Monday, September 8, 2014

Learning about Japan

After falling down on the planning job so much in March and April, I was determined to do better for our month about Japan, even though Moira's birthday was in there. Fortunately a few things combined to make that easy.

Origami!
1) Moira and I had previously done some origami, and she was all set to do more. She's even old enough that she could do some of it on her own. The first thing we made was a flower that needed 6 separate pieces all glued together, and while she loved that, she was disappointed that it wasn't all one fold. This is her midway through making one of the petals.

Origami work station
2) A local museum was having a special Origami exhibit (Bellevue Art Museum, and it's going until September 21st for anyone in the greater Seattle area). The kids and I went on a Saturday, and other then having an over zealous security guard tail us for the first 20 minutes, it went really well. Moira loved seeing all the master works, but was less interested in the part I really wanted to see, which was the scientific origami. That section was also a little too easily accessible and Davis kept trying to crawl inside the tents and such so we hurried through it. Their favorite part was the interactive section which had a group origami project to contribute to and a play sushi restaurant.

Sushi!
3) We all love sushi! After the museum we went to a conveyor belt sushi plate and the kids mostly ate rice, and a little shrimp. Someone in our group brought these chopstick holders to our Chinese New Year party and the kids have been loving having them at restaurants. They can even eat rice with them, which they can't manage with the training chopsticks we have at home.

Davis' kimono
4) I actually managed to find enough sewing time to make the kids little kimono style jackets! Davis's is a little snug in the shoulders, but he wore it for quite awhile.

Moira's kimono
Moira's is a little long in the sleeves, but she insists she likes it that way. She also refuses to wear anything under it, because I didn't have time to make all the things you are supposed to wear with a kimono, like the under dress, and the obi. We used play silks instead for the Obi just to keep them closed.

Moira was quick to notice the references to World War 2 in some of the books we read, so we talked a little more about that, mostly about how hard it is to recover as a country when you are the losing side in a war, which was something she had noticed when we learned about Germany, but we were too busy there talking about the Holocaust to really flesh it out. Again, I didn't manage to track all the books we read, but here is a list of some of our favorites.




Japanese Children's Books

Cultural Traditions in Japan
4 of 5 stars
My six year old loves this series, the first non-fiction books she's ever really sought out. I find it a little choppy because of how the captions and extra bits of information are arranged on the page. But, I do like how it talked about...
tagged:
japanese-kids-books
The Beckoning Cat: Based on a Japanese Folktale
3 of 5 stars
This was cute, and my six year old loved the cat's expression. It didn't really draw us in to multiple readings though.
tagged:
japanese-kids-books
The Peace Bell
4 of 5 stars
This is a sweet little book that touches on the hardships a population has to endure when their country is at war. It doesn't really talk about the reasons for Japan's involvement in WW2, which is probably for the best. I loved how the n...
tagged:
japanese-kids-books
Kenta and the Big Wave
4 of 5 stars
My six year old literally gasped at the surprise ending of this story. I thought it was a good introduction to the idea of what being in a natural disaster is like.
tagged:
japanese-kids-books
Tasty Baby Belly Buttons
5 of 5 stars
This book is a blast to read out loud. Both my 2 and 6 year olds enjoyed it. I particularly liked that it had a girl as the hero.
tagged:
japanese-kids-books


goodreads.com




Learning about Children's Day in Japan

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