Valentines Mansion inspires a new generation of origami stars!

Nothing says school holidays like a bit of arts and crafts! Children and their parents went along to the mansion to enjoy a morning of traditional Japanese art on Wednesday 19th of February.

As soon as our tutor, Alison, began her demonstration at the front of the class I heard a young girl shout excitedly, “I can see! That’s part of the head!” – I mean, that was pure talent right there, in the midst of all those baffling folds and creases, she could spot an emerging dog’s head.

It looked like the focus of the class was making animals, starting with man’s best friend. Using colourful paper, googly eyes and tons of imagination parents and children were getting stuck in and following the steps to create their animal. The whole class watched intently as Alison folded the corners down to make the dog’s floppy ears, then immediately followed her example and raced on, decorating their creations further with whiskers and funny noses.

Origami may look complex at first with all the paper aligning and symmetrical folding, but actually it’s quite relaxing once you get the hang of it, and definitely rewarding once you can see your design start coming to life. The class was full to the brim and buzzing with enthusiasm. The kids were eager to show Alison how they were getting on, ensuring that they were on the right track. After they had all cracked making a dog, there was no time to waste as a penguin was the next animal on the list. Even though Alison crafted her waddling friend out of an appropriate colour, grey, it didn’t stop the kids going for wacky colours like orange, red or yellow!

Once again, keeping careful track of all the folds and creases, the penguins began to take shape. Dotted around the room were many different origami animals, some kids made their creatures come alive as they began playing with them like miniature figures. Not ready to slow down, Alison proposed the next animal, a panda, which got a great reception “we have to do a panda!” then, just as everything was going so swimmingly, it was time for a fish.

The class were still burning with enthusiasm as the rustling of paper, entwined with the sounds of laughter and enjoyment. I meanwhile, fumbled with a bit of paper desperately trying to change my screwed up lump into what was supposed to be a panda…

Post Author: Raeesa Mukhtar

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