Carp Kites

Families with boys hang colourful carp kites, called Koinobori, outside their houses. The kites flutter in the wind and look beautiful, as you can see in the photo above! In Japanese culture, the carp (or koi) represents courage and perseverance, as the fish is known for its strength and determination as it swims against the current upstream.

One of visitors, Miyuki, wrote in to give me more information about the flying of carp kites:

"Traditionally, Magoi (black carp) represented Father and Higoi (red carp) represented children. However, in the current tradition of Koinobori, Black Carp represents father because the colour represents the strength, Red Carp represents mother meaning the birth, green or blue carp represents the boys and pink or orange represents girls in the family."

Our Carp Kite Activities

Carp Kite Craft

Carp Kite Craft

Carp kite, or koinobori, are kites in the shape of carp fish, which are hung outside houses by families on Children's Day in Japan. In Japanese the carp stands for strength and courage.

Copy the Koinobori

Copy the Koinobori

This fun activity uses a flagpole of koinobori (carp kites) and asks the children to colour in the picture on the right using the same colours as our coloured version on the left.

Koi Carp Writing Paper

Koi Carp Writing Paper

Modelled on a carp kite our koi carp writing paper is perfect for Children's Day writing projects or for learning about Japanese culture. We have two versions available to print - one pink, one blue.  

Koinobori Colour Sorting

Koinobori Colour Sorting

Cut out our colourful carp kites in various sizes and then stick them onto the correct sorting pages which are included in this fun colour sorting printable.

Koinobori Colouring Page

Koinobori Colouring Page

It was traditional in Japan to fly koinobori (Carp kites) like these on Children's Day. Make them bright and colourful! You could cut them out and "fly" them on a chopstick flagpole, if you like!

Koinobori Greeting Card 3

Koinobori Greeting Card 3

Print out this pretty greetings card onto good paper or printer card and fold in half. It's a quick and easy activity for Children's Day. Of course the kids should write a message inside!

Koinobori Kites Colouring Card

Koinobori Kites Colouring Card

Colour in this picture of carp kites flying in the wind for Children's Day. Print using borderless settings if possible and simply fold in half when you've finished colouring.

Koinobori Page Border

Koinobori Page Border

Our cheerful koinobori page border comes in three variations: lined, half lined, and blank. Find them all below. Perfect for your Japan topic or Children's Day.

Koinobori Playdough Mat

Koinobori Playdough Mat

Print out this playdough mat for Children's Day and laminate it for repeat use if you wish. Now get the kids to make some playdough carp kites to hand from the flagpole!

Koinobori Size Ordering

Koinobori Size Ordering

Cut out the carp kites and then stick them in size order on the flagpole page - a fun size ordering activity for Children's Day or your Japan topic.

Koinobori Story Paper

Koinobori Story Paper

Here's a fun way to write about the tradition of flying carp kites in Japan for Children's Day. Colour the picture in, and write on the right.

Koinobori Writing Paper

Koinobori Writing Paper

This writing paper featuring colourful carp kites is perfect for your Children's Day writing projects or for your Japan topic in general.

Origami Carp Kite

Origami Carp Kite

On Children's Day in Japan, families hang out an array of colourful carp kites to symbolize their children growing up healthy, determined and strong.

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