This week, our Five in a Row class read the book A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno. The story follows a little girl in Japan who receives a new pair of wooden clogs covered in beautiful red lacquer. After only a few days of wearing her new shoes, she decides to play a game with them with her friends, and one of her clogs cracks. Since her shoes are no longer pretty, she has to figure out a way to get her mother to buy her a new pair.
To go along with the story, we slightly improvised a craft found on EnchantedLearning.com. Though it took some preparation on my part, it was fun for the kids and easy to put together.
Hanging Japanese Koi Craft
On May 5, the people of Japan celebrate Children’s Day with the koinobori, or fish kites. These are actually windsocks shaped like a koi or carp. When the wind catches them, they appear to be swimming. For this craft, the children made their own fish kites.
What you’ll need:
- Construction paper or colored cardstock
- Glue sticks
- Circles cut from magazines or decorative scrapbook paper
- Markers or crayons
- Crepe paper or streamers
- String or yarn
- Hole Punch
For our class of five and six year olds, I did the following before class:
Draw the shape of a fish on one piece of construction paper and cut it out. Use this shape as a template and draw and cut out two fish per child. Older children could do this step by themselves.
Cut smaller circles from another type of paper — at least 10 per child. Enchanted Learning recommended using old magazines, but we had a lot of extra scrapbooking paper on hand, so I used that instead. I also cut a few from aluminum foil for a shiny addition. If you’re working with older children, they could do this by themselves as well.
Provide the students with two fish each. Have them glue the two pieces together. Staple the edges to hold it together. Draw an eye on each side and color in the fins and tail with crayons or makers.
Next, choose some circles to use as scales. Glue the circles to both sides of the fish.
Punch a hole at the fish’s mouth and string the yarn though it. Tie it off at the fish’s mouth.
Finally, add the streamers to the tail by stapling them in place.
Enjoy your Japanese Koi Kite!