Craft a Japanese Scroll

What You Need:

  • Cardboard toilet paper roll
  • 1 9" x 12" sheet of white drawing paper, cut to a 4" x 12" rectangle
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Paintbrush
  • Watered-down black tempera paint
  • Small dish
  • Red string

What You Do:

  1. Take a look at Japanese calligraphy online with your child. Print out some examples of characters for them to refer to while they create their scroll. This is a great opportunity to talk about how written languages look different all around the world!
  2. Before starting on the scroll, encourage them to practice writing some words in English and then writing them in Japanese characters.
  3. To make the paper part of the scroll, ask them to tape one end of the drawing paper to the toilet paper tube.
  4. Now it's time for calligraphy! Invite them to practice Japanese calligraphy on the scroll by dipping a paintbrush into the diluted black tempera paint and drawing characters on the paper starting at the top of the scroll and working to the bottom.
  5. Set the scroll aside to dry.
  6. Once the paint is dry, encourage them to write what the Japanese characters mean in English at the bottom of the scroll.
  7. To finish the scroll, have them thread the red string through the toilet paper tube and tie a knot. Hang it in a special place for all to see!

Did You Know?

Calligraphy is an elementary school subject for children in Japan, and is also offered in high school alongside music and painting as an art elective.

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