Thursday, January 3, 2013

World Wide Wanderings: Japan

This year we are planning on getting together with a small group of friends and doing some cultural trips around the world.

We actually spent some time covering Japan just before Christmas but I'm only getting around to blogging about it now.

It's a fairly laid back and simple process, but once it all came together the kids and adults alike had a great time.

Basically each adult prepares a couple of activities related to the country, then we all come together and complete those activities. We did Japan over two separate days and filled a good three hours each day! We can't wait to do another one, loads of fun!

We started the morning off with Joseph giving us all an introduction in Japanese. He told us his name, where he lived, how old he was etc. The kids all thought this was great!!

I then showed them all this four minute video from national Geographic Traveler, it gives a good quick overview of Japan and the culture.

Sara spent time on geography with the kids. Locating Japan, discussing continents, oceans, seas and bordering countries.

After discussing land mass and the size of Japan, especially in regards to its' population. Joh found this fabulous image that gave the kids a great sense of how small, in relation to their own country, Japan really is.

I printed off a few relevant mini books for the kids to complete during the course of the morning.

I read them all, The Crocodile Bridge, a Japanese Folk tale, from the book Around The World in 80 Tales.The story of why the Hare has a short fluffy tail!

Tracy took everyone through the amazing celebrations and holidays that the people of Japan celebrate. Here the children are marking them off on a calendar, just to give them an idea as to how many different celebrations there actually are in Japan.

One of these particular celebrations is for girls, Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival) it centres around dolls. The girls place dolls in their window and then take them down the following day. The superstition behind this being that if they forget to take their doll from the window, they will have trouble marrying. During this time the family prays for their girls good health and happiness.

Tracy brought along her supply basket full to the brim for the kids to create their very own Egg Dolls for this special celebration. 

They were all so engaged in this activity. Each and every one of them put a great deal of effort into their doll creations.

My guys were as proud as punch of their little egg dolls. They are now on display in our front entryway.

This was definitely a great way to have a bit of cultural fun with friends. We can't wait for our next one!

I am linking this post to

My Japan Board on Pinterest
Mini Booklets from Homeschool Share

Doll Festival, make an Egg Doll

WWW: Pangea
WWW: If The World Were A Village
WWW: Continents & Oceans


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Welcome back! What a fun idea to do geography as a group. Those dolls are lovely. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Kay said...

Oh wow, that is fascinating!! Isn't it fun learning about new cultures? The doll festival sounds very interesting. I may need to use that during our Japan study. Thank you for the suggestions.

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