Sunday, November 7, 2010

Weekend Origami--In Which We Make Acorns

My daughter "had to" make origami acorns for next weekend's festival at school as homework.  I say "had to", because I've never seen a kid be so happy about homework:))  There is more than one way to fold an acorn, and this is the easiest version.  This is the kindergarten/first grade version that she's folding in the video below. 

You can use a full size sheet of origami paper, or 1/4size (purchased, or cut a full-size piece into fourths).  Cici is folding with a full-sized piece.  If you have children 3 to 6 years of age, this is doable origami-- meaning they could fold it without help after being shown.  My kids folded this version during the second year of kindergarten when they were 4-turning-5 years old.

First, fold a house !

Turn the house over, fold a flap up evenly to the bottom of the roof.  Fold the sides in even with the center fold.  Turn it back over, draw a face-- Owari! (All done!)  My daughter made over a dozen of these last night.

Mata asobou, ne!


  1. My son loves to do origami but since he also has that Y chromosome, he seems to lack the patience to do it well. In a twelve-year-old boy time is always of the essence.

    It would seem that activities like this teach a great deal of patience. Is this true Amy? Does it calm the mind? I'd be interested in anything that would slow him down a bit. He's the Big idea guy coming up with thirty ideas an hour and only slowly gaining patience to master even one. Part of his education needs to be the mastery of more patience.

    Any ideas?

  2. I do think Origami is calming. Over here, they start learning it very young (3 or 4 years old--from parents, grandparents, and at kindergarten). At that age, origami is marvelous for improving fine motor skills, plus refining attention to detail, and patience. But anybody can learn it at any age. What I put up yesterday is for really little ones, but there's another version of the acorn that's a little more complex. For myself, when I learn a new one that's hard at first, I find that I love that "Yatta!" (Did it!) feeling when I finally get it right. And more often than not, I get another paper out and make another, and another... If he's interested, I can certainly put up an easy and a harder one each time. Do you think he'd like to make a Ninja Throwing Star? My boys *love* that one (I discuss how I learned to make that one in the first origami post--click on the origami link in the labels and go back to the first one:))

    For patience and calming, a lot of people teach their kids knitting or crochet. I substitute taught in a sixth grade class one time for several weeks. Great kids--but one boy just could not control himself to save his life. Johnny Johnson. Will never forget that kid--sweet kid. Just could *not* sit still. One day I had some crochet with me that I was doing during reading time. During break, he came over and asked me to show him. So I did. And what do you know--that child sat there with a crochet hook and some yarn, quiet as a mouse for longer than I'd ever seen him do. Amazing. If your wife does either, consider teaching your son--I've taught all three of mine the rudimentary knit stitch (no choice--as soon as I take the knitting out,here comes somebody "Me, too, Mommy!").

  3. crud - the pics don't work on this computer - i'll have to check it out later on my laptop