"Japan is a country of opposites; on one hand it is
extremely modern and a leader in technology and on
the other hand it is very traditional.
Although many children have electronic toys of one
kind or another, they are still encouraged to make and
play with old fashioned traditional toys, especially in
community centers, kindergarten and elementary
school. Many of these toys are made from things you can
find lying around the house such as milk cartons, food
trays and toilet roll middles."
Kurakura Habondanma - Bubble Spinner
•8x strips 4mm x 15mm of hologram paper (we cut ours from origami paper)
•4 hole reinforcement stickers
•bamboo skewer 20cm long (you might want to blunt the point)
•small piece of tape
Step 1: Lay a reinforcement hole, sticky side
up, attach the strips around the hole, it is
easiest to put the strips at 12 o'clock and
then 6 o'clock, then 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock,
once you have them in place it is easy to
add the others.
Step 2: Stick another reinforcement hole over
the top, so the ends of the strips are sandwiched
in between the two.
Step 3: Take a small strip of sticky tape, and attach
it to the end of the skewer. Carefully make small cuts
along the edge of the tape. Now wrap the tape around
the stick, folding the cut flaps outwards
like flower petals.
Step 4: Thread a hole reinforcement sticker onto
the skewer and stick it to the back of the sticky
Step 5: Now thread the strips onto the skewer
and stick the ends of the strips onto the sticky
tape flower, do as before sticking strips at 12 and
6 o'clock first, then 3 and 9 o'clock and finish
off with the ones in between.
Step 6: Once all the ends are stuck down,
put the final hole reinforcement sticker
on the top.
Step 7: Roll the skewer between your fingers,
children might find it easier between the palms of
their hands, as it spins it looks like a bubble,
kids of all ages seem to be fascinated with it.
"A few facts about Japan...
Kids start school at the age of 6 and the school
year starts in April.
Many kids in Japan go to juku, cram school,
after regular school has finished, they can
study anything from maths to calligraphy
When kids start elementary school they use a
special type of backpack called a randoseru,
these bags are very sturdy and last for the
whole 6 years, which they should since they
cost around $550! Traditionally the boys have
black and the girls have red but recently
there is a trend for more colourful randoseru.
Elementary schools have a no car policy which
means that all kids have to walk too and from
school, they are organized into groups, the
older grades are group leaders and they
have a set route to walk. Community helpers
stand to watch over the kids on busy roads."
New Years Traditions
Tanabata (Star Festival)
Boy's Day carp banner tutorial
Japan is brought to you by guest blogger,
Jo of A Bit Of This And A Bit Of That. Jo lives
in Japan, outside of Tokyo, with her husband
and young son. She is a Montessori mom and
has a shop where she sells Japanese fabric,
handmade toys, kits, patterns and
If you have any questions about Japan
please leave them in the comments in the
next few days and Jo will answer them!
Links of Interest: