Origami is a wonderful art form for teaching children about geometry as well as developing fine motor skills.
Sixteen years ago, I worked as a counselor at what had to be one of the world’s least organized summer camps for kids. The positive takeaway of what was overall a pretty miserable experience for counselors and, sadly, sometimes even campers, was a lifelong friendship with the two women I worked with. Last week G. came to visit and got my kids hooked on origami! We had dabbled in this art form a few times, but G. makes all sorts of amazing things. I was thrilled! Origami is a fun, mess-free activity for kids that builds spatial awareness and provides a foundation for geometry.
Origami Fun for Kids
Seven-year-old Johnny was especially enthusiastic, folding an entire zoo of origami animals and flowers. Those little folds make for excellent fine motor skills practice! They also help kids build their ability to pay attention to little details.
Six-year-old Lily received the My First Origami Kit (affiliate link) as a birthday present earlier this summer, and we discovered that the book that comes with that kit is our favorite in terms of providing clear, straightforward instructions. The book also covers a range of easy starter projects (like the fox above) to more complicated ones, and the paper it comes with is fun!
Nine-year-old Emma made a few simple origami projects and then started mixing origami creations with glued-on paper scraps and details added using a pen, like the woman above.
Do your kids have a favorite origami shape that we should try making?
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MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
14 thoughts on “Origami Fun for Kids”
How great to still have that friendship and to see your kids benefit from it!
I really love that the friendship has lasted all these years.
Origami is so fun! We haven’t tried anything complicated yet but it might be time. My daughter would love Emma’s idea of origami paper dolls :) Thanks for featuring our STEM movie post from last week too!
I’m so glad your kids enjoy origami too! My kids and I like to fold cranes and various other things. My son likes Shiruken throwing stars and weapons made from origami paper, but my girls like animals and boxes.
You can make pretty much anything out of a sheet of paper – it’s amazing!
A friend’s teen son with Aspergers does the most amazing origami I have seen! He produces things that bewilder me – how does he manage to make an echidna, for example, from a single piece of paper? Such a fascinating art form. I hope he shows my kids how to do it sometime.
Learning in person is definitely my favorite way to learn hands-on activities like origami, and it sounds like you have an excellent potential teacher!
I should try my kids on origami, they’d probably love it.
That kit I linked to is a great place to start. I know there are also some fun YouTube videos, but for some reason video tutorials frustrate me.
It’s always nice to find a book that gives clear folding instructions. We’ve dabbled with origami too, but I don’t think we have a favorite shape – there are just too many to choose from :)
I am always amazed at what can be made out of a single sheet of paper!
This is great that your kids could master techniques from someone who is good both with origami and with kids. My husband is excellent at origami, but he has trouble explaining it to our daughter :)
G. is pretty amazing.
A whole zoo, wow, made me think of AMNH’s holiday tree. We love origami too!
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