It’s time for some simple and wonderful origami projects for kids! We have a LOT of origami instructions on this site, but I wanted to collect our very simple origami crafts – perfect for beginners of all ages and a fantastic introduction to origami folding.
These projects all require just a few simple folds…and the origami projects at the beginning of this list can be done with very few steps and folds. Super easy origami to delight you and your children!
Origami can be used as decoration, as part of greeting cards, for collages and origami garlands and banners, and for simple mindfulness. So many good reasons to try origami.
All you need is regular printer paper, not even special origami paper, although using origami paper is always special and a lot of fun. So, let’s take a look at this wonderful traditional craft from Japan. For those who ask.. Origami is a Japanese word, which combines “Ori” which means “to fold” and “kami” which means “paper”. So Origami means “folding paper”!
- 1 Main advantages of this great activity
- 2 Easy origami tutorials
- 3 Our step-by-step origami tutorials include:
- 4 Origami tulip – Spring decorations
- 5 Origami Rabbits / Bunny Rabbits
- 6 Origami Tiger or Origami Cat
- 7 Easy Origami Dog
- 8 Origami bookmark corner
- 9 Origami Cootie Catcher
- 10 Easy DIY origami boat
- 11 Easy Origami Frog – who jumps!
- 12 Origami dog / Scottie Origami
- 13 Easy Origami Fish
- 14 First origami butterfly – also a butterfly bookmark
- 15 3D Origami Butterfly
- 16 origami cranes
Main advantages of this great activity
- Conscious activity
- Encourages math (symmetry, angles, shapes)
- cultural craftsmanship
A simple craft technique that really only requires square paper in different colors!
Easy origami tutorials
The order in which these origami projects for beginners are listed is the same, I would teach my kids to try their hand at origami! Of course, the order isn’t set in stone…and you can easily start making those origami crafts further down the list. But the list grows freely in complexity as you go! By complexity, I mean a combination of “difficulty of trick” and “number of tricks” to remember. Aside from the paper boat, all of these origami projects require square paper – the classic shape of Japanese Origami paper!
Our step-by-step origami tutorials include:
Work through these projects to develop your origami folding skills and gradually master orgami!
- Origami Tulip
- Simple origami bunny rabbit
- Simple origami tiger or cat
- Simple origami dog
- Basic origami bookmark corner
- Origami cootie catchers / origami fortune teller toy
- How to make an origami boat
- Next Level – Origami Frog
- Next level – Origami scottie dog
- Next Level – Origami Fish
- Level Up – Origami Butterfly Bookmark
- Level Up – Origami Butterfly
- origami cranes
So! Let’s explore our super simple origami projects for kids of all ages!
Origami tulip – Spring decorations
All origami should start with this classic origami tulip. Simple, and oh so sweet! A great way to introduce paper folding and symmetry. The stem is a bit more difficult to make – but not THAT difficult… However, you can easily make the tulip head and put it on a paper straw or stick the paper tulip head on a greeting card and decorate the rest with pens and paper cut outs. Paper tulips always make great gifts! You can probably try this one even with 3 or 4 year olds. Introduce young children to origami and watch them surprise you!
Origami Rabbits / Bunny Rabbits
We have a set of three easy origami animal face craft that young children will especially love. And of course, it includes this super cute and easy Origami Bunny Face! Super simple basic folds to learn quickly and easily! These make a great origami bunny for the “Year of the Rabbit” too! Just be sure to stick to the “lucky colors” (i.e. NOT a white rabbit!) and you’re all sorted.
Origami Tiger or Origami Cat
Grab some orange paper and make yourself a super cute origami tiger face! Nice and easy. Of course, this “pattern” is the same as for an origami cat. Just change the colors. If you want to make a cat with a body, try this adorable “black cat origami”!!
Easy Origami Dog
This origami dog is super popular among my readers. I think it’s because it takes a simple sheet of printer paper, it turns into a “puppy” and the kids get super creative by decorating the dog’s faces afterwards. I kind of have an “origami & doodle” session in one! And aren’t they cute?! Again, this would look great on a greeting card or collage…in fact, a little puppy garland would be fun too!
Origami bookmark corner
It would be so “wrong” of me not to include this oh so lovely and basic corner of origami bookmarks. Yes, it’s so easy to do, but there are hundreds of ways to get creative and decorate them. As with many of our designs, we have versions for all seasons. So learn how to make an origami corner bookmark… then head over to see all of our creative corner bookmark designs!! From easy bunny bookmarks to Pokemon, Christmas and more!
Origami Cootie Catcher
Once you’ve mastered making basic origami cootie catchers, you can decorate them in so many different ways. Basically… a craft, with so many designs and opportunities. Lots of printable template ideas are also available!
Easy DIY origami boat
For some reason, I don’t often see these easy origami boats on one of the “basic” origami project lists…and yet, to me, these paper boats (and fortune tellers ) shout “CHILDREN”. Ok…maybe MY childhood, but I used to do both ALL the time, on any type of paper, in any size. I’ve always made them and I don’t even remember being taught how to make them…I think ALL kids should learn how to make a paper boat! Ha. And the paper boat, also has its beginnings in a paper hat! So it’s a win-win. You MUST learn this one! (and it’s so cool, when you “unfold” it in the final step)!
Easy Origami Frog – who jumps!
How to make an origami frog? I especially love this origami project because it’s also a fun paper toy to play with! Make your origami frogs, decorate them and then see how many you can jump into the cauldron or pond! After fish (see below), this was my daughter’s second most popular origami craft. And she made 10 of these little frogs in lots of different colors! So funny.
Origami dog / Scottie Origami
Unlike the paper boat above – which I rarely see on “lists”, I often see these little Origami / Origami Scottie dogs.. now I think they’re super cute and pretty easy to get a handle on, but I’m not never quite sure why these stand out in particular. Ha. So here they are…otherwise this beginners list of simple origami for kids wouldn’t be complete!
Easy Origami Fish
This origami fish was probably one of the first origami projects that my daughter got the most out of. She had a whole school of fish swimming on her bedroom wall. Clearly a winner. I like how you can have fun with different colors, orange, blue, yellow, etc. The next one you’ll need is an origami mermaid from Pink Stripey Socks 😉
First origami butterfly – also a butterfly bookmark
This origami butterfly isn’t everyone’s paper butterfly (the next one is!). And I don’t know what, because I think it’s SO beautiful! And it’s easier too… AND it doubles as a corner bookmark, I mean, what more do you want? ! That said, this one looks best with “double sided” paper – so at least one side should be white and the other in color, for example a nice orange, yellow or purple…
3D Origami Butterfly
Of course, you need an origami butterfly. Unlike the bookmark butterfly, this one has a 3D element, so it looks like the butterfly is flying away. So sweet! Again… have fun with different colors or cute patterned origami papers.
The origami crane (our youtube video is a bit old, maybe I’ll try to refilm it soon) is of course one of the most iconic origami projects. It’s not too difficult to learn, but there are quite a few tricks to remember and do. Definitely one for older kids. So, I still think you should try an origami crane, only once you feel a bit more confident and have mastered a number of other simple origami projects first! I admit it is NOT the one I have taught my children yet, but they are quite old and more than capable. Maybe we’ll get to it this weekend!
There are of course lots of wonderful seasonal origami projects, and I’ve created lists for you to explore, if you wish – they include all of our easy origami ideas for the seasons:
- Easter Origami Projects
- Halloween origami projects (including the fabulous origami frog jumping in a cauldron and of course the wonderfully easy origami bat)
- Christmas Origami (including an origami Christmas tree and an adorable origami penguin that doubles as a greeting card! And of course origami stars)
- COMING SOON: Origami Cards (including, bunny pop-up cards, origami whales for Valentine’s Day and pop-up origami dresses)
Origami is really fun and I encourage you to try it! All you need is a square sheet of paper and there’s no shortage of DIY ideas! Hope you try these wonderful Paper Craft, it’s a wonderful hobby with lots of DIY ideas.