In our continuing trip around the world with our Five in a Row studies, we visited Japan. We read A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno, the story of a young Japanese girl who gets a new pair of clogs. When she cracks her new shoes, playing a game, she tries to get her mother to buy a new pair.
We read about Japan in the DK First Atlas and DK Children Just Like Me. Japan is known for so many beautiful, delicate things, but my girls were instantly drawn to a picture of Sumo wrestlers. They were Sumo wrestlers the rest of the week! We also tried our hand at origami. We made some fun Kimono doll bookmarks from Crayola. We made a cherry blossom using a branch and pink tissue paper. The girls really enjoyed the Five in a Row drawing lesson this week. We used tracing paper to trace the outline of the figures in the book and learn about drawing movement.
Want to know how to find international costumes for your children cheaply? Visit your local thrift store! I was really pleased with how our $2 Kimonos came out. We found various silky ladies blouses and dresses that overlapped at the top. I sewed in an extra snap at the top. Then for the belts, we used old silk ties. I wanted to put an extra piece of fabric around the middle, under the tie to make an obi, but the girls were satisfied this way. I lucked out with the three-year-old's costume when I found a kimono styled t-shirt. It already had a belt attached. So I sewed the shirt to make it smaller and the belt was long enough to go around.
For our tea party, Daddy came home from his trip to New York city with sushi! I also made a recipe from a Japanese cookbook called Chirashizushi or Scattered Sushi Rice. We also had Asian rice crackers, and pocky and mochi for dessert.
We used the kids' low play table and sat on cushions on the floor so it would feel more Japanese. This was definitely one of our favorite tea parties.