Delightfully Easy Origami Activities for Kids

How origami originated
Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper. Origami creates interests in minds of people who love craft activities even today. This art and crafts activity is enjoyed by children who love making their own special objects from paper.
Origami is a Japanese art of paper-folding. 'Ori' means folding and 'kami' means paper in Japanese. Although it is taken for granted that origami must have originated in Japan; this is not the actual case. Origami originated in ancient China around first century AD and it was introduced in Japan by Chinese travelers. This Chinese art of paper-folding soon caught fancy of the Japanese who developed various origami shapes.

Origami was practiced only by the wealthy Japanese noblemen. As paper was expensive during that period, it was used by the affluent Japanese to show their skill and wealth. The Samurai would exchange gifts of folded paper with a strip of dried fish or meat, known as 'noshi'. This was considered as a good luck token. The Shinto noblemen celebrated weddings by wrapping glasses of rice wine in butterfly shaped origami representing the bride and groom.

As time passed, paper became less expensive. People from different social backgrounds could practice the art of origami. The origami instructions were passed on orally from mother to daughter, generation to generation. There were no written manuscripts of origami instructions due to high rate of illiteracy and most families didn't want their ideas to be copied by others. The first book, Hiden Senbazuru Orikata (The Secret of One Thousand Cranes Origami), containing origami instructions was published in 1797. In 1819, a woodblock print was made entitled, A Magician Turns Sheets of Birds, showing birds being made from paper. Window on Midwinter was published in 1845, that included 150 origami models.

The following are a few easy origami ideas that can be used as a craft activity for children.
Origami Swan
Origami Swan
Take a square sheet of paper and fold the paper diagonally and press the paper to form a crease. Unfold the paper and fold the lower edges of the square into the crease. Flip the paper and fold pointed corners over the crease. Now fold the pointed edge upwards into half. Fold the pointed corner downwards about half an inch to make the swan head. Fold the swan into half over the crease. Your origami swan is ready.
Origami Puppy
Origami Puppy
Take a square piece of paper, and fold the paper diagonally to form a triangle. Hold the triangle with the pointed edge facing downwards. Fold the tip of the bottom point to make the puppy's chin. Fold the other pointed edges downwards to make the puppy's ears. Draw eyes, nose and mouth to create the puppy's face.
Origami Hat
Origami Hat
Take a rectangular sheet of paper and fold it horizontally into two equal parts. From the corner of the closed end, fold about 2/3rd parts of the paper. This will bring the top corners together at the center of the paper. Your paper will now appear triangular in shape. With the help of your thumbs, fold the bottom end of the paper upwards from the open end. Turn the sheet over and repeat the step for the other bottom edge. Now, open your hat from the bottom center and enjoy wearing it.
Origami Jumping Frog
Origami Jumping Frog
Take a 3 x 5 inch piece of paper. Fold one side of the paper to about a third of the paper size. Unfold the paper and fold the top corner in alignment to the crease formed. Take the other top corner and fold it on the other side. Unfold the paper and you'll have some creases on the paper. Now push the sides of the top area inside till it makes a triangle on the top of the paper. Take the top layer of the upper triangle and fold each side upwards.
The side corners of the triangle should be folded towards the middle to form the front legs of the frog. Turn your paper and fold the sides towards the middle. Fold the bottom portion by bringing the bottom edge towards the top forming a triangle. Now the bottom edge should be folded such that it meets the precious fold line making an accordion-like fold. Flip the paper and draw eyes and color your frog. Press the back of the frog and make it jump!
Origami Hearts
Origami Hearts
Fold a square paper into half diagonally. Unfold the paper and cut along the center line. This will make two triangles. Fold one triangle into half, press hard to create a crease and then unfold the triangle. Place the triangle on your work table with the long edge facing towards you. Fold the triangle about 2/3rd of the way from the top point. Fold each side point upward, so that the folds line-up with the previous crease.
The paper now looks like a diamond with a slit in the middle. Flip the paper over and fold each of the two top points down and towards the side. Thus, the edge of the fold lines up with the top of the back paper. Your origami heart is ready.
Try these easy origami for kids and get started with this fun craft activity. I am sure you'll soon get hooked on to this creative and skillful activity. But keep in mind you don't waste paper. Even the Japanese use every tiny bit of leftover paper to create an origami. This simple paper-folding craft tickles the gray cells of every person with a creative side. Show your kids a few easy origami designs and watch them have fun for hours. The land of the rising sun has given rise to a global paper craft symbol through origami.
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