Among the most popular educational toys we can find paper figures that are the result of origami. It is an artistic activity in which the child creates different forms of animals, flowers and objects that surround him in order to invent games to share with his family and friends.
The art of paper origami is estimated to be about 2,000 years old and was born in China, however, it came to Japan in the 6th century and became part of Japanese culture. In fact, it is still a tradition today, so the knowledge of how to make origami is passed down from one generation to another.
Currently, the art of making origami figures is widespread in the Western world, but with some variations, for example, in the purest Japanese technique it is forbidden to cut paper and it is not allowed to use any type of glue to make the figures. figures, while in countries such as Spain and the United States it is possible to make changes and intervene in the paper in order to facilitate the work and obtain a better result. Even so, there are techniques practiced by origami professionals who were born in the West and are very demanding, so that the decision on how to make paper figures remains in our hands.
In this case we want to focus on origami for children, since it is an especially beneficial activity for the smallest of the house. The idea is to mention some of the most important advantages of origami for children and help you make a couple of paper figures.
Advantages of practicing origami with children
Creating paper figures is not only a fun activity and an excuse to spend quality time with children, but it also has a number of benefits for their development. First of all, we must mention that this art requires a certain mental effort of concentration and attention, since it involves a series of consecutive steps that if not carried out correctly, the results will not be as expected. In this sense, origami invites children to stay alert all the time and pay attention to adult instructions. In addition, being focused for a long time on an activity can be favorable for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
On the other hand, performing origami step by step can help improve hand and eye coordination, as well as fine motor skills, since this activity requires very small and precise movements. In this sense, it serves as a preparation method for handwriting, thanks to the fact that it helps to develop similar skills.
We must mention that making animals and other figures with origami requires children to use their memory, because the first time they will have all the instructions with the help of the parents or through a children’s video, however, in the following occasions If you want to create the same paper object you will need to remember how to do it, then the point will come where you can do it completely on your own.
Another advantage of easy origami for children is the possibility of exercising patience, that is, learning to wait calmly and put up with mistakes to obtain a good result. In this sense, it is possible that the figure does not turn out well on the first attempt, so the child must be constant until they achieve their goal. It is a fun way to learn that in life, the more work something costs us, the greater the feeling of fulfillment when we achieve it.
Also, making origami step by step is a stimulus to imagination and creativity, not only because of the production process, but also because the constructed figures generally become characters from children’s games, thus imagining adventures of heroes and villains to share with relatives and other children.
Although it is true that when children do not know how to make origami they need to dedicate work and effort to achieve the desired figures, it is also true that many children find origami easy and even a relaxing activity, which fills them with tranquility and allows them to forget situations that cause them stress, all this while learning spatial concepts, such as in front, behind, above, below, etc. In this sense, the recommended age to start making paper figures is from 5 years old.
Some simple ideas to make origami with children
If you want to make a quick and easy origami with the little ones in the house, you may be interested in these ideas of little animals. It is a dog face and a rabbit face, for which you will only need sheets of paper and a marker. In this case, you can do without the glue, so they are simple figures and comply with Japanese standards.
You can make this easy origami step by step, you just have to select a completely square sheet of paper. The first thing is to fold the paper in half, joining two of its points, like a right triangle, which in turn you must fold in half, but only so that there is a crease in the center. Next, you must fold the two points down to form the dog’s ears, and then fold the third point up, thus creating the snout. Finally, with a marker you can draw the eyes and nose of the dog.
Fold a square sheet in half, joining the ends to form a right triangle. Next, you need to make a fold in the middle of the triangle, but without folding it all the way. Then, on the longest side you must make a tab by folding it up, as if you were making a boat. In the same way, following the center mark, you must raise the tips of the tab, creating a diamond. Thus, when turning the figure over, you will see that the rabbit’s ears are already there. To make them more visible, you should fold the top point of the diamond inwards and the bottom point backwards, creating a hexagon. To finish, you can use a black marker to make the eyes and a red one for the rabbit’s nose.