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Girl in a white dress cupping a blue origami bird in her hands.

Easy Origami for Kids:

How to Fold a Dog, or Crane

Origami for kids is a fun activity your children will love – watch the amazement on their faces as they see a simple piece of paper turn into an animal! Origami requires a little concentration and sometimes a helping hand from parents, but it’s fantastic for building up your children’s fine motor skills and developing their creativity. Most of the time, you’ll also have the materials for simple origami for kids – a square sheet of paper – nearby.

And there’s none of the messy gluing and painting usually associated with arts and crafts for kids – though with Surf excel liquid detergent to hand, you know your kids can go ahead and decorate their finished origami art however they want, as Surf excel will help to effectively remove stains!

Here are some simple origami instructions for kids to make either a dog or a crane, or both if they really get the hang of it! These two origami animals are adapted from  

Easy Origami for Kids: How to Fold a Dog

  1. Take a square of coloured paper (not too thick, as this won’t fold well). Brown, yellow, or white is a good base-colour for a dog.
  2. Fold the paper in half diagonally and then open out.
  3. Fold diagonally in the opposite direction; keeping the fold closed, lay the paper on the table with the tip of the triangle facing downwards. This will be the dog’s mouth.
  4. Fold each of the top two corners of the triangle half way down towards the outside to create ears.
  5. From the point of the dog’s mouth, lift up the top sheet of paper, and fold it up a small amount horizontally.
  6. Roll the same fold up horizontally and smooth down for a second time. This is the dog’s nose.
  7. Use a pen, crayon, or other materials to add eyes, a button nose and a tongue (in the dog’s open mouth).
  8. Your finished dog should look like this.

easy-origami-for-kids (JPEG 615 KB)

Easy Origami for Kids: How to Fold Cranes

Folding cranes is a little more complicated, so it might be useful to consult the diagrams here to make sure you get this one right

how to do origami (JPEG 624 KB)

  1. Take a square of paper (again, not too thick as this won’t fold well).
  2. Fold the paper in half diagonally and then open out.
  3. Fold diagonally in the opposite direction, and then open out.
  4. Turn the paper over and fold in half horizontally and fold out.
  5. Fold in half in the opposite direction and open out.
  6. Lay the paper on the table positioned like a diamond. Put your finger on the bottom point, and fold the other three corners down along the crease lines to that point, in a concertina effect. You should now have a smaller diamond shape.
  7. Fold the left and right flaps of the diamond into the centre to make a kite shape, and fold out. Turn over and repeat on the back.
  8. Fold the top point of the diamond down horizontally at the top end of the creases you’ve just made. Fold out.
  9. Take top sheet at the bottom point of the diamond and pull it up, so that the sides close inwards a bit like a frog’s mouth and press these down in place (they should meet in the middle. Now turn over and do the same on the other side. You should have an elongated diamond shape.
  10. Again fold the left and right flaps of the diamond into the centre like a kite. Leave folded. Turn over and repeat. You should have a long thin diamond shape that separates in half.
  11. Fold the two halves up and outwards to form a ‘W’ shape and then unfold.
  12. Fold one of the halves up inside the crease you’ve just made to make one side of a neater, more permanent ‘W’ shape – you’ll have to open the side slightly to do so. Repeat on the other side.
  13. Take the centre flaps and pull them down an out to form the wings.
  14. Take one end of the crane and fold the tip over to create a head. If you want this to be done neatly, use the same technique described above to fold it inside the paper.
  15. Now decorate your crane and hang it from the ceiling with a piece of cotton thread.


origami instructions for kids

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