Sweet Pea is 5 years old.
From: I am a bit of an origami nerd. I will often make an origami crane to amuse Sweet Pea and lately I have been showing her how to create her own animals.
Prerequisite: Your child must be able to fold a sheet of paper and make a crease in it, which is a surprisingly difficult skill for a small child. The Kumon Let’s Fold book is a good option for a younger tot to practice folding.
- A medium sized sheet of origami paper. (Origami paper is perfectly square and usually colored on only one side. You can find it at Micheal’s or another craft store, but you can also make your own out of wrapping paper.)
- This simple dog only requires a few folds, but practice the steps below a few times before trying to explain it to your child.
- After you are comfortable making origami dog by yourself, sit next to your child and show her how to do it.
Observations: Sweet Pea had some difficulty the first couple of times, and especially needed my help with the ears at first, but soon was able to do the entire thing by herself.
Sweet Pea has probably made at least 20 origami dogs since I showed her this. She especially likes to
rope unsuspecting visitors into lengthy origami lessons show other people how to make them.
Origami is fantastic for developing fine motor control, spatial-relations skills and the ability to follow directions. I love origami and Sweet Pea has really taken to it, so I highly recommend this activity for any child in kindergarten or older.
Notes from the Trenches: It seems like all origami models have one step that requires special attention. I always refer to this as the “a miracle occurs step”. In the dog model, the tricky step is folding down the ears (box #4 in the picture above). Make sure that you fold them from the center of the upside down triangle and leave enough room between them to draw the dog’s face.
Rating: 4 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent, Frugal)