Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gotta Know When to Fold 'em

Just for the record, I am not a huge fan of origami. Or, to be more accurate, I am not generally any good at doing origami. And I am not a huge fan of being bad at things.

Something about the precision and the patience required makes it a not-great fit for me.

My mother-in-law is an origami master. She made me a beautiful box that I still can't believe didn't come from a fancy store somewhere. And she has frequently given us books of origami paper and the instructions to make animals and bugs and things. And after yet another confidence-draining session attempting to make elephants and crickets, I generally give up.

But today, faced with a long afternoon with Zach and Cody or getting ourselves together to do some sort of activity, I found this super easy idea that results in a origami "frisbee".

We gathered up all of the pretty papers we had given up on and made these. I made one myself to confirm that it was, in fact, as simple as it appeared. And then each of the kids made their own, with very little intervention.
Sprout's is pictured at the top, Tater's at the bottom. Quite fab, I think!

To make your own, get 8 square pieces of paper. I think these are 5 x 5 or 6 x 6. The pretty ones make it more fun, but anything would work.

Put a piece of paper on the table and fold it in half to make a rectangle shape. Put the folded edge at the top.
Take the left top corner and fold it down diagonally so that the edges are lined up. Then fold the right bottom corner up the same way. This will result in a parallelogram shape.
If you look, the right side will have a little "pocket" where the corner was folded up, while the left side will have an open-edge.

See the little pocket there? The other side isn't hooked together...

Do exactly the same folds with the other pieces of paper. So you have 8 little parallelograms.

Take one of the folded papers, folded side in the back and the "pocket" side facing to the right. Take the "un-pocket" side of a second piece and tuck it into the "pocket" of the first - they should fit right together.

Then take the next piece and tuck it in...go in a clockwise direction - pocket to un-pocket until the 8th one hooks the whole thing together. You can put a little glue to hold each piece together if you are actually going to try to throw it like a frisbee. They would also be pretty mounted on another piece of paper as a piece of artwork.

These would even fit my "kids art as real art" decorating theme. I like to take the more abstract pieces of kids art and frame them for my house.

They are not particularly aerodynamic. But they are pretty!
Give it a try!

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