Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. It translates as ori (folding) gami (paper). Research has shown that paper-folding, particularly in the elementary school years, is a unique and valuable addition to the curriculum. Origami is a valuable method for developing vital skills.

Origami is not just a blank paper. It’s a world of creativity; a world of imagination; a medium to increase the dexterity of little hands, the first steps of engineering, and learning of great value and catharsis. Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper and manipulating it to create recognizable objects. The advantages are manifold:

Improve fine motor skills

When doing origami child uses the fingers to create specific shapes out of paper. The ability to skillfully move one’s fingers to create detailed objects is important for a child’s development. Children who are good with their fingers tend to be good at sports and have a good rhythm. Also, since our peripheral nerves are centered in our fingertips, they are often called our “second brain”. Using fingertips to make detailed origami sends signals to the brain making the activity a great form of training for the brain.

Behavioral Skills

Origami is an example of “schematic learning through repeatable actions”. To be successful, the student must watch closely and listen carefully to specific instructions and then carry them out with neatness and accuracy.

Develops imagination and a sense of color

Origami requires children to figure out how to reach the final product, which encourages them to use their imagination. Also, since we often use many different colors of paper when creating an object, the image often changes depending on the color used.

Over all, I want you to discover the joy of creationby your own hand. … The possibility of creation from paper is infinte

-Akira Yoshizawa

Bi-lateral development of the brain

Origami helps stimulate both the left and the right hemispheres of a child. At a young age, kids tend to use both their hands and as they grow up, one hand becomes dominant and other passive. The left hemisphere is responsible for right-hand control, analytical and sequential thinking. The right hemisphere is responsible for left-hand control, holistic and creative thinking. In Origami both the hands have to work in a symmetrical pattern to achieve intended results.

A Link to Math

Transforming a flat piece of paper into a three-dimensional crane (or other origami figures) is a unique exercise in spatial reasoning. Origami is also important in teaching symmetry; for many of the folds, whatever is done to one side is done to the other. This is, of course, a fundamental algebraic rule that can be shown outside the framework of a formal “math lesson”. Besides, paper-folding allows students to create and manipulate basic geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles.

Boy making a paper plane
Sisters enjoying the origami activity.

In a nutshell, Origami is good for your child as it develops eye-hand coordination, sequencing skills, math reasoning, spatial skills, memory, but also patience and attention skills.  Origami allows the child to develop fine motor skills and mental concentration. All of this combined stimulates the brain – especially when BOTH hands are being used at the same time.

Given its many benefits, origami is an activity that all families should enjoy. Please take the time to work on the shapes together and encourage your child to enjoy making origami now and in the future.

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