Origami teaches children many great skills.
Origami originated in Japan and is the traditional art of folding paper to form objects such as animals, flowers, birds, etc. Besides being a lot of fun for your kids, origami teaches children eye-hand coordination and helps them develop a higher level of concentration. When the task is completed, the child is delighted to have a toy that they have made themselves. After lots of practice, a child of any age can create a number of even more advanced figures.
For young children there is often the satisfaction of being able to fold a piece of paper into a figure that they aren't yet capable of drawing. Origami teaches children dexterity. Origami teaches children to listen and follow directions. Additionally, origami teaches children creativity and perception and, surprisingly, they learn to relax.
When doing origami with young children it is important to remember certain things: 1. Practice folding the figures you plan to teach them yourself so you can pick out the steps that may cause them problems.
2. Some figures may need to be slightly simplified for younger children. Maybe just leaving out the final finishing steps will help.
3. Have a lighted, friendly workplace for the children and plenty of materials.
4. Be sure to explain each fold in simple words, showing them (possibly on a large piece of paper) what they need to do each step of the way.
5. You want to be sure the children understand what they need to do and make sure you give them enough time to work it out themselves - don't jump in too quickly to help them.
6. Let them try to fix their own mistakes without too much assistance. Let them know they can "try again" as many times as they need.
7. Children enjoy the repetition and they need time and repetition to work things out
8. Praise, praise and more praise - if the figure is somewhat crooked or a little wrinkled, so what?
9. Let the child express what he thinks of his piece. Everyone has different taste and opinions as to what is nice.
10. Children and abstract forms don't always mix well. If it helps to let them color or paint faces on their animals - let them!
Extra Tips For Beginners:
In a world where so much is rushed, sitting quietly and folding paper figures can bring a sense of balance and peace to even young children, so take your time and have fun with the kids!
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