Chinese New Year is fast approaching & in celebration the students in PJ’s Kindergarten class are learning about Chinese culture. They have been studying their history, the food, the traditions, the Zodiac signs as well their alphabet. Last week PJ brought home the most intricate handmade books in which he had written the Chinese symbols & numbers, including the English translations. He was so proud of his precise work. This was the perfect time for me to bring out our Sumi-E board so he could practice. I love how the surface is delicately lined with rice paper so all you need is a brush, water and your imagination. It is so simple, just dip your brush in water, make a soft stroke on the board and it will look just like an ink mark. The best part is that it will evaporate in a few minutes, leaving a clear, dry surface to use over and over again. It also comes with a Kanji symbol chart so they can learn to read and draw the words. The Sumi-E board is a magical educational tool because it emulates the ancient tradition of Chinese writing while producing miniature works of art! PJ practiced for nearly 45 minutes, uninterrupted; a great lesson in concentration and visual meditation. Even the symbols imprinted on the brush translate to “From the Heart to the Hand”.