Monday, February 22, 2021

Origami Puppets

We called them cootie catchers when I was in elementary school, most kids today call them fortune tellers. Eight numbers are written on the outside for a friend to choose from, so you can open up and then out that number of times, then they choose from a color in the inside and the color is spelled out. This time when a friend chooses a color, the flap is opened and something fun is written on the inside such as "Someone in our class thinks you're cute." This can be done to inspire story prompts or even art projects if the inner panels say things like "squiggly lines" or "curvilinear shapes."

We used this simple origami exercise to make puppets. It was part of our week in Japan learning about culture and art forms such as origami, kirigami, calligraphy and brush and ink painting. We took virtual tours of Japan, handled artifacts, and tried on kimonos.

The instructions are simple. You fold your square vertically and then horizontally opening it after each fold to make a plus sign. Then you fold the paper diagonally twice with opposite corners to make a multiplication sign. The third step is to have all four corners come to the center lining up with the lines from the plus sign. Make your creases sharp. Flip the piece with the top side towards the table and then do the same thing on the back: each corner coming to the center.

Flip it like a pancake again and re-crease the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal folds. Then push the corners in to make four diamond (squares with a diagonal vertical fold) sided shape. Carefully pull the single sheet of paper away from the center of each inner fold (I do this by putting my finger down inside the pocket.) and then crease that single paper so that it stays out. After doing it four times you are finished. Your fingers go inside the four divots. To make a puppet you can glue the two top compartments together and the two bottom together. Add eyes, lips, hair, tongue, whatever makes you happy. 

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