Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend Origami

Oohhh--yeah, Origami!  I'll teach my daughter(son) how to fold a crane, and sit there radiating smugness while s/he unconsciously gains important fine motor and geometric-spatial skills! (Ick! Quit that!)

And then your 3-year-old...wads the paper into a ball...wants to tear it to bits...throws a tantrum because s/he "can't!"...

Ok--so how about the simple kind?  The kind my kids learned to do in kindergarten.  As in, fold a sqare in half for a mountain.  Really, that's how they start out over here (with 3-year-olds, some of whom are still in diapers, so how hard can they make it?), with really young kids using regular origami paper which is cheap (dollar shop) here, but  possibly not so (or not readily available) in other countries.  No worries--thin catalogue paper works just fine, as does newspaper.  My kids' teachers used both of those at Yochien (kindergarten), too.  Start simple--no need to give yourself a headache trying to fold something out of a book with 47 steps.  How about 3?

My oldest son used to come home at least once a week with an intricately folded "shuriken" ("throwing star"-all the boys want those) made from two pieces of paper torn from a catalogue.  His two-year-old brother, of course, coveted it as soon as he saw it.  And, not knowing what to actually *do* with it, pulled it halfway apart--resulting in much wailing, smiting (of younger brother), and pleas to mommy to "fix it".  No clue.  Major headache.  I had to get a japanese origami book, look up a bunch of words, and learn how to fold the fool thing myself just to achieve a temporary cease-fire.  Maybe I should have started kindergarten myself...
I'll post the shuriken later-- it's fun to fold side-by-side with your kindergartner once they can fold simpler things evenly.  By "kindergartner", I mean third year, like a 5 1/2 or 6-year-old.

So, let's make a house!  Or, heck, a whole street of houses, big ones and little ones, decorated to taste.  Make them stand-alone, or glue them onto a piece of construction paper, as you like.  It's Saturday for me here in Tomorrowland, but for anybody reading this from the Western Hemisphere, why it's still Friday, so you get a little jump on the weekend.  Figure it out *before* the weekend,eh. 

1) fold a thin square in half, and unfold (guide fold made)
2)fold the top corner down, lining up the edge of the paper with the guide fold.
3)fold the other corner down, trying not to have a white space in the middle.
4)et voila!  A house.  Draw a door, some windows, whatever you like.  Glue down the flaps, or not.
    Leave the roof flaps loose and draw surpises underneath.  Have fun!  Photos below:

Next time,  Origami Ice Cream!! Or Tulips...decide later:)  So fold away, and just have fun.  Brush the child psych experts off your shoulder, and tell the early childhood specialists to shove off.  

Mata asobou, ne!


  1. Oooh, ice cream or tulip next...? Hard to decide! This will be a fun feature!

  2. Thanks! I hope so. Hope maybe eventually some other people will come and see. Thanks for commenting--feels like Christmas!:)) I hope you don't mind me commenting so much on your blog--it's really fun. I feel like I know somebody famous since you have Followers...(ooh!ooh! dat's *my* sister!! so proud I could jus' bust!) Your blog is cool looking--I almost picked the Son of Moto template, too, but the green didn't match the photos I wanted to use. Took a while to figure out which template would work. I'm thinking ice cream, then tulip, then maybe soda and straw. Later, a cell phone:)

  3. Ooooh, soda and straw, and cell phone? FUN! I love your header photo too-- sooo pretty, good job!

    Oh and I don't mind the comments at all! I can't tell you how many times I check my blog to see if there is a new comment (blushes guiltily)

  4. I posted a link to you on my sidebar-- under the 'Worthy Distractions' sections, because I think you're pretty darn worthy :-)))

  5. Wow! Tanks!! I wuv my sister. She's so cool. I'm so excited!