Origami, which literally means “folded paper” in Japanese, is a timeless art form that is also incredibly accessible. People of all ages can pick up a sheet of paper and manipulate it into essentially any subject, although there is a canon of traditional forms that has been established over centuries. It’s a highly portable art that’s perfect to practice while traveling or waiting for an appointment. Whether you’re looking to pick up origami as a casual pastime or a serious hobby, it can be economical to purchase a kit, which includes not only an instruction book but also a supply of papers to get you started. Our picks below include options for origami enthusiasts of all ages.
1. Amazing Origami Kit
Clear, comprehensive, and motivational, this kit can be enjoyed by kids and adults at all stages of their origami journeys. The projects are varied, ranging from contemporary to traditional creations: cranes, frogs, a folding fan, a lantern, many kinds of flowers, and much, much more. In addition to complete, step-by-step instructions, a 96-page book includes a key to important folding symbols so you can confidently interpret every diagram and know when to push in, turn over, make a valley fold, and so on. The kit comes with 144 beautiful papers, including solids, patterns, and some foiled sheets.
2. BUBU Origami Kit
Specifically geared toward kids, this kit focuses on cute, simple forms that can be completed in less than a dozen steps. It includes a small booklet with illustrated instructions to create creatures such as a crane, an elephant, and a dog, as well as a sheet of sticker eyes to add at the end. The paper is a little thin, but the wood pulp is dyed so surfaces will always reveal color even if torn.
3. Japanese Origami for Beginners Kit
If you are just embarking on your origami journey, we recommend this starter book, which focuses on traditional forms. The 96-page book shows you how to make 20 classic shapes, including a carp, a frog, and even little boxes. The illustrations and diagrams are clear, but if you need further visual instruction, there’s a helpful DVD filled with video tutorials that you can watch. The book also dives into the history of origami and the symbolism of various forms so you can understand the context of your creations. Also included are 72 sheets of beautiful patterned paper printed on both sides.
4. Gamenote Colorful Kids Origami Kit
Many origami kits offer papers with printed designs that are meant to be used for specific forms. These can help bring the finished pieces to life, adding surface details and colors. We like this kit because the designs are delightful, well printed, and vivid; they are also varied, ranging from sea animals to insects to plants. There’s also a guidebook that clearly details the steps for each project. Many are simple, requiring just four to eight steps to complete, but there are also more complex ones.
5. My First Origami Kit
Perfect for an animal lover, this kit is an excellent way to introduce young ones to the creative delights of origami. Budding artists can make 16 animal designs by following instructions, using the kit’s printed papers that make the final form look a little more lifelike. Critters include a bear, penguin, pig, duck, and cobra. We also like that you get a sticker set of eyes, noses, and paws to further enhance each animal. Despite the name of this kit, some instructions are slightly difficult to follow and may require adult guidance, but consider it a fun challenge for you and your child to overcome together.