If you wish to reduce your child’s screen-time, or just engage in a new (mess-free) activity, origami could be the answer! It may come as a surprise, but aside from the obvious fun (for adults too, let’s not forget), origami holds many educational benefits.
Benefits of Origami:
Improves fine motor skills
It’s no secret that origami can be somewhat fiddly, but that is no bad thing! For pre-schoolers it is important to (quite literally) get to grips with using their fingers; before long they will be asked to perfect their pencil grip, turn pages, and navigate a computer mouse in school. Practising origami is a great form of brain training for children – by using their digits in this refined way, it can give them a head start in the activities just mentioned.
One beauty of origami is that the creation really comes to life in the final fold, even though children (at first) may not see it this way. The process of origami is all part of the fun, but of course, one wrong fold could jeopardise a once hoped for a masterpiece! Origami can teach children the important lesson that persevering through mistakes truly pays off – the final creation wouldn’t be so impressive if it was easy to achieve!
In early childhood, the ability to remember is largely developing and origami can be a useful tool in progressing memory skills. Through origami, children can initially follow step-by-step instructions closely, then gradually work from memory; the satisfying, therapeutic nature of origami can help children soak in the process of it. In starting off with simple designs and working towards more complex ones without guidance, young children can origami all sorts off by heart!
We cannot deny that sometimes it is difficult to keep a young one’s attention fixed. It may seem as though origami is often short-lived; after all, creating a paper crane does not take as long as some parents might hope! There are, however, perks to brief origami. It provides children with an achievable end that they are more likely to work towards; it challenges them yes, but not to the point where they are faced with an impossible task. By this, origami can have children occupied for longer than first thought. Although individual creations are quick, finishing these encourage children to attempt others. This can have them occupied for hours which, of course, is not only beneficial for them!
At its core, origami is an art. Engaging with it allows children to get their creative juices flowing. In starting out with origami at a young age, children can be provided with artistic skills that can be transferred into later life whether that be in creative writing, lateral thinking, or play.
How to Origami a Cat Face:
Having addressed the benefits of origami, let’s put it all into practice! Here is a step-by-step guide to creating an origami cat.
1. Start with a square piece of paper. This need not be origami paper, nor a specific size; the bigger the square, the bigger the creation! Place the square diagonally. Pull the top corner down to the bottom, and fold.
2. Once folded, place the paper back into its original position. Pull that same top corner down towards the first fold you made, and fold again. Leave that in place.
3. Fold the paper over the first-ever fold you made, so that the small triangle is tucked underneath.
4. Take the right-hand corner down towards the bottom one. Fold, and repeat this step from the left-hand corner.
5. Take the (now) top corner and fold so that it lines up with the edges left and right.
6. The bottom corner should be split into two. Take the right-hand side and fold it up so that the edge of this triangle lines up with the top one. Repeat on the left-hand side.
7. Fold up a small triangle at the bottom of this creation, so that the bottom is no longer pointed.
8. Turn the paper around and get creative; you can draw, paint, or even get the glitter out to make the cat come to life!
Go have fun and send us a photo of your completed Cats!