It is always fun to come up with new things to do with the kids, and sometimes it is more fun to recycle the the things we used to do as kids ourselves. Origami is one of those things from my childhood that makes an appearance in our lives at least twice a year. Typically, it starts with my son asking me to fold an airplane, and that starts me in again on folding.
Origami opens a door to a culture that my children may not otherwise get to learn much about, and it does so with arts and crafts which is an immediate hook to their attention! As of January 31, 2014, the Chinese New Year 4712 begins. This year is the Year of the Horse, and after a little net surfing, I came upon a site that had easy to follow instructions for a simple origami horse. The site, origami-fun.com is one of many, free sites that have step by step instructions, and it is also one of the sites that has video. We used it to make the horse, and a few more.
Many designs with specify a paper type to use, but I have found that quality origami paper can be expensive. So, I found a large book of scrapbooking paper at Michael’s and figured “Hey! This is square and pretty thin, why not give it a shot?” Lo and behold – for the basic designs of horse, crane, dog, etc. – it works pretty well. For my son’s horse, I cut a piece of computer paper into a square and let him color it however he wanted.I have also encouraged him to make his own cards for Valentine’s this year, and as it so happens, there are plenty to choose from. Origami-Instructions.com has plenty of them: hearts, hearts with wings, hearts with patterns. I see many a wrinkly paper in my future!
For those who may be torn on what to gift people, fancy folded money is sure to bring a smile!
The art of origami is especially helpful in my home, where we are trying to teach the importance of following steps. As a plus, kids and adults get a nifty 3D papercraft to enjoy as a benefit of taking their time and following directions.