1. Paper aeroplane.
Let's get the obvious one out of the way first. I'm not going to show you how to make a paper aeroplane because there are a zillion ways to make a good paper aeroplane that flies well and usually the way you make one has been passed down from your parents or older siblings.
2. Paper boat.
Now I know there are a few different types of paper boat that you can make too, but this one I think is great! It's really simple and I've been making them for the kids to play with since they were tiny. It's easiest to practise the first couple with a big bit of rectangular paper like a sheet of letter or A4 printer paper, because those are easy to do the last step of turning it inside out with. Here are the step by step pics to show you how to make one...
This shows the method for turning the folded boat inside out to finish it. Fold out one end of the boat and then turn it around and fold out the other end. Once it's turned inside out like this, it's a rather sturdy boat. You have to be careful not to either rip the outer edge of the boat or the pointed ends, so just turn it out slowly and it should be fine.Once you can make the bigger ones then it's easy to make smaller ones too.You can make them out of wax paper or tin foil too and they are good for a bit of bath time fun, or paddling pool, or on a lake. Despite being paper they hold up pretty well as long as you don't dunk them. 3. Paper shirt.
I've been making origami paper shirts since high school days, usually out of used up tobacco packets (I used to smoke in uni). It was one of the first origami bits I tried to entertain my kids with at a restraunt one time and they were happy to decorate a paper shirt with pens for quite a while. It would be fun to make a pretend clothes line in the house and peg them all out with mini clothes pegs.
I won't show you how I make them here, because there is already a very nice tutorial showing things clearly on Alphamom here and they use them to make very sweet fathers day cards. I make the sleeves in a more simplistic way by just folding them out like below, but the shirt comes out looking pretty much the same.
4. Paper basket.
I only saw the instructions for this yesterday here and it was what made me think I should post an origami blog entry. It's a fab way to make an easy origami easter basket. The kids thought these were really cute and once we'd made some they had a lot of fun playing with them as cable cars. I might have to make them a cardboard big wheel toy and use the baskets as seats on it, so they can give their toys rides at the fair.
5. Paper stars
A freind in high school taught me to make these. Thank you Po Yu! They are very simple. Here is a video showing the technique. It's very quick to make a lot of them.
Sometimes lots of teeny ones are fun for the kids to play with and sort into colours etc. I think I might make 26, each with a letter of the alphabet on each for the kids to arrange in order or make a game out of them. It also works out well making large ones from strips of butcher block paper for the kids to decorate with pens. They make cute ornaments. I think we might do a decorative craft with red, white and blue ones come 4th July.
6. Paper boxes.
Origami boxes can range from easy peasy to rather complicated. With younger kids it's best if something like this is the quick and easy version because you know it's not going to last long being played with. This tutorial shows a nice simple origami box that it doesn't matter if the kids squish in five minutes flat (they like pretending those are beds for toy animals and for collecting and sorting all manner of nonsense).I really like ones like this for gift boxes though.
I like EASY origami. I taught myself to make a crane from an online tutorial a while back, but that's about as complicated as I've got. I like to make modular geometric origami too, but the kids are a bit young for playing with those at the moment.
Most of the lower level origami animals often look nothing like the animal they are supposed to, so the kids aren't going to be that enthralled with them, but the items that I posted above have uses beyond being ornaments, so the kids seem to get a lot more out of them.
It makes me happy to see a piece of paper become a toy and of course they are recycleable, so you don't have to landfill them when the kids break them or get bored of them! It's also very very easy and unobtrusive to have a pack of origami paper, or any paper for that matter in your bag for emergency entertainment value. I've made stuff out of receipts before now.
Do you have any origami toys that you make for your children? I'm always keen to widen the repertoire!