Okasan (mommy), Otosan (daddy), onisan (brother), onesan (sister), and akachan (baby) - these are the ways we can call our Kazoku (family) in Japanese. Everyday we are learning new things through play. Today, we made special crafts, had Maryna’s ballet class and went for a walk around the neighborhood.

This morning, as we walked into the classroom, we saw a table with some paint (green, red and yellow), brushes, droppers and coffee filters. When we look up, we also see a tree and green and red paper crafts hanging on the wall. We wonder what we are getting ready for? Yes, we are preparing for Christmas and today we made Christmas garland. We used paint brushes and droppers—we squeezed the end of a dropper to suck in some color then squeezed again to drop the color on a piece of coffee filter. Some enjoyed how the colors mixed on the paper and some enjoyed the wetness of the paint. Later when the paint dries up, we will fold the paper in half and stick them on a ribbon.

On another table, we enjoyed threading. It can be challenging to get the string through the small holes but we worked on our fine motor skills and made a beautiful necklace! On the carpet area, some friends used the colorful boomwackers and pretended to be animals.

Soon we had to stop the fun and help get the room ready for our Thursday specialty: Maryna’s ballet class. One friend was standing right in front of Maryna’s spot as soon as the yoga mats were placed. After several sessions, we can really see the change in the way we participate in the class; even those who were more happy to watch Maryna dance gracefully were eager to explore the different movements themselves. It was almost magical for the teachers to see this happen; it was as though we were waiting for the moment when we felt ready to fly ;) Maryna prepared some winter songs and we enjoyed catching snowflakes and being a big round snowman. We are also getting used to our routine moves and when Maryna asked “how do we say goodbye?” One friend demonstrated saying, “like this.”

For circle time, Nanako used stick people to talk about family in Japanese. We also read a book called When I was a Baby by Catherine Anholt but in Japanese. It was about a three year old girl asking questions about what she was like a baby; how she was so small wearing a tiny dress on the day she came back from the hospital and how everyone came to say hello; she used to get fed from mommy’s breast milk because she didn’t have teeth to bite or how she loved to splash water when daddy put her in the bath. She had a party for her one-year old birthday inviting her friends but she is not a baby anymore, she is three and she is a big girl just like we are ;)

After filling up our hungry tummies, John told us the banana boat story as we got ourselves ready to go outside. We didn’t have enough time to go to step park but we went for a nice stroll in the neighborhood and we met someone who knew one of us! It is nice just to feel the crispy air and meet people new and old!

Thank you for another lovely day!

Lots of love from the Buds

Ohana International School