The Friesen Folding Company was created in late 2009 to provide origami creations and affordable lessons to greater New York City.  So far, we’ve had the pleasure of working with the New York Times, Vougue.com, The Central Park Conservancy, The New York City Public Library, Howcast, Sidetour, Ruum, and many other great organizations.

There are many benefits to Origami, but research has shown that paper-folding, particularly in the elementary school years, is not only fun, but also an innovative method for developing vital skills. Here are just a few:

Behavioral skills: Origami is an example of “schematic learning through repeatable actions”. To be successful, the student must watch closely and listen carefully to specific instructions and then carry them out with neatness and accuracy. For many, it engenders a patience that leads to pride in one’s work, the ability to focus energy, and increased self-esteem.

Cooperative Learning: Origami is well-suited to working with large classrooms and in a multi-age setting, paper-folding tends to eliminate the status associated with age differences, with younger children often in a position to teach the older ones. Many people report that children who do not “star”in other places, are often quick to learn origami and help their classmates master the steps.

A Link to Math: Transforming a flat piece of paper into a three dimensional figure is a unique exercise in spatial reasoning. What happens when you unfold an origami model? Can you see the symmetry in the crease patterns? Manipulating paper with their hands helps children learn concepts that may otherwise be rather abstract. In addition, paper-folding allows students to create and manipulate basic geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles.

Cognitive Development: Through the actual folding, children use their hands to follow a specific set of steps in sequence, producing a visible result that is at once clever and pleasing. The steps must be performed in a prescribed order to yield a successful outcome – an important lesson not only in math, but in life.

Physical Therapy:Origami helps patients regain control over their hand movements and helps build muscles. Patients find doing their “hand exercise” through origami is more rewarding than traditional physical therapy methods.

Multi-cultural Awareness: Rooted in Asia, origami reflects the ingenuity and aesthetics of Japanese culture. By participating, students gain appreciation of a different culture, perhaps opening a doorway to further exploration and increased tolerance.

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