how we learn origami

intro to origami

Origami is an ancient art form that is believed to have been around for nearly 2000 years, derived from the Japanese tradition of paper-folding. Though they were not the first to experiment with the culture of paper-folding, they were the first to use this technique as a style of art. As you can imagine, it’s had quite a lucrative history and is deeply embedded in Japanese culture. Here are a few interesting things you may not have known about the origins of Origami. 

1. It wasn’t always called Origami

Orikata, Name, Origami, Art form, Paper Folding, Origins, History, Facts

For the initial 1500 years or so of its existence, origami was actually known as orikata, a Japanese word that translates to “Folded Paper”. It was in 1880 that the name of the art form was changed to origami, derived from two Japanese words; oru, meaning to fold, and kami, meaning paper. The reason for the change in this term has been attributed to the easiness of writing the characters for this word, which made it more viable to teach to school children.  

2. Origami was first only practiced by the Elite

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Paper was originally created sometime around 100 A.D. While paper is considered a common and cheap commodity now, at the time of its conception, the resources required to create paper were not as easily available. Paper was an expensive and rare commodity, so those engaging in the art of traditional paper folding was usually an art left for the elite rungs of society. Conversely, it was also used by Buddhist Monks for religious purposes. It only later became a practice open to the public.

3. It is a major part of Japanese Wedding Rituals

Wedding, rituals, cranes, Origami, Art form, Paper Folding, Origins, History, Facts

 

Speaking of surprising uses, one very important function origami plays is in Japanese Wedding Rituals. Origami Butterflies and other simple designs are often given along with gifts and paper wrapping, but most important is the presentation of 1000 paper cranes.

There are two manners in which this marriage tradition is known to be carried out. The first is the practice of sembazuru, an age-old ritual in which the soon-to-be-wed couple folds the cranes themselves, to be strung up and decorate their wedding hall. Another tradition that used to be followed was the gifting of 1000 cranes to the bride-to-be from her father. These traditions come from the belief that folding of 1000 cranes would grant the holder with one special wish.  

4. The first book about Origami was written in 1797

First Book, Akisato Rito, Akira Yoshizawa, Paper boat, Origami, Art form, Paper Folding, Origins, History, Facts

The first book ever published about Origami was entitled “Sembazuru Orikata” (Thousand Crane Folding), and was largely about the timeless custom of folding a 1000 paper cranes for traditional weddings. Written by Akisato Rito, the book speaks of the legend behind the wish granted by folding this gargantuan number of cranes.

The most famous book, however, on origami was published by Akira Yoshizawa, also known as the face of origami and the ‘grandmaster’ of origami. Yoshizawa was inspired as a child when a young girl gifted him a paper boat. The book is entitled Atarashi Origami Geijutsu (New Origami Art) and gives an in-depth look at the symbolism behind the art form.  

5. Origami Used to be gifted by Samurai to each other

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(By Indiana jo, Wikimedia Commons)  

As a good luck token for all the future dangers to be faced, Samurais commonly used to present gifts of origami to each other. These gifts were usually a type of ceremonial origami, folded from multiple pieces of paper into intricate shapes and presented along with a strip of dried fish or meat, to signify “good wishes”.

This tradition was originally called “noshi awabi”, and eventually came to be known as simply “noshi”. Over time, the strips of meat or abalone were abandoned and the folded masterpiece itself became the entire gift. 

 

 

Let the folding fun begin! There is a whole bunch of amazing (and easy) origami for kids projects waiting for you on this page – all of these have a step by step tutorials showing how to make them!

I’m sure you are going to love each and every one of the projects featured as all of them are oh so pretty!

Origami for Kids - A bunch of easy origami for kids tutorials with step by step instructions.

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A ton of super awesome origami for kids projects!

You can do these with any kind of paper although I really, really recommend you use origami paper and you can even get a patterned origami paper which is beyond adorable!

Can’t wait to start folding? Neither can I – so let’s jump right into the water ;).

Origami Fortune Teller Shark Cootie Catcher

You can see them in action here

 

Some call them cootie catchers, others call them fortune tellers (and I’m sure they have a few more names) – whatever the name the fun stays the same!

Grab the printable shark cootie catcher template and let the folding fun begin!

Love these? We’ve got more

Browse our fun cootie catcher designs 

Origami Corner Bookmarks

DIY Origami Bookmarks

These origami corner bookmarks are a great project for beginners (of all ages as they are sooo fun to make).

We have a video tutorial for bunny bookmarks

 

See the monster bookmarks folding instructions.

And here are a few more ideas for these

1. Bunny Origami for Kids

Origami Bunny Craft

These bunnies are insanely easy to fold and to make this one even fun we also made a template origami sheet with a bunny face.

See the folding instructions for origami bunny and grab the template here.

2. Paper Boat Folding Step by Step

Origami For Kids - Paper Boats

Last but not least – oldie but goldie!

Learn how to make a paper boat.

3. Easy Origami Fish

Easy Step by Step Origami Fish - Origami for Kid

These are beyond cute aren’t they. And super quick and easy to make!

Check the folding instructions for origami fish.

4. Easy Dog Face

Origami Dog TemplateWe’v even prepared a printable template for this one so it’s easier to fold it than ever.

See the step by step tutorial for making an origami dog face

5. Jumping Frogs

Origami for Kids - Frogs

This was one of my favorite origami projects when I was a kid!

See how to make an origami frog that jumps!

6. Origami Tulips (With Stem!)

Origami Tulip Printable DiagramIf you want to make an origami flower, starting with a tulip is the way to go! The blossom is perfect for beginners and the stem isn’t hard to do either.

See the step by step tulip folding tutorial and print the diagram

7. Foxes

Fox Origami - Easy Origami for Kids

Who loves folding foxes?

We have a easy to follow step by step fox folding intructions ready for you here.

Origami Cat

If your kids are cat persons (as I am hehehehe) they will love folding these paper cats.

Transforming Stars

This one will be loved by all the little ninjas around the world – a transforming star!

See the instructions here. What do We do All Day

 

Easy Origami Frogs

And here is another version of these little jumping cooties!

See how to fold a paper frog! It’s Always Autumn

Folded Swan

This swan is jet another great origami for beginners – easy to fold and looks pretty!

See the folding instructions. Red Ted Art

Origami Bunnies

Hop, hop goes the bunny! Your kids will love making this fluffy animal and you can even top this projet with a pom pom for a tail.

See the origami bunny folding instructions. Tinkerlab

Origami Butterflies

Hear them flutter!

Learn how to make origami butterflies. Red Ted Art

Snake Crafts for Kids

Not technically an origami but this little snake craft will give the little hands a decent warm up on folding.

 

Paper Craft Elephant

Love elephants? Fold one!

Check out the folding instructions to make an elephant! Hodge Podge Craft Origami Mommy

Blinking Eye

 

Bear Paper Folding

 

Origami rings? Oh yes!

Folded Paper Rings

Honestly, what’s more fancy than your own paper folded jewelry? You won’t be able to stop making theseThese are really great around Valentine’s day but there’s nothing stopping you from making them all year round!

See how to make hearts. The Connection We Share

Sweet Birds

How about making a few of these cute birdies?

See the instructions. Red Ted Art

 

Fun Paper Folded Faces

Can’t you just see a bunch of folded human faces your kids are going to make? These really look great don’t they?

See the folded paper faces instructions. Pink Stripey Socks

Folded Mushrooms

You could make a whole fairy village with these!

See the origami mushroom instructions. Krokotak

There are many fish in the sea… And your kids can make as many as they want!

Follow this simple origami fist instructions.  Childhood 101

Easy Origami for Kids

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Comments

origami is an ancient art form  with a history as old and rich as the paper it is made of. As paper evolved refined, so did the art of origami, and as the art grew it became more popular and spread across the entire world. While cultures all over the world have there own forms of paper folding art, the Japanese art of origami is the art form that has become the most popular and taken the world by storm. origami can be simple or complex as the artist wishes designs like a plain simple heart or dog can be a great introduction to the art for children.