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Japanese Children’s Day Carp Kites
Japanese Children’s Day Carp Kites
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Japanese Children’s Day Carp Kites

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These colorful carp kites will add a splash of fun to your Children’s Day celebration!

This activity is appropriate for:
kindergarten - 3rd grade / 5 - 8 years

You will need:

Before you begin:

  1. Precut tissue paper sheets into circles (approximately 2" in diameter). Then cut the circles in half to make semicircles and store them in a plastic container or plastic bag. Each student will need about 30-35 semicircles of tissue paper.
    (Note: The circles need not be perfectly sized or evenly cut.)
  2. Cut additional tissue paper sheets into 1/2" wide strips that are approximately 5-6" long. Each student will need about 6-8 strips of tissue paper in a variety of colors.


  1. Explain to students that one day during the month of May, the people of Japan celebrate Children’s Day! Children’s Day is a national holiday that gives children the day off from school and allows parents to spend time celebrating their children by participating in a variety of festivities. Tell students that carp kites are flown as a symbol of Children’s Day. Since carp are a type of fish that typically swim upstream against the flow, they are seen as a symbol of strength and determination, which are traits that Japanese parents hope their children will develop.
  2. Now tell students that they are going to create their own carp kites!
  3. Give each student half of a paper towel tube and a glue stick.
  4. Have students glue the semicircles of tissue paper onto their paper towel tubes to be the “scales” of the carp. Instruct them to apply glue around the bottom edge of the tube and then overlap the semicircles in a row all the way around the tube, with the curved edges of the semicircles facing toward the bottom of the tube.
  5. Encourage students to repeat the process by adding another row of tissue paper just above the first row and overlapping the pieces so that no cardboard shows through.
  6. Have students continue adding rows of tissue paper semicircles around the tube from the bottom to the top, until the entire tube is covered in colorful tissue paper.
  7. Invite students to select two wiggly eyes and glue them onto opposite sides of the top of the tube.
  8. Have students dab some glue around the inside edge of the bottom of the tube and add tissue paper strips to make “tail fin” streamers.
  9. Finally, punch a hole in the top of each tube and tie a length of string through the hole.
  10. Hang the completed carp kites from your classroom ceiling in celebration of Japanese Children’s Day!

Special Days

Earth Day
Celebrating Earth Day
Recycled Robots
Caterpillar Garden Critters
Reusable Earth Day Bags

Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day Puzzle Photo Frame
3-D Mother’s Day Card
Mother’s Day Tea
Mother’s Day Bouquet
Mother’s Day Teacup Cards
Mother’s Day Card
Bear Hug Mother’s Day Card
May Day Basket

Father’s Day
Shirt & Tie Father’s Day Card
Father’s Day Card
Father’s Day Trophy
Father’s Day Frames
Father’s Day CD Photo Coaster

Patriotic Holidays
Independence Day Drum
Fourth of July Firecrackers
Uncle Sam Hat
Star-Spangled Shaker
Stars & Stripes Place Mat
Star-Studded Napkin Rings
Patriotic Noisemakers
Foam Star Paper Chains
A Flag Day Parade

September Holidays
Grandparents Day Card

October Holidays
Spooky Spiders
Halloween Countdown Calendar
Handprint Bat Hats
Jack-O’-Lantern Jars
Giant Pumpkin

November Holidays
Giving Thanks Centerpiece
Turkey Trot Relay Game
Fall Table Settings
Turkey Plate
Veterans Day Flag
Pattern Block Turkeys
Being Thankful Sunflowers
Native American Rattles
Colorful Napkin Rings
Pilgrim Hats
Turkey Place Card Holders
Colorful Cornucopia
Turkey Handprint Apron
Turkey Memory Match-Ups
Remember the Day in Photos
Pin the Tail on the Turkey
Thanksgiving Table Art
“A Festive Feast”
Brain Teaser Game

Terrific Turkey Centerpiece

December Holidays
Hanging Holiday Symbols
Peppermint Candy
Handprint Plates

Holiday Treats Gift Bag
Holiday Scrapbook
Gingerbread Man Notepads
Holiday Card
Decorative Gift Tags
Holiday Card Stand
Holiday Candle Holder
Holiday Snack Sticks
Celebration Candle
Candy Cane Ornament

January Holidays
“I Have a Dream” Quilt
Party Masks
New Year’s Hat
New Year’s Rocket
Sharing the Dream of Dr. King

February Holidays
Presidents’ Day Puppet & Poem
Giant Valentine
Valentine Mobile
Chinese New Year Parade
Chinese New Year Drums
Handprint Heart Frame Photos
Valentine’s Day Door Wreath
Valentine’s Day Card
Valentine Tic–Tac–Toe
Love Bug
Valentine Mailbox
Cup of Cocoa Valentine’s
Day Card

Valentine Necklace
Valentine Caterpillar
Valentine Learning Centers
Patriotic Pencil Holders
Presidents’ Day Masks

March Holidays
Shimmering Shamrocks
Shamrock Door Hanger
Leprechaun Hunt
Leprechaun Hat Pencil Holder
Saint Patrick’s Day Pop-Up Card
Rainbow “Pot of Gold”
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
“Red Fish, Blue Fish” Fishbowl
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