Koinobori, carp-shaped wind socks, are a big part of Japan’s Children’s Day celebration on May 5th, a day which celebrates and honours boys, while March 3rd is reserved for girls. Carps are chosen as a symbol of strength, courage and determination – attributes desired in boys, and are flown from rooftops throughout the country.
I’ve always loved how children like to collect the most random things, and store them in small containers for safe keeping. So instead of making wind socks, we’ll be making small drawings of carps, and decorating a tin to store them in.
- card stock
- scrap paper
- pencil and eraser
- circle punch
- coloured paper
- glue stick
1. Select a tin to use as a container. Decorate the inside with coloured paper. A pack of origami paper is a great way to get a wonderful assortment of colours, but of course any kind of coloured paper will do.
Use a circle punch or hand cut small circles, to decorate the inside of the tin. Blues and greens are ideal, to represent water, and to create the backdrop for the carps. Use a glue stick to attach them in an overlapping fashion.
2. Have a look on the internet at images of “koinobori” to see what the windsocks look like. Make some sketches on scrap paper, and once you’re ready, draw several carps in pencil on a piece of card stock. They can be different sizes, but make sure they are small enough to fit inside the tin. Colour them in marker, and cut them out.
3. The fish can be attached to the inside of the tin in a variety of ways. 3D-Dots are a convenient way to do this, and allow you to easily play with varying depths by adding as many as you need to the back of the fish.
When attaching the fish to the inside of the tin, make sure to stagger them so they fill the space nicely.