Making Zen Water Gardens

Kyle, our guest teacher,  visited us in the yard to teach us the word for “water” in Kanji.  We used ink to try out our calligraphy skills!  Kyle then had us choose our own water carrying vessels, in which we carefully passed water from one friend to another.  We took our vessels and created water … Continue reading Making Zen Water Gardens

The Tanabata Star Festival

Just last month, Japanese children celebrated Tanabata, or the July Star Festival. Families go outside on the night of July 7th to watch the stars Orihime and Hikoboshi (also known as Vega and Altair) meet across the Milky Way, known in Japanese legend as the river Amanogawa. Children write wishes and hang them on the … Continue reading The Tanabata Star Festival

Making Wabi Sabi Teacups

Looking at examples of wabi-sabi teacups, we were inspired to make our own using red and white clay and a pinch pot technique.  The kids were thrilled to create their own perfectly imperfect teapots, some overheard saying “mine is very wabi-sabi!”  Discussing the Wabi-Sabi Aesthetic For centuries, the influence of nature has deeply shaped the … Continue reading Making Wabi Sabi Teacups

Circle Time in Japan

Konnichiwa!  Day 2 of our global tour brought Spark explorers by Shinkansen bullet train to Japan, land of the rising sun.  We sang the Spark Arts Studio Song, which helps us remember where we are traveling for the day and how we will travel to our destination.  Each member of our class had a chance … Continue reading Circle Time in Japan

Free play

On Tuesday, we began our mornings with several art stations. Since we were learning about Japanese culture, we used tools and our fingers to make designs in a Zen Garden filled with lavender-scented sand and rocks. We used copper wire and beads to make our own bubble blowers. We also looked at the intricate patterns … Continue reading Free play