Children's Day


Children's Day (Kodomo no hi) is celebrated on 5th May in Japan. It is a national holiday on which all children are celebrated and their mothers are honoured.

Some Children's Day Customs

Until recently, 5th May was known as Boy's Day (Tango no Sekku, or the Feast of Banners), so many of the traditional celebrations on Children's Day come from Boy's Day.


Koinobori, or carp kites, are hung outside houses on Children's Day. Find out what they symbolise and try our printables and crafts.

Families with boys hang colourful carp kites, called Koinobori, outside their houses. The kites...

Noble Warriors!

The Samurai were the most noble warriors of Japan, and the Samurai Helmet which they wore also symbolizes strength and courage and is often worn by boys on Children's Day. Visit our Samurai page to find out how to make your own helmet and how to fold an origami one.

The Samurai were the most noble warriors of Japan, and the Samurai Helmet which they wore also...

A Surprising Tradition?

The Japanese iris - a spring flower - is associated with Children's Day because many years ago it's strong smell was said to ward off evil spirits - and keep them away from the boys of the family. Japanese families used to take baths with iris petals on Children's Day for protection.

Just a few printable activities here so far, celebrating the lovely iris - a spring flower with...


More Ideas for Children's Day

These ideas aren't particularly associated with Children's Day, but if you are using it as an excuse to learn more about Japan, they are a fun way to do so.

A Very Special Little Girl

Learn about a little girl called Sadako Sasaki, and discover how she inspired this beautiful monument to world peace, the Children's Peace Monument, many years ago. The monument was unveiled on Children's Day 1958 and is visited by thousands of children each year.

Sadako Sasaki was a Japanese girl who lived in Hiroshima, in Japan. In August 1945, when she was...

Traditional Wooden Dolls

These oh-so-cute wooden dolls date back about 300 years and appeal to all ages. We've got some pretty new kokeshi doll activities and printables here at Activity Village.

Kokeshi are a traditional Japanese wooden doll, with simple painted face and one-piece body. The...

Cherry Blossom

The arrival of cherry blossom in Spring in Japan is a signal for getting outdoors, enjoying picnics and visiting parks with friends and family. In early May many parts of Japan will still be in blossom.

Blossom trees are much prized in both China and Japan and linked closely with spring festivals....

Learn More About Japan

Expand your knowledge of Japan and Japanese culture by visiting our "Japan for Kids" theme, and try your hand at some more Japanese related crafts, play some traditional Japanese games, and enjoy our colouring pages and printables.

Learning about different cultures is always a good thing, and the internet brings so many...

Colouring Activities

Print out some of these lovely Japan-themed colouring pages for the kids to enjoy!

We are just making a start with our Japan colouring pages, but we hope you enjoy what we have...

A Japanese Craft

Visit our origami section for traditional Japanese origami models (and lots of new origami designs, perfect for kids, too).

Origami is a fascinating and creative craft for kids, especially if you can find origami models...

Play a Game!

Why not introduce a traditional Japanese game into the classroom or home - such a fun way to learn about Japan and Japanese children.

Try some of these traditional Japanese games with your kids for ...

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