Japan: 桜と地震

Today is all about nature, the beauty of it and how it can be destructive.

Japan has some of the most beautiful topography in the world, with its rice terraces, unique roof tops, Mt Fuji in the skyline, and breathtaking flora. One such flora, flowers in the spring and changes the color of Japan to blush pink- the cherry blossom tree.

I have to confess pink is my favorite color so my heart leaps for anything cherry blossom. It is just so pretty!

Art Project Time!

To celebrate this tree Martin and I made our own cherry blossom art project.

You will need:

  • 1 white piece of paper
  • Pink tissue paper in various shades
  • Brown crayon
  • Glue

Step 1: Start by drawing a branch or tree on the paper with the brown crayon. I opted to do this while Martin did step 2, if your artist is older this is a step they can do.

Step 2: Rip the tissue paper into roughly 1″ x 1″ square pieces. We used two different shades of pink (because that’s what we had) and we ended up only needing about 1/4 a sheet of tissue paper per color.

Step 3: Crumble or bunch the tissue paper and glue it on the branch or tree. Using a piece of recycled cardboard as a palette, I prepared a small pool of glue for us to share. The goal was to pick up one piece of tissue, dip it in the glue then place it on the tree. Martin did well for the most part and clean up was easy!

Step 4: Let it dry and display!

Martin insisted on covering the entire branch!

STEM Activity!

STEM or STEAM is one of those buzz words you see a lot when it comes to kids activities or projects. In case you didn’t know, STEM stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math” or my personal favorite STEAM adds “ART” to the mix. It basically means that one activity covers multiple disciplines or areas of education. This particular activity is about science and engineering.

Japan sits right on top of where multiple tectonic plates meet. Up side, Japan has volcanos and hot springs; downside, they have earthquakes.

For this activity, you will need a baking sheet and something to stack. We used stacking cups but blocks would work well too!

I started by explaining what an earthquake is and we pretended that the ground was shaking. Next we placed some cups on the baking sheet and shook it, and the cups fell over.

We repeated this trying new configurations- what happens with a wide base? What happens with a skinny base? How high could we build it before it fell? What would happen with different strength earthquakes?

He really enjoyed it and learned something new! I’m going to miss Japan week, perhaps we just need to go on a trip…

No hints, just hope!

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