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Who does not love the magic and excitement of turning a piece of paper into something useful or a toy or a lovely decor item? Origami is the most exciting of all papercrafts. Origami is a captivating craft – all it requires is one square of paper that can be turned into so many things. No scissors or glue required!
Origami is not just fun but has immense educational and developmental benefits – for children, even as young as preschoolers, as well as adults. This ancient art of paper folding, has applications in the modern-day classroom for teaching geometry, thinking skills, fractions, problem-solving, and fun science.
Benefits of Origami
- Origami is very very affordable. All you need is paper!
2. Dabbling in Origami requires both hands to be used together and this stimulates the brain. It helps develop eye-hand coordination, sequencing skills, maths reasoning, spatial skills, memory, patience and attention skills. It allows you to develop fine motor skills, attention, focus, and concentration.
3. Origami sessions as a group helps children learn to work together, teach and learn from one another. It also teaches about other cultures. Origami also has therapeutic uses.
4. With practice, origami can become a form of focused attention meditation, and this has been shown to stabilize the mind and promote calmness.
5. Old or young, Origami is for everyone. It can be learnt at any age, from preschoolers to adults. Origami projects vary in levels of difficulty and this makes it ideal for anyone to learn it easily.
6. There is a strong connection between Origami and Mathematics (Origamics: Mathematical Explorations Through Paper Folding) and is a practical and artistic way to explore Math concepts. Shapes, Symmetry, Geometry, Fractions, Measurements, sequencing and many more concepts can be taught with Origami.
7. Origami kindles creativity, 3D perception, logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Origami provides children an opportunity to solve something that isn’t prescribed and gives them a chance to make friends with failure (i.e. trial and error). It has been shown to improve spatial visualization skills using hands-on learning.
8. Origami offers a positive learning experience and is a great way to merge science, technology, engineering, art, and math all together!
9. Origami is an extremely satisfying hobby and a great skill to learn. It can be a group activity but can also be an individual activity. It can also be a great way for families to bond. Promotes a feeling of achievement and well being!
10. Origami is an extremely flexible and convenient activity. Not only is it suitable for all ages and abilities, but it can be practiced anywhere and requires no tools. It’s results are visible in minutes and is a great opportunity for fun.
Get your children started on Origami
Depending on how old your kids are, they may need your help to complete some origami projects. Here are some tips to guide your children into the world of Origami.
- Show them an example of the finished product and how it is created.
- Print out the diagrams to have the instructions on-hand while you complete the project.
- Let your child choose the color/type of origami paper and what they want to make
- Start with simple origami (like those with only 2 folds)
- Be patient and wait until your child has finished the step they’re on before moving on to the next.
- It’s ideal to sit next to children while teaching origami because if you are sitting on the opposite side, the origami is upside-down to them.
- Remind your kids that the neater their folds are at the start, the better the project will turn out.
Origami, Modular Origami, and Kirigami
There are different approaches to origami. Origami is mostly folding, with at most a few cuts, but no paper is cut away. In Kirigami, artists combine cutting and folding to create their designs. In the modular type. Here, artists use multiple sheets of paper to create complex designs. Each individual sheet is folded into a module or unit. These units are then folded together to create one larger design.
Best Sites for Origami
- Origami Resource Center – has loads of resources for Origami enthusiasts
- Origami Fun – A great site for those new to origami. It has origami tutorials in downloadable PDF as well as an Origami for Kids section.
- Origami Instructions – It contains more than 300 step by step tutorials with images and some with videos.
- Origami Nut – a collection of mostly intermediate and hard origami. The collection includes starts, boxes, diagrams, strip origami and more.
- PaperFolding.com – A collection of origami resources. It contains tutorials and articles as well as links relating origami to mathematics.
- HappyFolding – This has loads of great diagrams and video instructions
There are plenty of wonderful applications for Origami – paper toys, decorations and more – there is something for everyone!!! You can check out these projects to start your Origami journey with.
Hopefully, these benefits will kindle in you a desire to give Origami a try!