Celebrate Boy's Day by making a carp, which is a Japanese tradition.
What You Need:
• Jumbo crayons or washable markers
• Blunt, child-sized scissors
• Disposable wooden chopstick
What To Do:
1. Draw a simple outline of a fish on a piece of paper.
2. Have your child color the fish and cut it out.
3. Make a small hole in the head of the fish and tie a piece of string to it.
4. Secure the tied area with tape so that the paper doesn’t tear.
5. Tie or tape the other end of the string to the wooden chopstick
6. Make a fish for each male member of the family—larger ones for Ojiisan (grandfather) or Otoosan (daddy) and smaller ones for the male children. Talk about the different sizes, asking which one is bigger and which one is smaller, or arranging them in order from smallest to biggest.
7. Have your child hold the fish poles out in the wind or in front of a fan. Talk about what happens to the fish as the wind blows on it.
8. Display the carp for Boy’s Day, May 5—the fifth day of the fifth month. Talk about this Japanese tradition for honoring the male members of the family.
9. Count how many carp you see displayed in your neighborhood on Boys’ Day. Talk about the different colors and sizes of the fish you see, and how they are alike or different.
10. Recite a poem or sing a song about the fish:
Flying fish in the air
Flying fish everywhere
I think this house must have a boy
And so the fish swim for joy.
Red fish, black fish in the air
Big ones, little ones everywhere
They flip and flap for you and me
They make the blue sky as the sea.
Flying fish in the air
Colorful fish everywhere
Bamboo flying fish.
From Hawaiian Rainbows
A recording by Margaret Young Pang ©1988
! Safety Alert: Adult-size scissors are not safe for young preschoolers. Let your child practice cutting with blunt, child-sized scissors. Monitor your child as he uses the scissors. If you do not have appropriate scissors or the paper is too thick for your child to cut, do the cutting yourself. Discuss the dangers of moving around with a pair of scissors in hand.
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