If you’re looking for an activity to keep your child busy for a really long time, this origami kit on the Dick Blick website certainly fits the bill. It contains everything you need to make a Senbazuru – a collection of 1,000 origami cranes.
Traditionally, someone who folds 1,000 paper cranes is thought to be granted a special wish. The wish is often for happiness or good health. For example, cranes are often used as wedding decorations or given as a gift for someone recovering from a serious illness.
Today, cranes are often folded as a group activity. Scout troops, Sunday school classes, and 4-H groups often make a Senbazuru together to donate to a local hospital or nursing home.
Folding a crane is an “advanced beginner” origami project. It is tricky for most kids at first, but they are not too difficult to fold once you get the hang of the steps involved. After folding 10 or 15 cranes, your child will be a pro.
But, while the individual cranes aren’t terribly time consuming, folding a Senbazuru will be a project that tests your child’s patience. (Learning to stick with a task from start to finish is actually a frequently cited educational benefit of teaching origami to children!)
This origami kit contains 1,020 sheets of paper measuring 3 x 3 inches. However, I suggest having your child practice using larger paper at first. An 8 1/2 inch x 11 inch sheet of paper cut to measure 8 1/2 inches x 8 1/2 inches will be easier to fold while she is learning the basics.
If the instructions in the origami kit are confusing for your child, I created a photo tutorial showing how to make a paper crane on the About Origami website that you might find useful.
Photo credit: Dick Blick