Paper Folding Activity for Toddlers

by Dana Hinders, Demand Media Google
    Decorating folded paper booklets is a wonderful learning opportunity for toddlers.

    Decorating folded paper booklets is a wonderful learning opportunity for toddlers.

    Paper-folding crafts are a cheap and easy way to entertain bored toddlers, but it's best to stay away from models that require a lot of precision. Asking your toddler to fold a working paper airplane or a flapping origami bird is setting yourself up for failure. Simple projects completed with plenty of adult supervision set the stage for a successful toddler crafting experience.

    Paper Fan

    A paper fan is a popular summer craft activity. Starting at the bottom horizontal edge of the paper, accordion fold a sheet of colored 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch construction paper. Make the pleats roughly half an inch apart. When you are finished, fold the pleated strip in half and staple it together. If desired, punch holes along the top of some of the pleats and tie on ribbon scraps for a bit of extra decoration.

    Paper Snowflakes

    Paper snowflakes are especially fun to make during winter. They also save you the trouble of having to shop for new Christmas decorations! To make a snowflake, fold a square sheet of white paper in half horizontally. Fold the paper in half vertically. Help your toddler use safety scissors to cut small notches out of each side of the paper. Unfold to reveal a pretty snowflake design. Decorate with silver or gold glitter glue.

    Origami Booklets

    A origami booklet is an excellent paper-folding activity because it creates a place for toddlers to doodle and make up their own little fairy tales. Fold an 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch sheet of paper in half horizontally. Unfold. Fold each side into the middle crease, then unfold. Fold the top of the paper to the bottom, then unfold to reveal a grid with eight spaces. Fold the paper in half horizontally, then make a small cut approximately one half of the way through the middle of the paper. Unfold, then collapse into a booklet format that your toddler can decorate as desired.

    Paper Snake

    Folding an origami snake helps to create a toy that offers hours of amusement for toddlers. Start with a sheet of square origami paper that is green on one side and white on the other side. Place the paper in front of your toddler so it forms a diamond shape. Help your child accordion-fold the paper until you reach the other end. Tape the top and bottom of the strip closed. Fold the strip back and forth to make three or four sections that are roughly the same size. Glue two wiggle eyes at one end of the strip to make the snake's head. Tape a piece of string to his head to make him slither and slide.


    • Follow the Directions Art: Easy Origami; Deborah Schecter


    • Follow the Directions Art: Easy Origami; Deborah Schecter

    About the Author

    Dana Hinders is an Iowa-based writer. She earned her B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa in 2003.

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