We’re developing quite a passion for Japan in our house – the culture, the films, the anime, the food…. Japan is on our list of destinations to travel to and we often daydream about seeing Mount Fuji or riding the bullet train one day!
So we thought we’d introduce our young son to some Japanese culture with the help of easy to make origami for children that we’d like to share with you.
Origami is a fun, non-messy indoors activity to practice with little ones and great for developing imagination and creativity. It originated in Japan in the 17th century and the word “origami” is formed of the Japanese word “ori” meaning “fold” and “kami” – meaning “paper”. The traditional origami making technique requires no glue, but for making easy origami for children, glue is totally permitted! Origami is also a great mindfulness technique for adults as you focus on folding the paper. It is fascinating how many wonderful items you can create with just a few pieces of paper.
Origami Crab (Toshio Chino)
This figure is a perfect example of how, with just a few folds, you can create a complex looking piece.
You will need two squares of coloured paper the same size. If you do not have squares, you can make them from a rectangle of paper (A4 size) by placing the rectangle sideways on, folding the left-hand side up to meet the top, so as to make a triangle and cutting along the side of the triangle.
Turn both squares around to look like a diamond (if the paper is coloured only on one side, turn it with the white side on top). Fold it and unfold it in half from side to side.
From the top point, fold the sloping sides in to meet the middle fold-line so as to make a shape (in origami this is called the kite base)
From the bottom point, fold the short sloping sides in to meet the middle fold line, so making a shape (this is called the diamond base).
Fold the diamond base in half from side to side.
To make the legs, place one diamond base sideways on. Fold and unfold it in half from point to point.
Fold the points in to meet the middle.
Fold it in half from top to bottom
Pull the points out from the inside, press them flat and complete the crab’s legs.
To make the body, turn the remaining diamond base over and place it sideways on. Fold the right-hand point over one-third of the way.
Repeat with the left-hand point.
Turn the paper over. Fold it in half from top to bottom.
Pull the topmost point upwards and press it flat into the position.
Repeat step 10 with the remaining point so completing the crab’s body.
To complete, tuck the legs inside the body and glue both shapes together. You can try adding a few details such as googly eyes on two small strings of papers. Or, you can make this miniature origami and draw the eyes with a felt-tip pen.
Let us know if you have more origami making tips in the comments!