Sunday, April 28, 2013

A few favorite Japanese kids' songs - with some listening practice

Ton Ton Tomato-chan (Pow-Pow Little Tomato)
Listen for the use of と to mean "with," as well as very child-like pronunciation of あそぼう (let's play) and かくれんぼ (hide and seek).

Omocha No Cha-Cha-Cha (Toys Cha-Cha)
Listen for さよなら (goodbye) and こんにちは (hello).

Anpanman No Okao (Anpanman's Face)
Listen for the use of the honorific お in the body parts. おめめ instead of め for eyes, おくち instead of くち for mouth, and おはな instead of はな for nose.

Inu No Omawarisan (Doggy Cop)
Listen for どこ (where) and ~ても form of verbs ('even when').

Donguri Koro Koro (Acorn Rolling)
Listen for いっしょう に あそびましょう (Let's play together).

Genkotsu Yama No Tanuki-san (The Badger From Genkotsu Mountain
Listen for また あした (see you tomorrow).

Monday, April 22, 2013

First Graders Walk to School (Mostly) on Their Own

My Japanese friend has decided to take her six-year-old son to Japan for a few weeks starting this month to experience first grade in a Japanese school. Her biggest worry is him walking to school without her. In Japan, most elementary school kids don't ride a school bus. They follow a sixth grader "hancho" (group leader) and walk in small groups to school, mostly on their own. And guess what, that is where we get the term "head hancho" in English.
Sometimes children living in the same neighborhood go to their school in a group. In places where there's a lot of traffic on the roads, parents and school employees take turns watching at the crosswalks to make sure the kids can cross safely. Children are taught to raise their hands to let car drivers see that they're crossing; sometimes they also get special flags to use at the crosswalks. And certain elementary schools have their younger pupils all wear the same sort of brightly colored hat when they're on their way to or from school to make it easier for drivers and others to see them.
From: Web Japan

Friday, April 19, 2013

American Flag Origami Even a Five Year Old Can Do

My daughter is now five and has been doing origami since she was three, so she is pretty decent at the easy ones. But I was surprised when she picked up this latest one I showed her after only being shown once. It's a 3D puffy heart. It's not that hard, but kindergarteners often get frustrated when the paper won't cooperate. My normally codependent five-year-old was surprisingly independent and motivated with this origami, which was neat to see.