Kids Origami: How to fold paper

Hi guys! This is going to be the first of many posts on one of my favorite subjects: folding paper!

I’m going to add a collection of tutorials and pictures over the next few weeks, but I wanted to get things started some tips that I give out to all the kids I teach.

  • If you mess up, don’t worry, that’s half the fun. I keep any weird shapes or animals that I make because often they inspire me to make something else in the future. It’s also a cool reminder to see what you were making in the past and how far you’ve come.
  • When folding the paper, it’s much easier to fold it away from you instead of at you.
  • If your hands are messy or you just ate, you’re going to want to wash them first.
  • Take your time! It’s not a race: Origami is all about enjoying the process, not just the result.
  • If you’re having trouble with a difficult fold, ask a friend to help out. Even if they aren’t good at folding paper it’s an opportunity for you teach them something new. Plus, you probably just need them to hold or pinch the paper, anyone can do that!
  • Use the largest sheet of paper you have for a difficult design. The larger the paper, the less accurate your folds will need to be!
  • Don’t be afraid to use your pretty or shiny paper because you’ll think you’ll mess up! If you’re really worried, you can try with plain paper first, but paper where each side is colored separately can make it a lot easier on you.

That’s it! If you’re looking for other resources, I definitely recommend the International Elf Service’s paper folding for kids. It has plenty of great tips and some good book recommendations, too.

As always, get in touch if you have any tips to add!

Origins of Different Types of Origami

I’ve always been fascinated by origami. You start with plain, flat squares of paper and transform them into incredible 3-dimensional shapes. The forms you can make are limited by the material chosen. By size, of course, but also by the physical properties of the paper itself.

I want to go over all of the different types of origami so that my students have a reference (hey guys!) in the future.

Origami is a compound Japanese word, from “ori”, to fold and “kami”, paper. So, it literally means to fold paper.  And it seems as though the Japanese began folding paper for ceremonial purposes as soon as they were introduced to paper in the 6th century.

There have been all sorts of origami developed and designed in the centuries since: from traditional origami to curved folds and origami composed of hundreds of individual units.

Traditional Origami

Traditionally, origami is made from a single, square sheet of paper, and is created without any tearing, cutting, tape, or glue. You know, a thousand paper cranes, each and every one the same.

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