Monday, May 2, 2016

Teen Cherry Blossom Festival

Flower Candy
As part of our Anime/Manga Club for teens I created a program to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival.  The Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated nationally in Japan and also in Washington D.C. The festival usually runs for for a few weeks from late March to mid April.  We had our program a little late in the season. I saved lots of free manga magazines that were donated.  Along with those freebies here are the activities we did tonight.  

Candy Sushi
Finished sushi roll
There are a lot of different ways to make candy sushi with your teens. Instructables has handy directions.  At the very least you need marshmallow rice treats (homemade or store bought), fruit rolls and gummy fish.  For more fun you can buy other candies like gummy worms.   A technique that works well is to lay the fruit roll out stretched on a plate then flatten the marshmallow rice treat so that it covers the fruit roll. If you use paper plates like we did, be sure to lay the wax wrapper from the fruit roll on your plate first.  Otherwise the fruit roll will stick to the plate and peal off an nice layer of paper that you won't want to eat.  Add candy in a line down one edge of the fruit roll then tightly roll the whole thing up.  Then you can cut it into bite sized pieces.  Since there are many types of sushi besides the familiar rolled Maki Sushi,  experiment  with making Nigiri or a whole bento box.  

Cherry Blossom Cutting
I admit origami is a weakness of mine. I often cannot create the shape I want or I cannot teach the folding technique to others.  Cherry Blossoms are just barely in my skill set.  You will need square origami paper of any measurements and scissors. I used the directions from DIY Sakura Kirigami.  It has nice clear pictures and a link to more folding directions at Jessica Jones Design  for a Snowflake Based on a 5 point star.  Thankfully our ellison die cut press has a flower pattern that makes a 5 point flower.  I was able to decorate a lot of the room with these precut flowers to save time.

Dried seaweed snack
I bought two flavors of dried seaweed, wassabi peas, and flower candy from the international aisle and also hot green tea. The trivia contest had candy prizes and with the candy sushi I figured that was plenty of food. 

We play Ninja at nearly every teen event. We always make a circle to start so that it is really clear who doesn't want to play.  Once you know the basic rules its not too hard to join in. Sometimes watching an video can give you an idea of the flow.  

Game in progress

I couldn't think of an anime with a festival episode to show so I just picked a movie I thought had a really fun story. We went with Hetalia Paint It White.  The movie is rated TV-MA which gave me pause since I've seen it several times and didn't recall much objectionable content.  I feel the movie is should be rated PG-13 for language and blurred out but still suggestive themes. 

Ultimate Otaku Quiz
For summer reading last year we had a Jeopardy game as part of a games program.  The teens got a kick out of it so I did another trivia game for them just on Japanese culture. I found nearly all the information on Kids Web Japan. The quiz has 20 questions total.  I had the teens divide into teams and the winning  team had first choice of a snack prize.  I had enough Poky or Panda snacks for everyone but they still enjoyed the competition. Download the power point file below. 

For more ideas check out my blog post Teen Cherry Blossom Festival, part 2



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