Japan Unit: Preschool Origami

I’ve always been fascinated by origami, but haven’t progressed over the years past a few basic designs. For our Japan unit, I wanted to show my preschooler how to fold a few basic designs.

The Japanese word “Origami” is made of two smaller Japanese words: “ori” which means to fold, and “kami” which means paper. Japanese origami began sometime after the 6th century when Buddhist monks carried paper to Japan. Initially origami was used for religious ceremonial purposes only, due to the high price of paper.

I bought a pack of origami paper on Amazon for a couple of dollars – nothing fancy, just colorful sheets.

If you have a older child, you may consider buying an origami book and trying more technical designs, but since my little one is only three, I decided to make a few simple designs I made as a child. Below I have listed the steps to make these designs.

Flapping Swan:

Inflatable Box:


My kiddo worked along with me and made each design herself. Her little fingers needed help every now and again, but I think she did a great job; excellent fine motor activity!

What designs will you make with your little ones?

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