Friday, September 05, 2008


I spoke to the teachers of my daughter's nursery the other morning. I had an idea that the kids would enjoy a bit of messy play by making onigiri, and I would lend my rice ball makers and cutters for them to have a play with. they said they'd need to discuss it. The next day I got the go ahead with great enthusiasm! So I'm quite chuffed to be able to share the fun of onigiri and bento with the preschool class.

This morning the Deputy Head Teacher (Assistant Principal) approached me and asked if I wouldn't mind coming in and doing a demonstration for the 7th grade class as well, as they are studying Japan this term. I said sure! While quietly bricking my pants.

Wee kids in kindergarten are one thing - but a class of eleven year olds? They'll want impressed! Right? I don't know how I can make rice balls impressive to pre-teens. I thought I could make a hand out, explaining origins of bento, the 4-3-2-1 nutrition, chyraben, ekiben, oekaki and bring in pictures of bento (Any Volunteers?!) and then just let them run riot with squishing rice and making an edible morning tea.

Trying to think of what food stuffs to bring. See most of these kids will think Japanese food = raw fish and that's it. They'll instantly be on the defensive and suspicious. (I work in a world of worst case scenarios, in case you were wondering). So ...any suggestions? Also this a nut/seed free environment so no sesame anything allowed. Makes furikake a bit dull.

Also, if it is a success and the kids really enjoy the demo, I can just imagine how many annoyed mothers will be glaring at me because their kids demand a bento lunch? Carrot butterflies? Are you mental?! Oh dear. Alright, I do get a sick wee pleasure out of that thought but that's just between you and me, ok?


Roxrocks said...

Aren't grade seven kids about 13 Lyvvie?

Tweens are easy to impress, just be anyone other than their parents and they will think you're cool!

BillieJoeIsCool said...

I know for a fact that in the supermarkets here, in the International Food Isle, there's a BUNCH of japanese foods, and also sweets [like candies]... some of their candies are good~ like the pocky! XD

there's actually a HUGE wiki list filled with japanese foods, just search "Japanese Dishes".. it includes rice dishes, sweets, and lots of other stuff. XD

Overboard said...

No nuts or seeds! WTF! They've made school so booooring in this day and age. I used to love watching others react to nuts or seeds. Their eyeballs would almost pop out of their heads and their lips would swell to the size of bananas and they'd be lying on the floor, struggling to breath.
Damn new rules!!
p.s I hope that the school is gonna pay you for your ingredients.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Roxrocks makes a great point.

Damn those nut allergies. They're everywhere.

Shelia said...

OMG... this will be way more fun than kindergartners! This is a fun, creative, age and they'll love all the possibilities! Take in your pictures and let them see all the fun ideas, along with some websites of other creative ideas so that they can go home and show their parents! I'm thinking parents of kids that age would be happy to be doing something other than ham/cheese sandwiches or paying the outrageous price of "hot lunch."

Roll with it... you'll do great and these kids have little expectations of adults anyway! They just want to be given the freedom to create and express themselves without judgment. You're the perfect person to do it!

Shelia said...

PS.. if my daughter were in that class, there would be crying coming home for sure! She's allergic to corn, rice, and sesame, so while she could be creative and have fun with it, she couldn't eat it.

She's seen the Bento lunches and pouts because she knows she can't have it. Corn starch is used in even the processing of some of the things, or modified food starch (which is also corn) and citric acid (corn!) so while it definitely won't KILL her, it just makes her feel like crap.

Still, she'd LOVE doing it and enjoy helping her sibs make bento lunches. Damn those allergies!

Jomamma (judith) said...

I was thinking if I had done this when I was working in the Kindergarten classroom we would have had to use Rice Krispy Treats for the onigiri and our nori would have been Fruit Roll-ups.

Maja said...

They'll love it, don't stress! They're still kiddies, just a bit more capable.

dianeinjapan said...

I agree with the other commenters--just go for it; you'll do fine! Once you get it straight with them that no raw fish will be involved, it should be smooth sailing. Gambatte--good luck!