HOW IMPORTANT IS THE CULTURE OF PAPER AND ORIGAMI?
I remember an occasion while my children and I were waiting for our turn in the waiting room of a hospital, a very nice elderly man came up to us and began to make birds out of newspaper and gave them to the children. The skill and speed with which that gentleman made a swallow or a sparrow were incredible. He made us a multitude of little birds, all of them different from each other.
In elementary school my children made many Origami figures. In Japan, all the children know how to make origami figures.
It is important to know its benefits. NASA uses Origami to confront mathematical challenges on some occasions. The Japanese tradition of paper folding has acquired a new dimension inspiring a series of space designs in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASAJ (PL-Caltech, 2017)
Origami enhances creativity. In addition, it helps create patterns in the brain, as well as developing a sense of order. It also helps us exercise our concentration, since one must pay attention to following the steps so as not to get lost.
People who have followed individual or group origami therapies have clearly benefited not only physically or cognitively, but also emotionally, since this art form requires high doses of patience and perseverance, and as progress begins to be achieved, satisfaction is obtained. The folding process becomes a moment of tranquility, isolation, concentration and relaxation, which reduces stress and anxiety. Also, completing a creative project improves the sense of personal satisfaction and self-esteem.
The senses that are most activated during the folding process are those of touch and sight. Regarding the first, origami is a useful tool to stimulate people with mobility difficulties in the hands, in need of rehabilitation, or rheumatism. It is also beneficial for people with movement and muscle control problems, fine motor skills – small movements that require precision, or hand- to-eye coordination.
As for the repercussions on the eyes, trying to visualize the figures and remembering images of the steps to be taken stimulates people with visual disabilities and sequential visual memory or visual attention problems. Likewise, spatial memory, orientation and the ability to recognize the shapes of plane figures and 3D figures are improved.
The development of cognitive abilities has been shown to be linked to a person’s psychomotor development, so it is not surprising that origami helps improve memory, perception and attention (E. Tramuns, 2017).
A practical way of using origami to learn mathematics in a fun and playful way is already being carried out in some schools in Japan, where children learn the main geometric polyhedral figures with origami. It is really fun. My kids for example, after making all those figures and creating all those new brain connections, they can spend hours building many more figures from those basic patterns.
In the FUN MATH/ Geometry/ Polyhedra with Origami course all these basic figures are collected. It is a way to share with the world new ways of learning that give very good results and help to develop and create new talents. It is a privilege to have access to something so exclusive and unique that is only developed in schools in Japan. You can download the free PDF of the course here.
More about origami and origami projects at JAPANESE ART and CULTURE for CHILDREN BOOK. Vol I among many other projects like this one of Japanese Architecture (Tokyo Tower made of paper).