Oh yes, it is time for some more easy origami for beginners!! We have shared many origami projects with you over the years.. which I know sometimes can be a bit like “where do I start”? So.. I thought sharing our most popular origami ideas to make with you!
These projects, all com with easy origami instructions for kids. And you often don’t even need origami paper to make – printer quality paper (or thinner) will do.
Not only is making origami fun, but there are actually a lot of Educational Benefits of Origami! From spatial awareness, to learning to follow instructions, to a sense of well being from completing projects – even more of a reason to pick out our top 10 most popular origami ideas for you. Let’s keep things easy and therefore increase the sense of success for you and your kids!
What is the easiest origami to do?
To be honest, I don’t know if there is “a single origami” that EVERYONE should make first…. but personally, I found that kids really take to fortune tellers (see below), so it is worth starting off with those. They are fun and easy to make (with lots of repitition, which is great for remembering what to do next. I feel like it is a childhood classic that all kids need to learn!
Can 5 year olds do origami?
YES!!!! Absolutely! The earlier you start them the better. Of course, at first you will be working on the origami projects together. But again, children will surprise you with how quick they learn. And origami is amazing for fine motor skills and hand eye education. Obviously, all children develope at a different pace, so keep that in mind when setting your own expectations. Some pointers and ideas are available in our Preschool Origami Projects article, as well as the Educational Benefits of Origami article mentioned above.
People often ask: How do you make Origamis?
Read on and you will find out. But my top top for learning how to make origami is: patience and expectations… plus finding the right (ie easy!) origami project to start off with! But this is what today’s article is all about. So.. onwards to our….
Top 10 Most Popular Origami
1. The Popular Origami Fortune Tellers/ Cootie Catchers
Origami Fortune Tellers are well known around the world, they are known in lots of different ways – fortune tellers, chatterbox, cootie catchers, Himmel und Hoelle to name just a few! Traditionally, you make them in plain paper and write some “fortunes” on the inside of your teller. However, you can easily turn them into hand puppets (e.g. these adorable Paper Pig Puppets) or use them as fun tool for learning facts – e.g. our Halloween Cootie Catchers or American Flag Cootie catchers. Whatever you do though.. learn how to make a basic Origami Fortune Teller and then let your imagination run wild!
2. The classic Easy Origami Tulip
There are actually a couple of variations on how to make an Origami Tulip! We love this method. A great introduction to symmerty whilst keep the project and number of folds simple. You can learn to just make the tulip “head” or take it a step further and make a flower stalk too.
3. Jumping origami frog
4. How to make a paper whale
I confess, I am not a 100% sure why this paper whale is so popular (other than of course, that it is super cute AND easy to make)… but popular it is, and most certainly needs to live in any top 10. Having said that, this origami whale is a great example of how to combine origami with super duper CUTE card making. We have turned this origami whale into an Origami Valentine’s Day Card/ Mother’s Day card before: I Whaley Love You!
5. Simple Origami Bunny
As with the Origami Whale… Origami Bunnies are super popular and can easily be turned into origami greeting cards – as we did here for Valentine’s Day (though would of course also be adorable on an Origami Easter Card!). Combine the bunny with some fun puns – Hoppy Easter or No Bunny Compares with you. I also love these paper bunnies as part of a collage or just because!
6. The most popular origami Corner Bookmark
In some ways these Corner Bookmark Designs should be at the top of my top 10 list! They are all based on this oh so simple origami bookmark and then decorated to suit ANY occassion. We literally have 100s of these on the blog.. because kids LOVE them. I think the Monster Corner Bookmark is probably the ultimate favourite… but there are many close seconds – possibly the Emoji Corner Bookmarks or our Panda Bookmarks!
7. How to make an origami box
You can go wrong with an origami box. Super handy and easy to fold and too. I recently filled some origami boxes with homemade chocolates to give to a friend. The origami paper box is one origami model that is easy to commit to memory and you can make it any size or dimensions you wish. The pattern is essentially the same for both a rectangular or a square box. So you can vary things depending on your needs! You can also take a plain box and decorate it to your heart’s content. As we did here with our MINION Box!
8. Easy Origami Dog or – Origami Animal Faces
Yes we are back to more Origami Animal faces (I know we had the bunny above already), but this Origami puppy is a BIG favourite here on Red Ted Art. I think it may be the simplicity of the orgami, but also the “joy” of adding detail in pen. So you can combine some “drawing” or “colouring” with origami folding. The same applies to the popular Origami Cat Face – which I recreated as Tiger Origami!
9. How to make a paper crane
Now paper cranes are an “interesting one”, in that they aren’t the best beginners project – they definitely need a few more steps… BUT. Origami cranes are almost synonymous with “doing origami” and no Top 10 list would be worth its salt if it didn’t include a paper crane. I have an ancient youtube video that a friend did for me showing how to make an origami crane. I think I may have to reshoot it for you though… our video-ing skills weren’t so hot in those days.. but the craft is still lovely.
10. How to make an easy Origami Hat/ Boat
I have made origami hats for our craft projects before – but of course, you can make the same paper hat in LARGE for kids to wear too (usually out of newspapers or a double spread from a magazine. They are indeed super easy to make – and form the first half of an Origami Boat craft. You can also turn an origami boat into a triangular hand puppet!
11. Paper Airplanes
Oh I have to sneak one more in: Paper Airplanes!! I am pretty certain that ALL children have made a paper airplane at some point or another.. and often without realising, they have just completed their very first origami project!
Which brings me to and end of our my Top 10 Origami Projects for kids!! I hope that you love these all as much as I do (and my readers!!) and that you have been inspired today to give origami a go…. in the meantime, I will leave you with some more most frequently asked questions about origami answered:
Can I use regular paper for origami?
Yes you can. Most origami projects (but not all! E.g. the rectangular box shared above) need a square piece of orgami paper. However, it is easy to quickly cut down a rectangular paper into square shape, by creating a diagonal fold (seen in many of my corner boomark videos – e.g. this one Panda video – scroll down to the bottom of the article). The benefits of using “special” origami paper, is that it is often a little thinner – so is easier to fold for complicated projects. You can also get origami paper that has two different colours on each side, which is especially nice for projects such as this origami butterfly or these origami egg cups!
The difference between Origami and Kirigami
There is also a difference between origami (which is uses a square piece of paper and folding techniques) and kirigami (which can use any shaped paper and requires a little cutting too).
But I find when it comes to kids, doing a mix of the two is best. We also like to embellish our paper crafts with pens or sticking on details such as kawaii eyes and facial features.
What age should you start Origami? Can 5 year olds do origami?
As mentioned above – Absolutely! You can start children on origami at a very young age. It is wonderful for fine motor skills and spacial awareness, as well as talking about shapes. As mentioned, we have a whole section on the Educational Benefits of Origami, as well as special “subset” of Origami for Preschoolers to help you get started!
Does origami make you smarter? Is Origami good for your brain?
There are a lot of Educational Benefits to Origami. So yes, I like to think that origami does indeed “make you smarter”. When you use your brain – especially left part of your brain and your right side of the brain AT THE SAME time, you are creating brand new neuron connections…. origami is a great activity that challenges both sides of the brain. It imprives your 3d perception and logical thinking too, as well as improving concentration. Origami also uses a lot of maths – diagonals, perpendiculars, halves, quarters and triangles etc.
See our full list of Easy Origami Instructions for Kids here: