Updated: Jul 3, 2021
5 May is Children's Day festival in Japan. What the heck is Children's Day? It's the day we wish all children happiness and cherish their different personalities. Traditionally, families celebrate it by raising koi-shaped windsock called 'koinobori' on the day or few days before the event. You'll find a koi fish to represent each member of the household (black for father, red/pink for mother and blue/green/orange for child).
My family and I currently live in the Netherlands. My husband is Dutch and my daughter was born in Australia. She's never lived in Japan and I am not sure if she will ever live there. But I do want my daughter to grow up knowing Japanese culture, and I think these festivities and traditions are great way to introduce her to Japan. What are some of the things you do to celebrate cultural diversity? Let me know!
So I wanted to share 5 of my favourite Children's Day craft ideas. All featuring koi-fish or koinobori. They are all super simple crafts that you and your kids would enjoy so do give it a try and let me know how you go!
1. Toilet Paper Roll Koinobori | トイレットペーパーの芯こいのぼり
A very simple and colourful Children's Day craft idea: toilet paper roll koi fish. Make one for each member of your household. All you need is a toilet paper roll, cellophane paper for the tail (you can also use regular paper but I quite liked the colourful light reflection it creates) and tissue paper to cover the body. We made the eyes with paper but it's also cute to use googly eyes!
2. Paste Paper Koinobori | 紙ペタペタこいのぼり
Another super easy Children's Day craft is this cut & paste koinobori (koi fish). All you need to do is prepare a koi-shaped cardboard, cut paper into small pieces and paste them. I've asked my daughter to cut the paper and she had a great time gluing them onto the cardboard.
3. Bubble Wrap Stamp Koinobori | エアパッキンスタンプこいのぼり
Here's another super simple Children's Day craft that you can enjoy with your kids. Paint a bubble wrap and stamp it onto a sheet of paper. We pasted eyes, mouths and fins once the paint was all dry. I love how these koinobori look on the wall!
4. Iron Beads Koinobori Garland | アイロンビーズこいのぼり
Are you also an iron beads fanatic? I loved playing with them as a child and last year, I started playing with them again. It is so relaxing! I made this koinobori garland with iron beads. What do you think? A perfect garland for Children's Day, as well as Under the Sea themed parties!
5. Paper Weaving Koinobori | 紙編みこいのぼり
I think this is my favourite koinobori craft. We made this using a cardboard and some old magazine pages. Oh! We also used one of my daughter's crayon scribbles.... I like the uniqueness of it with lots of different shapes and colours. Makes me smile just seeing her hold it.