STEAM Learning Lab – Kadomatsu

Kadomatsu
Ages 2 and up

The tradition of Kadomatsu has been around a long time. Connecting to the Shinto concept of kami, Kadomatsu are decorations that people place outside their front door from December 26-January 7th. Made from local materials like bamboo, pine and ume tree springs, Kadomatsu show excitement for the New Year and also a connection to nature. Traditionally, Katomatsu are placed in pairs. After the 7th people burn or dispose of these decorations, as keeping them up longer might make them unlucky.

We are just in time to make our own Kadomatsu inspired art! Many people still take to the woods in Japan to find their own pine and other greenery for making Kadomatsu. Now is a great time to explore the wilderness around your house to locate some evergreen branches. Evergreen branches are a great way to connect with nature during the cold winter months and there are many different varieties that are grown around Utah. Each variety boasts its own unique arrangement and needle texture.

Materials:

  • Paint
  • Evergreen branches tip using several different varieties will make this project extra fun
  • Paper

Directions:

  1. Collect small branches from different evergreen trees
  2. Dip the branches in paint and then press them gently in the paint
  3. Push branches (softly) on the paper to see the imprint of the pine branch.

More Fun:

  • Check out this tour of a Japanese home decked out for New Years!
  • Listen to some Japanese Music here!
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