rock Scissors Paper) YouTube video here

3) ひげじいさん (The Bearded Grandpa)

いたずら天使 is another website that has Teasobi lyrics.

Watch Anpanman and Baikinman in this Teasobi episode:

Part 1

Part 2 Part 3

Do you have a favorite teasobi?

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.

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