Craft a Japanese Fan! Activity

2.7 based on 35 ratings
Updated on Jun 25, 2013

In Japan, fans are a common symbol used in art and on stage, and are often given as gifts. The fan represents friendship, respect, and good wishes. Teach your child about the customs of Japan with this activity. Make your own fan out of paper, decorate with watercolors, and you've got a beautiful replica of an ancient Japanese tradition. Your child will have fun making this beautiful masterpiece and can use it during play time or on a hot day!

What You Need:

  • 12" x 18" white paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Watercolors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Stapler
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Tape

What You Do:

  1. Fold the paper in half hamburger-style.
  2. On the folded side of the paper, draw a large rainbow shape for the fan. This works best if the shape is less like a semi-circle and more like half a rounded almond.
  3. Cut out the shape and leave it folded.
  4. Lightly sketch out nature-related themes, such as flowers, trees, and animals on the paper. Some popular designs are cherry blossoms, bamboo, and mountains. Look online or in a book to get some ideas!
  5. Use the watercolors to paint the images using bold brushstrokes, and set it aside to dry.
  6. Fold the paper inward from both corners, accordion style with small creases until the entire paper is folded.
  7. Pinch the bottom of the paper together to form a fan and staple it together.
  8. Tape two popsicle sticks onto the bottom to form a handle for the fan, and you're finished!
Barbara Sweet has a Master's degree in Education and has taught Spanish in grades K-12, as well as a variety of undergraduate college courses. She is also the mother of a nine-year-old son.

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