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Origami Art With Kids: Next Stop Sushi!

By Melissa Summers

Burning Daylight is about 1000% easier when you have three families on your block, compatible kids and a trampoline. Who knew? Oh, right me….and that’s why I fought so hard to sell our first home and move. Luckily, or unluckily, depending on your perspective, today Madison is grounded and unable to play with her new friends.

I decided last night to try some very simple origami with the kids. I started my search for tips at Martha Stewart and pre-tried a couple things the night before to save us all from frustration. Martha, you know I love you, but sometimes you make things way too hard for kids and mothers lacking patience. We ended up at this great United Kingdom site where they offer several very simple beginning origami folds in PDF form. The folds are easy and the images are exceedingly simple to follow. We loved everything we tried this morning besides the panda. Quote Max, “You know, I never even really liked pandas anyway.” Which isn’t true but you know, sometimes you just have to move on.


I happened to have a big pack of origami paper I bought at Hema in Amsterdam. Hema is like a magical cross between Ikea, Target and H&M for kids. It’s like heaven. We haven’t used much of the paper because apparently we were attempting items which were too hard for kids (the snail on the front made me curse several times: not fun!) and impatient mothers. I didn’t have googly eyes in my craft supplies so we improvised with pen and the kids were fine with that. We focused on animals this morning but there are fish and hearts and flowers which would be lovely as small cards or even valentines.
First we worked on a dog. The kids (6 and 8) were really good at folding precisely but even when they weren’t ‘exact’ their animals still turned out which is good to know if you try this project with the 4-6 year old set.
Then we added details, Maddie’s dog needed spots you understand.
It turned out almost as cute as the little girl behind it.
Next we made a cat, Max made this one.
Here is Maddie’s cat with a real live model for comparison and scale. It’s really an uncanny likeness isn’t it? Breathtaking.
Next we made bunnies and they were my favorite.
The mice were exceedingly simple, something I’m sure even a younger child could tackle and still end up with a reasonable facsimile.
Here are all the animals we’ve made so far. We burned two hours of daylight and will be making flowers later, probably with all the girls from the neighborhood. If my daughter can keep herself from being re-grounded.

My sister is attempting to fold 1000 paper cranes for her wedding, a Japanese custom which says if a bride (or ill person) folds 1000 paper cranes their wish will come true. She has to make them all herself so I can’t put the kids to work helping, but just imagine the daylight I could burn if I told Madison if she can fold 1000 dogs, maybe her wish for a puppy will be granted.

About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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