We took a trip to┬áJapan for the past two weeks while “rowing” the book A Pair of Red Clogs . Initially, this was not a book I thought we would spend much time with, but we all liked it so much that we just kind of kept on going. Addison really loved learning about Japanese culture, and I kept finding cool activities and other stories to tie in, so we just went with it. I’m actually thankful it worked out this way since we started Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) this week, and I had a lot of other things to think about.

Doc was also pretty interested in being involved in “school” this week, so I made sure to include him when I was able. He is still working on identifying the letter “A”. Here’s a peek at some of the stuff Doc was busy with this week.

Drive along the letter A!

Drive along the letter A!

A while back, Doc was given this super cool road tape as a gift. It was the perfect way to get him playing with the letter “A” in a very hands-on way. Once he was done tracing the “A” I made the road bigger and he and Henry had a great time pushing cars and trucks along (which gave Addison and I time to do some other school work).

Busy Bubba

Doc also did a great job circling the “A”s in a letter search. I wasn’t sure how this would go, but he found most of them all by himself! And to keep him busy and out of trouble, I gave him a Styrofoam ball and a bag of golf tees. His job was to stick as many tees in the ball as he could. Eventually his hands started to hurt but rather than give up, he went to his tool box and got a hammer. Ha! That’s my bubba!

We also enjoyed some ants on sailboats since we learned that “ant” is an “A” word.

ants on sailboats


As far as A Pair of Red Clogs goes, we did lots of crafty projects and not a lot of worksheets and lapbook pages. Take a look…


We made a couple Japanese fans complete with cherry blossoms and other Japanese symbols.

We also got out our Little Passports suitcase to explore the stuff we received from Japan.

little passports

We were able to identify the Japanese flag, talk about origami, and look at some examples of Japanese architecture.

japanese architecture

I also found some pretty cool pictures of Japanese architecture and clothing for Addison to color…Doc was the very helpful pencil sharpener for the day. A PERFECT job for him!

And we made some Japanese Carp windsocks! These were super easy and fun to make.

carp windsock

Japanese carp windsock craft

Materials Needed:

  • Construction paper
  • tissue paper
  • glue
  • hole punch
  • ribbon or yarn
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • tape

carp windsock 2

  • Cut tissue paper into the shape of fish scales. You want each scale to be about 3 inches long.
  • Draw lines about 3 inches apart on construction paper (hold the paper as a landscape view).
  • Starting at the bottom line, make a line of glue the length of the paper. Press the scales into the glue to go across the whole row.
  • Continue with the remaining rows working your way up to the top of the paper.
  • Cut some strips of tissue paper for the tail of the windsock (you could also use leftover party streamers if you happen to have them)
  • Turn the construction paper over and glue the strips to the bottom from the back.
  • Gently roll your paper so the scales are on the outside. You want to make a tube. Tape the tube shut so it stays in place.
  • Cut two eyes out of paper and glue them to the top of the windsock.
  • Punch a hole on each side toward the top and thread a string or ribbon through. Tie a knot and it’s ready to hang!



And we made a special snack to share with friends this week…SUSHI! I used rice krispy treats for the “rice” and Swedish fish for the raw fish. These were a HUGE hit! Nothing like sushi with friends!

The major lessons we learned from the story A Pair of Red Clogs. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce our We Choose Virtues lesson! If you are not familiar with We Choose Virtues, and you are looking for a great, simple way to build character development into your family, this is a great program. It comes with colorful, interactive cards for each virtue. And there is a little story and coloring sheet to go along with each one. Today we met “Hockey Stick Nick”!


In addition to all these Five In a Row activities, we also worked a bunch on our handwriting and math.



And I’m proud to say that Addison read her very first book all by herself this week. It was the first book in the Usborne Very First Reading Set.


This book set is especially awesome because it is meant to be read with mom or dad. The pages on the left move the plot along, and the pages on the right contain very simple words and sentences for the child to read so they feel as though they are participating in moving the story along too. These books are the major factor in influencing Addison to keep trying to read. She knows they get harder and harder as they go along, and that she has to master the first before she can move on to the second. The stories are engaging, and the pictures are fantastic. We like these so much better than the Bob Books because they feel like “big kid” books!

If you are looking for some other great books to read in conjunction with A Pair of Red Clogs, check out this LINK! Happy reading and “rowing”!



Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase items through those links, I will receive a very small compensation.







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5 Responses to A Trip to Japan!

  1. Michelle says:

    What a wonderful row! Love all that you did! Love the windsocks, too! So colorful and fun. Thanks so much for sharing and for linking up!

    • homespunsprout@gmail.com says:

      Thanks Michelle! I appreciate your kind words and I love all of YOUR rows! They are such an inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I am loving your “sushi”. Very creative! #laughlearnlinkup

  3. PragmaticMom says:

    I’m half Japanese so I’m always hunting down children’s book covering Japan and I totally missed A Pair of Red Clogs. I’m looking forward to reading it! Thanks so much for sharing this great book and extension activities at Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Pinning and tweeting!

    • homespunsprout@gmail.com says:

      Oh wow! I’m glad you have a new book to add to your collection! We really loved the story. Hope your family does too!

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