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Easy origami for kids – how to make origami animals

Origami is the perfect kids craft as you don't need any special supplies and it captures their attention instantly. Follow our simple step by step guide to how to make three super simple origami animals that kids will love – a fish, cat and frog!

How to make an origami fish step 17

Looking for ways to keep children busy during a rainy day, or simple kids craft ideas to get creative at home? Origami transfixes children – after all its basically papercraft magic. Pitch the difficulty level right and they’ll enjoy the confidence boost of creating their very own animal with the wonder at seeing their paper turn into their animal before their eyes.

We tried and tested the three easy origami tutorials for kids in this article on children aged 6, 7 and 9. We were amazed how much fascinated they were. They even turned down snacks until they’d insisted on trying out all 3 animals.

For younger children, start with the origami fish. My daughter is 6 and she found this the easiest animal of the bunch to fold. It’s also the animal I can remember making when I was a child. The fish only takes a few folds and less than 5 minutes, for children to get the hang of it.

With a couple of extra folds, try our step by step guide to how to make an origami cat next. The cat is also a very simple beginner-friendly origami project for children, and we think he looks super cute with some whiskers drawn on in felt tip pen plus a couple of googly eyes.

Once you’ve got the hang of the basics, have a go at our origami frog. He involves a few next-level folds to keep older children interested. Plus he has the benfit of doubling up as a game to play – once he’s finished he will jump  or hop forwards when you press his back, concertina, edge.  While we made our frog out of a 6in square of paper, you could increase the size of your starter paper to make some of the later, tighter folds a bit easier to handle.

You might also like our other origami guides – easy origami for beginners or try our other origami tutorials – how to make an origami rabbit and how to make an origami boat.

The only thing you’ll need to make these origami animals is some origami paper.  We used this pack of 200 sheets of 6inch origami papers (Amazon, £5.99) but you can also use any sheet of A4 or rectangular paper, cut into a square shape.If you want to add a bit of personality, you can also use PVA glue and googly eyes.

3 origami animals to make with children

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You Will Need

  • Origami paper (1 sheet)
  • PVA glue ((optional))
  • Googly eyes ((optional))

How to make an origami fish

Step 1

Take a square of origami paper and fold it in half diagonally to make a triangle.

Fodl your paper into a triangle

Step 2

Unfold this and then turn 90 degrees. Now fold again diagonally between the other 2 corners.

Unfold your paper then fold in half in the opposite diredtion

Unfold and flip your paper upside down.

How to make an origami fish step 6

 

Step 3

With your paper square in front of you, fold the bottom edge upwards to meet the top edge and fold in half, so the crease of this fold lies where the centre of the 2 previous diagonal creases falls.

Fold your paper horizontally, from the bottom edge upwards to meet the top

Press along the fold to crease it

Unfold this fold.

Unfold to reveal the crease line

Step 4

Rotate your paper by 90 degrees and then repeat step 3, folding the paper in half horizontally again.

Now fold the paper in half horizontally again in the opposite direction

Crease this fold line too

Unfold again so you have a flat square with 4 creased fold lines that all meet in the centre.

Step 5

Holding your paper underneath, in the middle of the left and right edges, gently lift the left and right sides of your paper upwards from beneath so that the central point of the left and right edge meets in the middle. Your  paper should give way at the diagnonal fold lines as you do this.

Lift up the left and right sides to fold the square in on itself

Bring the left and right central points in together to meet in the middle.

Bring the left and right edges together to meet in the middle

Now press your shape flat to form a triangle with the folds from your previous steps enclosed within it.

Now press your shape flat

Press firmly to form a triangle

Step 6

Rotate your triangle by 90 degrees so there is a long edge on your left and the point at the right.

Turn your triangle by 90 degrees clockwise

Step 7

Take the bottom point of the triangle and fold the top section of it upwards to form a fold line that stretches from the triangle’s righthand point, to about 1 cm below the centre point of the left edge. This is your fish’s first fin.

Fold the bottom tip upwards

Step 8

Now repeat this step but this time folding the top left tip downwards in a mirror action to step 7

How to make an origami fish new 1

 

Step 9

Flip your paper upside down to make the fish.

Turn your paper upside down

If you want to, you can add a googly eye with dab of glue to give your fish a little personality.

How to make an origami fish step 17

How to make an origami cat

Step 1

Take a square of origami paper and fold it in half diagonally – folding the bottom point upwards to meet the top point

Fold a square of paper in half diagonally

Step 2

Fold it in half again to make a right angle triangle.

Fold the triangle in half

Now unfold to leave the first triangle but with a fold down the middle.

Unfold the last fold to leave a crease.

Step 3

Starting at the bottom edge of your triangle, in the centre point where your fold line is, fold the bottom right corner of the triangle upwards to form a point.

How to make an origami cat step 6

Step 4

Repeat, mirrored, on the other side. You have made your cat’s ears.

Fold the bottom left tip upwards to mirror the last step

Step 5

Now take the top central point of your triangle and fold it forwards and down to flatten that top edge. Your cat is ready!

Fold the top tip downwards

 

Step 6

Flip your origami cat upside down.

How to make an origami cat step 12

Draw a nose and whiskers on his face.

Draw a face on with pen

Glue 2 googly eyes or you can draw these to finish.

How to make an origami cat

How to make an origami frog

Step 1

Fold the paper in half, folding the bottom edge of the square upwards so the bottom edge comes up, over and lines up with the top edge to form a horizontal rectangle with the fold at the bottom.

Fold a square of paper in half

Step 2

Rotate your paper by 90 degrees anticlockwise.

Now fold the top left corner downwards and to the left to make a diagonal fold. The top edge of the paper will line up with the top part of the right left edge. Fold to form a right angled triangle, with the tip in the top right of your shape.

How to make an origami frog step 2D

Step 3

Unfold and press flat, leaving the creased diagonal line from your last fold.

How to make an origami frog step 4

Now repeat step 2 but this time turning the opposite top corner down to form a diagonal crease.

Now fold the other top corner down

Step 4

Unfold and press flat to reveal a cross of 2 diagonal fold lines on your portrait rectangle shape.

Unfold again to leave a cross shape of creases

Step 5

Turn the paper upside down on your surface.

Turn the paper upside down

Step 6

Fold the top horizontal edge towards you and down, making a fold at the point the centre of the 2 previous creases meets in the middle.

Fold the top edge down horizontally

Unfold your paper and flip it upside down.

Unfold and flip the paper upside down

Step 7

Now take the left and right sides of your creased area and with your fingers beneath the paper, lift them up and press them up and inwards to meet in the middle.

Lift up the left and right edges and press inwards

The crease lines will naturally give so you can bring the two edges in to meet in the middle.

Bring the edges in to meet in the middle

Now press the top area flat – this will create a triangular tip.

Press to create a triangular tip

 

Step 8

Find the central point along the bottom edge of the triangle section – where the folds met in the middle.

Fold the bottom right tip of the triangle and fold it upwards diagonally

Fold the bottom right tip of the top part of the triangle upwards, creating a digonal fold line from the central point to to the lower section of the right edge. You should see the paper you fold upwards fold look like this.

Press to crease the fold

Step 9

Repeat this step to form a mirror image fold on the left of the paper.

Repeat with the other side of the triangle section, in a mirror fold

Step 10

Take the bottom edge of your paper and fold it upwards so it meets the line at the bottom of the triangular section you were just working on.

How to make an origami frog step 15

Step 11

Fold the right outside edge of your frog up and in towards the centre, tucking it underneath the top triangle section slightly so the outer edge comes in towards the middle.

Fold the right edge inwards to the centre

 

Step 12

Repeat this with the left edge – folding it up and bringing it in towards the centre of the frog,

Press this fold

Fold the left edge inwards too, to mirror the last fold

Step 13

Bring the bottom edge upwards and fold it so that this edge now meets the central point.

Fold the bottom edge upwards
Press this horizontal fold
Your frog is taking shape

Step 14

Unfold the fold you made in the last step.

Unfold the horizontal fold

Step 15

Gently untuck the folds of the bottom section.

Untuck the bottom two corners

As you pull the two corners outwards, fold the bottom edge upwards to meet the central point of your two top folds.

Untuck the bottom two corners

Fold the bottom edge flat so the bottom section looks a bit like a boat.

fold the bottom section upwards
press to flatten