The Educational Value of Origami

The Educational Value of OrigamiI’m back again, so hello to everyone. Many of you may be surprised to find out that I am an adequate origami artist. I went into this ancient Japanese art of paper folding in order to have an interesting and useful off-line activity. ‘Why origami?’ you may ask. There are plenty of pleasant off-line activities but origami is not only fun, believe me. Did you know that practicing origami activates your whole brain? Therefore, along with fun and relaxation you get some educational value.

First of all, origami is a good example of schematic learning acquired by repeated actions. You need to be very attentive while following the instructions in order to make a good origami piece. They have to be carried out with a great deal of precision which teaches you to be diligent and focused. When I make an origami figure, I always experience feelings similar to those when hunting with a nice crossbow, where you have to be gentle and focused to the maximum,  combined with precise accuracy and patient endurance. Origami is something you can never perform in a hurry. Every action has to be planned, nothing unforeseen is allowed.

origamiAnother reason why I like origami is that it helps to develop your spatial reasoning. Transforming a 2D piece of paper into a 3D figure is a unique exercise which will provide a thorough brainstorm. While folding the paper, your hands follow a sequence of steps which help you learn to create and to manipulate some general geometric shapes. You also get deeper into the basics of symmetry.

Some researchers have been offering origami exercises to people with psychological problems, such as depression for example. The results of these exercises proved to be quite effective and that’s why the origami technique is often used as a part of psychological art therapy. It provides both physical and mental exercise, developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

One of the important results of origami making is emotional satisfaction. As we see a piece of paper transforming into a new development, we feel pleased with the act of creation and raise our self-esteem. This results in us becoming more confident while performing our daily routines. That is why many find the folding of paper not only relaxing, but challenging as well.

For those who have children, I would recommend involving them in this amazing activity. You’ll have the chance to teach them how to be patient, cooperative, and to follow the instructions strictly which can be quite beneficial for their discipline. Start with basics, find some helpful videos, for example, like this one:

However, you should remember to learn origami skills step by step. If you start making a complicated model from the very beginning, you are highly likely to fail and get frustrated. It takes time and effort to develop the capability to fold a complex figure. Some people say it takes as much time as learning to play the piano flawlessly. Take my advice and learn origami techniques. The educational value you can get on your way to mastering paper folding makes it worth trying. So, good luck!

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