If your child loves imaginary play, this felt sushi set is a great way to get them thinking like an itamae, or skilled sushi chef! It takes a bit of time to put together, but the result is hours of free play inspired by our Japan Unit Study for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade children. We’ve provided a few different tutorials below, so feel free to make as many or as few sushi pieces as you like!
What you need:
- hot glue gun + glue
- velcro dots
- needle + thread (optional, but recommended for durability)
What to do:
Felt Tuna Roll Tutorial
Step one: Cut out a 1-inch strip of red, white, and black felt as pictured. The red strip should be about 6 inches long, the white strip 8-10 inches, and the black about 8-10 inches. (Note: You can cut the white felt with a slightly scalloped edge to mimic the texture of rice.)
Step two: Roll the red strip, using hot glue as needed to hold the roll in place.
Step three: Wrap the white strip around the red roll, using hot glue as needed to hold in place. Trim white strip once desired “rice” thickness is reached.
Step four: Measure the black strip to the correct length to wrap around your rice + tuna sushi roll.
Step five: Cut a velcro dot in half and use to secure black strip in place. (This acts as the “seaweed wrap.”) You may want to sew the velcro dots in place on the black strip for extra durability during play.
Felt California Roll Tutorial
Step one: Cut strips of orange, green, and yellow felt, each 1-inch by 6 inches. Cut strips of white and black felt, each about 1-inch by 8-inches. (Note: You can cut the white felt with a slightly scalloped edge to mimic the texture of rice.)
Step two: Roll the orange, green, and yellow strips into individual rolls, using hot glue to secure the roll.
Step three: Hot glue the three colorful rolls together in a bundle, then wrap with white strip, using hot glue to secure.
Step four: Follow the same instructions from the tuna roll to create the seaweed wrap.
Felt Spicy Salmon Roll Tutorial
Step one: Cut two strips of orange and light orange felt, each about 1-inch wide by 6-inches long. Cut a strip of white and black felt, each about 1-inch wide by 8-inches long. (Note: You can cut the white felt with a slightly scalloped edge to mimic the texture of rice.)
Step two: Layer the two orange strips, using a line of hot glue to hold them together. Roll this stacked strip, using hot glue to secure.
Step three: Wrap this bundle in the white strip, using hot glue to secure.
Step four: Follow above instructions to create the seaweed wrap from the black strip.
Felt Nigiri Sushi Tutorial
Step one: Cut one to three strips of white felt, 2 inches wide by 6-8 inches long. Cut one strip of black felt about a half inch wide and 10-12 inches long. Using the above photo as inspiration, cut your nigiri “tuna,” “shrimp,” and “yellowtail fish.”
Step two: Fold the white strip accordion style (see photo) so it is about an inch wide. Use hot glue to secure the folds. Repeat as necessary to make rice for each nigiri option.
Step three: Layer your nigiri pieces over your rice folds and measure enough of the black strip to secure each together. Use half of a velcro dot to secure the black seaweed wrap. (You may want to sew the velcro dots in place for added durability during play.)
Felt Ginger Rose Tutorial
Step one: Cut a circle of light orange or peach-colored felt. Using the above picture as a guide, cut the circle into a spiral.
Step two: Starting from the thinnest part of the spiral, roll the felt strip inward creating a rose shape. Use hot glue frequently to secure the roll.
Felt Wasabi Tutorial
Step one: Cut 6-8 one-inch circles out of light green felt.
Step two: Fold each circle in half, securing with a dot of hot glue.
Step three: Fold these half circles in half again (creating quarters), securing with a dot of hot glue.
Step four: Arrange your quarters in a circle with the folded ends touching and use hot glue to attach them to each other as depicted in above circle.
If desired, you can use an additional piece of light green felt to create the “grass” used to separate sushi orders and a circle of black felt for your “soy sauce”!
Meshiagare! (AKA, bon appetit!)
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