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Carp Kites - Koinobori

On children’s day (May 5th) in Japan, families with children hang carp kites outside their homes: one for each child. The carp in Japan represents strength and determination.

Three kites hanging on the wall, they are known as the Carp kites in Japan.


  • Large white copy paper
  • Shiny patterned wrapping paper or streamer paper
  • Markers
  • Double-sided tape
  • Chopstick, popsicle stick, or dowel
  • Red yarn
White paper with a fish shape cut on it.


  • Cut a large fish shape out of large white paper. There is no need to add the tail shape: it will come later. Extend the top for hanging. See image.
  • Cut fin shapes out of wrapping paper or streamers. You can mix and match designs and colours as desired.
  • Cut a tail shape out of coordinating wrapping paper.
  • Lay out strips of double-sided tape, or apply glue, in lines across the fish body. Stick scales onto the adhesive in rows. Leave a small area of the top blank for the face.
  • Attach the tail to the bottom of the fish.
  • Using markers, decorate the face of the carp.
  • Roll the end of the mouth around the stick and secure in place.
  • Tie red yarn to each end of the stick to create a loop to hang your kite.

TIP: Streamers are the perfect width for scales so they are convenient to cut out. Wrapping paper, on the other hand, may provide some broader options for shine or pattern.