Tanabata Craft: Wish Tree (Tanzaku)

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Tanabata is the Japanese star festival. It’s a time when people make wishes for the year ahead. All wishes are written out and hung in bright colors on a bamboo branch. This festival is so colorful and vibrant, just have a look at some of these pictures from one person’s home in Okinawa for Tanabata.

Materials:
Bamboo branch or any tree branch if bamboo is not available
Construction paper or other colored paper
Scissors
Hole punch
String or thin ribbon
Pens

Instructions:
1. Have your child cut even strips of construction paper using child scissors. Older children could use a ruler to measure each piece to approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) and draw lines down the paper to cut on.

2. Once all the paper is cut, have your child punch a hole in the top of each piece.

3. Together with your child, make some wishes. You can wish for anything at all. Write one wish down on each strip of paper.

4. Have your child help put the string through the punched holes. Tie the string into a knot.

5. Hang your wishes onto your bamboo (or other tree) branch together with your child.

And violà! Now you have your very own Tanabata tree!

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