Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

Koinobori crafted at Family Second Sunday on April 13

Koinobori crafted at Family Second Sunday on April 13

The Family Second Sunday series is one of the programs that I manage here at the Penn Museum, and it’s easily my favorite.  Each month from September through May, I get to create a craft inspired by an artifact or area of the world represented by the Museum.  Then I get to teach it to kids and parents who attend the program.

My philosophy is two-fold: 1) to design a craft that even the little ones, with the help of their grown-ups, could produce; 2) to provide multiple options for interpretation so that everyone walks away with a different-looking final product.

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It’s 1pm. Let the crafting begin!

In honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival and our lovely koi pond, I landed on a Japanese craft for April’s program.  Koinobori, meaning “carp streamer” in Japanese, are flown on Children’s Day, a national Japanese holiday celebrated on May 5.  Koi are a symbol of strength and courage in Japan.  Families fly the kites to represent each child.

The koi represents strength and courage in Japanese culture.

The koi represents strength and courage in Japanese culture.

With an 80 degree sunny day chock full of things to do in Philly, I was anticipating a slow day.  Boy, am I glad I was wrong!  Family Second Sunday was standing-room only within minutes.  Most families were invested in the crafts, spending about 20-30 minutes working on their kite.

First-time Family Second Sunday crafter Lucy proudly flies her koi kite

First-time Family Second Sunday crafter Lucy proudly flies her koi kite

Mara and Konrad, Family Second Sunday veterans, pose with their kites.  Mara and Konrad have been attending the program for the past two years and have made about 10 crafts.

Mara and Konrad, Family Second Sunday veterans, pose with their kites. Mara and Konrad have been attending the program for the past two years and have made about 10 crafts.

I hope to see you Sunday, May 11 for the last Family Second Sunday of the season.  Family Second Sundays are free with admission.  Head over to the Kintner Gallery and stop in anytime between 1pm-4pm.

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