Fine motor skills · Paper crafts

Origami for kids

Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding to make 3D objects without using scissors or glue.  Origami paper is available in solid colours and a wide range of patterns.

Origami is great for developing hand/eye coordination, fine motor skills, sequencing skills, attention and concentration, maths and symmetry and more. Best of all, with just a sheet of paper, kids can make some amazing things!

origami for kids (4)

One of the most well known origami creations is the paper crane. A Japanese legend says that if you fold 1000 cranes, you will be granted a wish by the gods. This legend became popular through the story of a 2 year old Japanese girl called Sadako Sasaki, who was exposed to radiation by the atomic bomb at Hiroshima in World War 2. As a result of the exposure, she developed leukemia, and when she was 12 years old, she started folding the cranes while she was in hospital.  The fictionalised version of the story (Sadako and the thousand paper cranes) said that she only made 644 cranes before she died and that her classmates finished them for her. However, the story told by her family said that she did complete the 1000 cranes and continued making them until her death in 1955.


There is a statue of Sadako holding a paper crane at the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Park.

Children's Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Park

You can make your own origami crane with a free tutorial from Origami Fun.

origami crane

Here are some other wonderful creations your kids can make with origami:

Stars and hearts

Paper stars from Minieco

DIY origami paper star cards from hello, Wonderful

Origami star boxes from Picklebums

Paper ninja stars from Frugal fun 4 boys

How to fold origami hearts from Dream a little bigger

Flowers and crowns

Simple origami tulips from Make and takes

Origami crowns from What can we do with paper and glue

Boats and mermaids

How to make a paper boat from Easy peasy and fun

How to fold an origami mermaid from Pink stripey socks – uses origami to make the mermaid, then the hair is attached with sticky tape

Paper cubes

Origami cube tutorial from Origami Mommy

origami cubes


Origami jumping frogs from It’s always autumn

Origami hens from Krokotak

Origami mice from Red Ted Art

Origami rabbit from Tinkerlab

Origami butterfly from Deschdanja

Origami fish from Childhood 101

Corner bookmarks

Heart shaped corner bookmark from How about orange

origami-heart-page-marker (1)

The following corner bookmarks use origami to make the basic bookmarks, and features are cut out and glued on to make the creatures. Both blogs have a fabulous range of corner bookmarks made with the same technique.

Monster corner bookmark from Red Ted Art

Frog corner bookmark from Easy peasy and fun

Why not try some origami with your kids this week?

We would love to see their creations – just post pics to Facebook or Instagram with #littlegreencrafters. 🙂

You can find heaps more paper crafts on our Pinterest page here.

This is part of a series featuring paper crafts.  Click on the links below for more.

Cool cupcake liner crafts

Creative paper bag crafts

Terrific tissue paper crafts

Paper mache for kids


4 thoughts on “Origami for kids

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