Thursday, April 22, 2010

Summer Art Camp: Origami

It’s the middle of summer and after everyone in my family has savored a month of being able to sleep in until eight in the morning, this is right about the time when our collective mood shifts from being languid to creative. 

Two summers ago, I have decided to take charge of the kids’ arts and crafts activities at home instead of paying someone else to do it for me.  It is sort of like home-schooling, only this one lasts only for the summer and doesn’t really involve any rigid structure or academic pressure. 

My kids all look forward to summer all year long because of our family summer art camp.   Not only does it allow me the comfort of not having to drive them around the metro, it provides me that feeling of magnificence, too wonderful for words, as I help them discover and nurture their God-given talent.  It even saved me a few grand without really trying.

For the past summers, we have tried pizza making, sushi making, soap making, cupcake baking and decorating, drawing and painting, tie-dyed shirts making, card making, sand art, having a picnic in a nature park.  It was quite a challenge to come up with new activities to do this year.

J and B got hooked on origami when their aunt gave them a Pokemon origami set, but we didn’t get any chance to do it together yet, so this summer is a perfect chance for that.  

Here are some of their works...


Trust me when I say origami is easy enough for anyone five years and up.  Just follow the rules in the origami book and you will be fine.  Dotted lines mean “fold here.” Arrows mean “fold this direction.” A curly cue arrow means “flip paper over.”  Just make sure to be nearby and assist your li'l ones the first time they do it.  It's best that they make a clean and crisp fold.  Let them do it with their thumb, nail side down on the paper. 
It is a perfect hobby to have the kids hooked on because it teaches hand-eye coordination, trains the kids to follow instructions, develops their sense of concentration and shows them that the result of any concentrated purpose is a thing of beauty.  But more than any of that, for a harried mom of three talkative bunch, the greatest function of this ancient Japanese art of paper folding  is the tranquil and uninterrupted sound of silence.  While their heads are all bent down and their fingers are occupied, the house is calm and peaceful for a while - even if only for a short, short while.  :)