~ Ria Cheripuram
I am Ria, a kids’ craft blogger living in Australia. It is such a pleasure for me to write for Kid World Citizen, who shares tons of fun activities for kids gathered from around the world. I am going to share an easy craft idea which kids are going to have so much fun with-A Japanese fish kite!
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“Koinobori” or Japanese fish kites are flown every year in Japan to celebrate ‘Kodomo No Hi” or National Children’s day which takes place on May 5. These kites are usually made by drawing the pattern of a fish named “Koi carp” on a paper or cloth. In Japanese culture, koi carp is thought to be a symbol of energy, strength and courage because of its tendency to swim upstream rather than just “go with the flow”. Families decorate their landscapes with fish kites from April through early May to symbolize the wish that their children will grow up into healthy and strong adults.
There are many different stories around the origin of Koinobori and Children’s Day. According to the Japanese American National Museum, koi carp was chosen as a symbol to celebrate “Tango No Sekku” or Boys’ Day. The ability of this fish to swim upstream, its high energy and powerfulness were qualities generally desired by families in boys. In 1948, this holiday was widened to include all kids and Children’s Day was born. Another source states that the tradition of flying kites started in the year 1282, to celebrate the victory won by Samurai warriors in a battle. While there are many stories, nobody exactly knows when or why it started.
I made an easy Japanese fish kite with my 3-year-old which we hung outside our house. Since it was a windy day, its tail fluttered freely in the wind which made her so excited. This is a fun recycled craft idea which is perfect to teach your little ones about the Japanese culture and traditions. To make this Japanese fish craft we used:
- 2 A4 size papers
- tissue paper
- craft glue
- toilet paper roll
- clear tape
- color pens
- two googly eyes
Steps to make a Japanese Fish Kite
First, I drew the outline of a fish on a white paper. I tried to make both the sides as symmetrical as possible. Then I traced this onto one more white paper to make another fish template. When you draw the fish, make sure the mouth is really big as shown in the picture.
Now, my daughter started coloring both the fish templates. She chose yellow color for her fish. I helped her draw some patterns on it using pink and blue color pens. Alternatively, you can cut out some shapes from color papers to stick on it. Kids can be as creative as they want with this step. Now, I helped her cut out the fish templates.
We kept one of the fish templates aside. Then we got a 14 cm yarn and secured it on both the sides of the other fish template with clear tape. We then glued a few strips of pink tissue paper each measuring approximately 15 cm at its tail. While we were waiting for it to get dried, we cut a toilet paper roll into half and glued near its mouth as shown below. You can use either craft glue or PVA glue to fix the paper roll in place. Again, we waited a few minutes for the glue to dry. After everything is properly fixed on this fish template, we applied some glue on its sides and tail. Then we glued the other fish template on top of it.
Stick two googly eyes on each side of the fish and your Japanese fish kite craft is ready. Time to hang it outside!
Ria is a craft Blogger living in Australia with family. She is a former Software Engineer who loves crafting and spending quality time with family. She shares easy craft tutorials on her blog, Crafts By Ria and her aim is to create a unique bonding experience between kids and parents through crafting. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.