Enjoying Cherry Blossoms with your kids because Nature is the great classroom!
Literature, legends and art bloom with FLOWERS, from lovely little nursery rhymes to sophisticated epic poetry and great myths and masterpieces. Knowing the names of flowers, the references to flowers, the symbols of flowers, the language of flowers gives kids a blooming head start in understanding literature and enhancing literacy.
The Cherry Blossom ~ so lovely, so glorious, so transient as it blooms en masse and then passes quickly, welcoming us into its rich symbolism of mortality.
The Cherry Blossom gives us a beautiful glimpse into life itself, and it’s no wonder that people from around the world await its blossoms to appear. In Japan, picnicking or partying under a blossoming Cherry Tree is a lovely tradition called Hanami… translation, flower blooming. The trees are decorated with paper lanterns and everyone waits for the first Cherry Blossoms to appear so the great celebration can begin. The Cherry Blossom itself is often called sakura.
There is also the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. In 1912, the people of Japan sent 3,020 Cherry Trees to the United States as a gift of friendship. First Lady Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted 2 of these Cherry Trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin. These two original trees are still standing today near the John Paul Jones statue at the south end of 17th Street. Workmen planted the remainder of the trees around the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park. Today, there are nearly 4,000 Cherry Trees located around the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park (Hains Point), and on the grounds of the Washington Monument.
Head out today with your kids in search of a blossoming Cherry Tree. Why not hang a decorative paper lantern from its branches and celebrate Hanami. If the Cherry Blossoms have passed where you are, draw lovely Cherry Blossoms and hang them in your home or yard for your own version of Hanami.
Tell your kids about Cherry Blossoms, Hanami, the gift of the National Cherry Trees and how the Cherry Blossom symbolizes LIFE itself. The Cherry Blossom itself may last but a few precious days, but the joy it brings and the history it embodies are immeasurable.
You may try your minds and heart at writing poems to celebrate the Cherry Blossom, too. Enjoy the inspiration of these noted Japanese poets ~
Temple bells die out.
The fragrant blossoms remain.
A perfect evening!
when cherry blossoms
A falling flower, thought I
Fluttering back to the branch
Was a butterfly
Enjoy each bloomin’ moment of Life and learning with your children!