Daruma San ga Koklanda & the missing vowels

The games and activities on the carpet were very popular this morning with many of us. We saw some numbered discs and some wooden blocks with Japanese letters on them. We used some of the wooden blocks like dominoes lined up and when they were all ready we knocked the first one over and saw the blocks fall over in turn. The numbered discs we placed carefully with the corresponding number on the special board and later used the discs to make a big tower. The free-art table was again very popular this morning with many of us using the scrap paper, tape and stencils to create our own individual artwork. On the table many of us started working on our class friends and teachers March birthday cards. We wrote the words ‘Happy Birthday’ with our friend’s names and also drew some nice hearts and flowers on the other side too. The play-dough was also popular today with many of us making cakes and cookies using the cookie cutters and cake trays. We needed to pack away the toys a little early today because we were going to have two mommy special guests today to tell us and teach us all about a traditional Japanese game. The game is called ‘Daruma San ga Kolanda’ which translates as ‘The doll that fell over’. This game is a bit like the western ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf’? where we crept up on the Daruma San as quietly as we could. If Daruma San turned around and looked at us we needed to freeze as quickly as we could. Once we got close enough to touch Daruma San we needed to run away as quickly as possible. We took turns being Daruma San and really enjoyed ourselves. We asked a few questions of the Japanese mommies such as “What does Daruma San mean”? – “Japanese doll or snowman that is very round and falls over”, “Is this a Japanese or Asian game”? – “Yes, it is played by Japanese children in preschool and kindergarten”. Thank you to Minako and Asako for the wonderful Japanese game day. After eating our yummy snacks today we went to the park and noticed there was not a single cloud in the sky. When we got to the park we saw a huge pile of new sand in the sand box which the construction workers had just delivered. This was soon our big mountain / volcano and Mount Fuji. Many of us spent our time digging out the center of the cone so that it looked like a big volcano. In circle time we looked at the 5 vowels; a, e, i, o and u. We then played a game where we needed to close our eyes, look at the floor and Darren took away two of the vowels and we had to guess which ones were missing. We did a great job with this and guessed all the missing letters. We then put two of the vowels together and made the single sound they made together. Today’s two vowels were i and e. Together we made the sound for these and realized we couldn’t think of any words that begin with i and e together. Maybe they came at the end of words instead or in the middle. We got a clue from Darren’s song and listened carefully to identify the special ‘ie’ word. The song went like this: “Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye,

Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie,

When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,

Oh wasn’t it a lovely dish to set before the king”.

We soon found the ‘ie’ word-Pie. We then thought of a second word ‘tie’ and moved to our notebooks at the table to make an origami tie. We chose a color we liked, folded the paper and swapped the left over pieces with our friends to make some stripes. We practiced writing the letters ‘i and e’ in our books too.

Have a great afternoon and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow

All our love, Darren, Pooja & Ryoan.