How to Fold Origami Cranes (and Keep Your Kids Busy During Summer Break)

I think we’re all a little jealous of those Pinterest mavens who spend hours crafting gorgeous and trendy creations with their kids. Let’s face it: not all of us are quite so DIY-inclined.

But you can only break out the finger paints so many times before everyone gets bored of smudging around (and you get tired of cleaning up the mess). Time to check off another activity on our Ultimate Summer Bucket List!

This week’s challenge: Make Origami Cranes

Origami — ori meaning “folding” and gami meaning “paper” — is a traditional Japanese art involving folding single, flat sheets of paper into transformed sculptures, such as the iconic crane design most of us are probably familiar with.

There is a legend in Japan that anyone who folds 1,000 cranes will be granted health and longevity (some of us might recall reading the story Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes in school), but for now, let’s just start with one.

Besides being a fun and pretty art project, origami is a great educational activity for kids. Not only is it an opportunity to teach kids about another culture, it’s also an exercise in patience. In fact, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency uses origami as part of a test to see how potential astronauts act under pressure and whether they can complete precise and detail-oriented tasks over and over again without error.

Click through our step-by-step directions below:


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