On one of those ridiculously gray days, this last week, when we were all feeling too under motivated to accomplish anything of worth, I clicked over to Netflix in search of an entertaining, yet hopefully educational, documentary.
I landed on the PBS Independent Lens documentary, Between The Folds. I noticed our local library has a DVD copy too, or you can find it on YouTube in six parts, starting here.
The film is a thought provoking look into the modern world of origami, and how far it has moved beyond the simple paper crane. I'm not sure we're buying everything they're trying to sell, or maybe it's just that the half asleep voice of the narrator, combined with the dreamlike score of music, seemed a little overdone, like one of those films designed to make you feel smarter for just having watched it. But underneath all that, was a pretty interesting look at how a craft can become art, and how art combines with mathematics, and science in unexpected, but exciting ways.
It gave us (the older children and I) something to think about, anyway.
Needless to say I popped over to our library website, and put a quick hold on as many origami themed books, as I could find, including a couple of children's picture books, like Lissy's Friends by Grace Lin.
It is the story of a shy little girl, who finds herself in a new school, without any friends - until she makes some for herself. Ultimately, her paper "friends" provide her with an avenue for making real friends, as she shares with her classmates the art of paper folding.
C (age 4), loved the story, and all of Lissy's paper creations. But, she was very frustrated, that she couldn't follow the instructions at the back of the book to make her own paper crane.
I'll admit, I had trouble following the instructions myself. After a couple, paper crumpling, attempts, I turned to Wikihow for help, and finally managed to get something close to a bird. It was good enough for C, anyway. So much for the crane being simple.
Happily, a little bit of searching turned up a much easier paper frog printable, from Click Magazine, with simple enough instructions, we could all make one (the youngest two, with help).
After a few misfires...
...we even managed to get them to hop.
And, right before posting this, this morning, I came across instructions for a two fold, origami fish, at Paper Crafts for Children via Teach Preschool's Facebook page, that C is going to love.
It's great to be a homeschooler.