I didn’t realise how magical the art of folding paper was until I opened the book that I bought my daughters for Christmas – it’s called Origami for Children by Mari and Roshin Ono. The book contains 35 projects and a pack of very pretty paper for making the objects. We made a box this morning and the final step was to blow through a small hole to inflate it. It was a magical moment for my daughters (and for me if I’m honest).
According to the book, there are two meanings of Origami in Japanese:
- the act of folding paper to make models or objects.
- the particular type of square paper used itself.
It’s not quite a literal translation when separating the word origami into two; Marin and Roshin Ono explain that “to fold in Japanese is ori while the general translation of paper is kami“. Note: Wikipedia explains that kami changes to gami due to rendaku (the voicing of the initial consonant).
The book suggests that origami has been around for over 100 years (17th century AD according to Wikipedia), although there are earlier sightings of paper folding in other countries.
Japanese Traditional Activity
Origami is a traditional pastime for Japanese children. New designs are developed all the time. It might appear complicated to children to start with, but once they learn the folds, they can be used in other models. Any type of paper that can be folded can be used.
More Info and Designs
Origami-club.com is a lovely little website that has many more designs including some very festive models such as santa, reindeer and starts. It also shows you exactly how to fold and create them.
The gallery at the bottom of the Wikipedia page shows some images; the coolest in my opinion are the elephant made out of a dollar-bill and a miniture version of a paper crain.
That’s all for today – I must get on with helping to create some more models! I think it’s going to be the giraffe next, using the special patterned paper that came with the book. Hope you have enjoyed today’s blog.
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- Amazing Origami Ringwraith of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
When I directed a Community Mental Health Crisis Team for Families in the South Bronx, I started a Peace Crane Project. The kids who could loved folding peace cranes and the parents got into it also. Personally, I used the project as an excuse to fold cranes during long meetings. I am hyperactive and sitting quietly at a meeting was torture, but mot if I could keep my hands busy.
I managed to convince a few teachers of hyperactive kids to let them doodlle and at every meeting I lead as well as when teaching, I had mandalas for coloring. When my staff visited elderly shut-ins the mandalas were asked for immediately. Bruce Perry who is an expert on treating trauma in children says he never sits down with a child, without crayons and a coloring book.
After reading your post I wish I had added folding paper.
Thank you. Will connect to one of my Shinks Think posts at some point. Thank you for this.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Katherine – sounds like you are a bit of an expert at folding paper. I would imagine that it is a welcoming distractions in long meetings.
Kind regards Sandra