Thursday, May 9, 2013

Japanese Carp Kites for Children's Day

Happy Children's Day! Or rather, happy four days after Children's Day. If you ask me, EVERY day feels like Children's Day, but that's probably just the result of being surrounded by 300 of them most every day, including the weekends, when they somehow find me at yard sales, the grocery store, out to dinner, and without fail, any time I'm makeup-free and crossing my fingers that I won't see anyone I know.

Regardless, I love the little boogers, and May 5th is their day--at least in Japan, where Children's Day is celebrated with the flying of colorful carp kites!


According to legend, the carp fish had the ability to transform into a dragon when it had swum against the current, climbing up dangerous waterfalls. The carp serves as a reminder of bravery and strength and serves as a symbol for the children of Japan.

My first graders make a version of these 'kites' each year. This year, it was my student teacher's job to get these kids' kites a-flyin' in celebration of this special day. There are many ways to make these, but here's what we did.

Kiddos started with a 12" square sheet of fadeless colored paper of their choice. Using a homemade ruler, a 4" strip was traced, followed by 2" strips:



Then, starting at the bottom and working upwards, one line at a time was covered with glue, which kiddos painted on with a paintbrush:


Working quickly to keep the glue wet, tissue paper scales were added; some kiddos chose a pattern of colors, while others went a random route:


Some were meticulous. Some, not so much.


Oh, sweet 6-year-olds. You and your ways.

Once all the scales were on, eyes were drawn. The eyes are my favorite part! I find that they tend to reflect the personalities of the artist who made 'em.





On the second day, kids finished up by adding "lips" (12" strips of paper) glued behind the eyes, as well as crepe paper tails:


To FINish (HA!), fish bodies were rolled and stapled closed, and string was added to the top for hanging. Their beautiful teacher may have helped with this part.


My toe thumbs are lookin' goooood in those shots. Humina humina.



So Happy Children's Day! Actually, Tuesday was National Teacher Appreciation Day, so out of the way, kids--happy belated TEACHERS' day! I hope you feel appreciated every day, teacher friends! :-)

1 comment :

  1. I absolutely love your students' work! What great, colorful windsocks! Definitely will follow :)

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