(Methods for Teaching Kindergarten Origametria (ages 4-6

Important Tips for Teaching Origametria to Kindergarten Children

1. Groups: 4 – 6 children in a group.

2. Form: seated around a single table.

3. Integrating children with difficulties: it is recommended to work in groups of 2-3 children and occasionally, in one-on-one work.

4. Reassigning the seating arrangement during the activity is possible.

5. In cases of known learning difficulties (such as ADHD), it is recommend to engage in the activity through one-on-one work. After the children gain confidence in their ability, they can be integrated into a group.

6. Refusal to fold: it is possible that children will refuse to engage in the folding activity due to past experiences and concerns of failure. In that case, it is recommended to tell a child: “I’m putting the paper on the table, but you don’t have to fold”. Often, the child will begin folding. When the children will gain a positive experience they will participate out of the understanding that in your activity they “do succeed”. It is also important to actively integrate this child in the geometrical discussions.

7. Activity recommendations vary according to the particular needs of a kindergarten, its teachers and the children.

8. Paper distribution: it is recommended to create a paper fan, and let the children freely select their color, one child at a time.

In case time is limited, we will turn the paper fan backwards (to its white side) and ask the children to take a sheet at random. This way, whatever color each child receives is OK.  We can also ask the children to name the color of their paper.

9. Activity Presentation: it is recommended to practice at home, in front of the mirror and with family members. It is important to be able to hold the paper in a way which presents it clearly to assist the geometrical discussion.  A teacher should hold the paper in class in a similar way to the children, as the next step of folding will be unfamiliar to them.

10. Clear and short instructions: passing equally through the children’s groups after every instruction while giving positive reinforcements.

11. Recommended words to know: ICHIBAN! (Japanese for, “this is/you are number one!”)

                                                  SUGOY! (Japanese for, “wonderful!” / “great!”)

12. Recommended phrases not to use: “not this way…”, “this is not correct…”, “be accurate…”, “not good…”.

Phrases we will use instead: “very good! Open the triangle and fold…”

13. It is absolutely forbidden to touch/fold a child’s work!

**We will not fix! We will not improve!**

Demonstrate a folding instruction and/or geometrical insight only with your own paper.

“Fixing” and/or “improving” a child’s work will create insecurity and an “im not good enough” feeling with the child.  We should show the children that their work is good, and that they can fold well by themselves. Among other benefits, this approach builds motivation in a child.
Feelings of success create the ambition to become even more successful!

**It is extremely important that teachers will dismiss their own tendency and/or reflex to touch and/or improve a child’s work.**

**Instead, a teacher will demonstrate in this way…**

14. Motor skills: it is important to work in accordance to a child’s particular stage of development. At any age, finger-based work is extremely valuable, as it develops fine motor control, spatial thinking, patience and sequential thinking.

15. It is important to have a weekly check of scissors at the kindergarten, and throw away equipment that is not properly useful. A child who is trying to cut paper using scissors which have become dull, will experience frustrations and might refuse to cut again. Trying to use dull scissors will negatively affect a child’s fine motor skills.


16. Accuracy: as much as we push the child to be accurate, we will harm a child’s capacity to fully realize their abilities.

**During paper folding activities in kindergartens, it is recommended to refrain from using the word “accuracy”.**  

17. Verbal instructions: it is important to use geometrical terms while giving instructions.

Throughout the folding process, we will guide the class in language which describes polygons; this helps the process of learning by introducing basic terms in geometry.

In case of a discussion about the sides of a polygon, we will describe a “side“, instead of a “line“. “Vertex“, instead of a “corner“. While discussing kite-shaped polygons, it is important to describe them as members of the quadrilateral family. Even if the children does not fully comprehend the meaning of the term quadrilaterals, it is important to verbally use the term.

18. Imagination: using imagination allows the children to learn geometrical shapes, and to explore and classify them.  Children should be encouraged to name their collages of polygons (“fish”, Spiderman”, etc.) and to identify the parts (tail, head …).

19. Assembling and disassembling of polygons allows the children to develop spatial and directional perceptions, and identify how polygons can transform from one to another (such as how 2-triangles can make a square, a larger triangle or a parallelogram).

For instance, before engaging in the folding process, we might request the children to create an imaginary shape, or a polygon, which corresponds with the class’s activity.

20. Final outcome: by the end of the activity, each child chooses their own final model.

21. The Kindergarten Origametria learning method incorporates several abilities: sensation, visual, verbal, and aural. The multi-tasked method used in Kindergarten Origametria activities assist the children in remembering and undstanding the geometrical terms.

22. The immediate outcome: a dynamic process of learning and positive feelings derived from successful personal experimentation.

Watch a ‘Pre-Origametria’ activity in the kindergarten