The 16th Ichigo Ichie took place on Sunday, April 1st. 43 participants (22 adults and 21 children) from Australia, the U.K., China and Japan had a great time together. We began by singing, "If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands" in four different languages.
Easter Egg HuntAs it was Easter Sunday, one of our participants from the U.K., Nicholas, explained the meaning of Easter. It is a Christian festival in spring that celebrates the rebirth of Jesus Christ. Some families go to church on this day and many buy chocolate eggs to hide in the house or garden for the children to find.
We then did an Easter egg hunt. The adults were given Easter eggs (chocolates wrapped inside colorful foil origami paper) and asked to hide them around the room. Then the kids had fun finding them. Everyone enjoyed this game!
Nursery School and Kindergarten in JapanThe theme for the day’s presentation was comparing the differences between nursery school (hoikuen) and kindergarten (yochien) in Japan. The presenters were Kazue, Naoko and Masako, all Japanese mums and organizers of Ichigo Ichie. Their presentation explained this topic using Seika Town as an example.
The topics discussed included application requirements, school hours, fees, items to prepare, uniform, daily activities, annual events and friendships with other parents.
One of the biggest differences between nursery school and kindergarten is that kids can enter nursery school from a much younger age (0-5 years) compared with kindergarten (3-5 years).
Another big difference was in school hours. Nursery school has longer weekday hours and can include Saturdays. In comparison, kindergarten has shorter daily hours and has summer, winter and spring vacations. Therefore, families where both parents are working full time tend to enter their child into nursery school whereas those with one parent working usually enter their child into kindergarten.
There are many differences between nursery school and kindergarten and the process of choosing the best option for your child and family can be complicated. Kazue and Naoko’s excellent presentation clearly and simply explained the key points parents need to know. Masako also explained to us about certified childcare centers and gave tips on how to choose the best option, based on her experience. We could learn a lot of useful information!
See the Link for the details of presentation.
Greetings in ChineseTinky from China, taught us some useful greetings in Chinese. “Zao shang hao”(=Good morning). “Ni hao” (=Good afternoon) and “ Wan shang hao ” (Good evening). We also learned “Xie xie” (=Thank you) and “Zai jian” (=Good bye).
Story TimeLastly, we had story time. Meg, from Australia, read the kids an Australian picture book called, “Where is Bear?” (“Kuma wa doko?”) in English, and Japanese mum Naoko, read it in Japanese. The story was about a little boy looking for his teddy bear. The kids enjoyed listening to the story in two languages.
Upcoming MeetingThe next Ichigo Ichie is to be held at Cafe Kokoraku on Sunday June 3rd. The theme will be “Children's sickness and seeing a doctor”. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the next Ichigo ichie!
(Reported by Meg. Photos by Jun)