We received an invite to go to a birthday party for the sister of a friend of my son. When we first arrived, it was announced that we would soon join in doing some origami. My sons groan could have been heard in China. The birthday girl promised it would be fun, he would see!

Origami is the ancient Chinese art of paper folding without cutting or gluing. It became popular in Japan, hence the Japanese word which breaks down to ‘ori’ which means ‘to fold’ and ‘gami’ which means paper and together they form the word ‘Origami’.

Fans of this art and hobby claim origami helps to develop fine motor skills of both hands, intellectual and creative abilities, and that it ensures optimal left and right brain activity.

Watching the children doing it at the birthday party, its was not difficult to believe the claims. It was amazing to see them turn a  square piece of paper into such interesting and beautiful things. As I watched it seemed Origami could also be used to understand abstract math concepts, such as the relationship between squares, rectangles and triangles and angles.

Origami can become quite intricate. However, at the party, some of the most basic paper creations- hats, boats, planes- packed the biggest punch. My son has been playing with his for days.

I plan on downloading some basic Origami instructions to use in our homeschooling lessons.

Article By Nuria Almeida

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