Category: Montessori / Kindergarten

Preschool playgrounds in Japan

In my experience of Gunma, Ibaraki and Saitama, most preschools in suburbia Japan, have some form of outdoor play area. Most of them have at least a slide and/or swings, and some are a full on playground with a combination of equipment.  Thankfully, our preschool is one of the latter. The main piece of equipment in my kid’s preschool’s playground […]

Free Resources for Setsubun

Free resources for Setsubun –  February 3rd is Setsubun in Japan, which marks the end of winter. A common tradition associated with this ancient festival is mamemaki or beanthrowing. Most families carry out this fun tradition at home, but you can also visit a temple or shrine to do it with a crowd. In Tokyo, there are temples that have […]

Tabletop learning games for preschoolers -reviewed and ISO suggestions

I grew up in a family that sat down together every Saturday night to play board / dice / tile / card games. It was a lovely tradition and I have very fond memories of that family time. Naturally, I wanted to introduce this family tradition to my own children. When my son had just turned three a very generous friend […]

6 easy activities with Valentine’s Origami hearts for preschoolers

Reposting from last year as it has proved very popular both with my own kids and as a blog post. 🙂 These simple origami hearts, suited to young children and Origami beginners, were a big hit with my toddler and preschooler today. You can find the instructions and a printable version on Origami Club here, a photo of the instructions […]

Rocking Christmas Tree

I love the activity magazines you can buy for kids in Japan. I find them great distraction for the kids when we’ve been confined to home for a few days in a row due to weather or, as in present circumstances, due to sickness. This month I bought the Christmas special for preschoolers. It comes with paper crafts, mazes, writing […]

The School Bazaar at a Japanese preschool

Today, we had another first. 4-year-old’s first (pre)school1 bazaar. Like most school events, it involves parent participation. We take turns manning a booth; which is actually a mini shop within each classroom. I was on duty in the “toys” room, first thing this morning. I was a little nervous about it last night, not knowing what to expect. It was actually […]

Meet the pets!

Our latest addition to a long line of wildlife pets is Kaeru-kun. Kaeru (カエル) is the Japanese for frog, and that’s exactly what he is! It is a popular hobby of young children in rural Japan to find and catch all sorts of wildlife. They keep them in pet tanks which can be bought at home and/or gardening stores. Kaeru-kun joins 4 […]

Easy paper and wool Halloween wreath for kids

This one is time-consuming, but it was worth it for the reaction of my kids to the finished product. They were so excited and delighted that I couldn’t get a good photo as they wouldn’t let the wreath out of their hands. I had planned for us to make three, but one was enough as I ended up doing most […]

Very easy paper and rice craft – spider web

This is a very easy activity that even babies can enjoy and you only need 2 things for it. The kids enjoyed this one more than yesterday’s paper plate threading craft. This one is particularly convenient for people who have cooked sticky rice warming in the rice cooker. I have seen this craft on other websites, but usually with glue […]

Easy paper plate craft – spider webs

In an attempt to pass on some of my Irish culture to my half-Japanese kids, we are making a Halloween  craft every day of October. Today, we made two different patterns of spider webs from paper plates, both good for improving fine motor skills. We also did some spider rhymes and fingerplay. This is a follow on from yesterday’s paper spider craft. Halloween isn’t […]