The Korean arts can often get lost amongst the sea of Japanese and Chinese arts, culture and traditions. However, Korea has a rich culture of its own and likewise has a plethora of arts that you can translate into crafts for children. The crafts can also become educational tools to simultaneously teach children participating in the arts and crafts about Korean culture.
Weave baskets, mats and other decorative pieces of art from wancho, a common reed found in Korea. A flat, simple product, such as a mat, potholder or placemat, will be easier for young children to create than more complex structures such as a basket. Wancho is typically found in rice paddies and marsh lands in Korea and is described as sleek and soft though durable and milky in colour. Koreans typically weave containers and floor mats from this reed. For materials, use long, thin sturdy reeds, or use an artificial substitute, such as yarn or strips of felt.
Korea is known for their ceramic pottery. Japanese pottery is known for its modern and sleek appearance and Chinese pottery for its bright colours and large size. Korean pottery is typically white, simple and natural in appearance, the pottery is often adorned with paintings of flowers and plants. Have children mould their own pottery out of clay. Once they have reached the intended design, bake the clay as directed on the packaging. Afterward, paint the pottery white. Once the white paint has dried, add a few subtle splashes of colour with floral markings and designs resembling Korean styles. Set out pictures or samples of Korean pottery for the kids to imitate.
A popular art and instrument in Korea is the bamboo fan. Children can create their own version, using construction paper instead of bamboo. Have the children decorate two pieces of paper with designs and floral patterns similar to the pottery ones. Or print colour copies of Korean art to use as the fan paper. Lay out several strips of bamboo wood on the inside, undecorated side of one sheet of paper gluing them in place about an inch or more apart. The strips of bamboo should be roughly an inch or two shorter than the length of a paper, so you can later create a handle. Place glue on top of the bamboo wood and lay the second decorated sheet on top with the colourful side up. Then fold the paper and wood width-wise accordion style, with approximately half-inch pleats. Once finished and unfolded, pinch the bottom of the fan and fold it over to create a handle. Glue or tape the handle in place.
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