Origami is a Japanese art of folding paper into shapes and figures. "Ori" means "folding" and "kami" means "paper." Try your hand at folding a single sheet of square paper into a sculpture without marking, cutting, gluing or taping it.



While generally considered a Japanese tradition because of its popularity, origami's roots may be in China, where it likely evolved from the folding of cloth or leather. Paper was invented in China around 105 AD and folded paper is thought to have evolved as result of its popularity and availability.


Today, there are over 80 different types of origami. The most popular origami shape is the paper crane. Folding 1,000 cranes is said to grant you the right to make a special wish! It's also a symbol of peace.

From Two Dimensions to Three!

  • A single piece of thin square paper

  • Point to point

  • Line to line 

  • Folding, unfolding, opening, closing, sliding, turning and creasing

  • Care and thoughtful intent

"Teaching origami – what I want to create is that awareness that our situation can transform, just like paper. When you have a sad memory it is a scar that remains in your heart. And it's the same as paper, once you crease it, it remains. It never goes away. But you can use that line to make another shape. So in a way, it's necessary to have that line. Paper is a metaphor for life. You only have one piece of paper, like you only have one life. So you make use of what lines and points there are. And you can create something out of what you've got."

– Kyoko, One Thousand Cranes

For projects for younger kids, look for Nigel the koala. 

BIG hint! You'll find Nigel in What's different? • Play portal • We Puzzle Together for Tots

Star indicates multi-activity project

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