As children, many of us would have indulged in various art and craft related activities such as painting, sculpting, clay & playdough, origami, nature art, sketching, etc. All of these activities help students think and work innovatively by using their imagination and intelligence, thereby, enhancing self-confidence and their thought process. Through this article, let us explore the various ways origami helps improve various skills or attributes of students or any individual.
Before we evaluate the various benefits of origami, let us first understand more about this art.
What Is Origami
Origami - in Japanese - refers to "ori" meaning "folding" and "kami" or "gami" meaning "paper". It is an art of folding paper. Mostly linked to the Japanese culture, origami used to be prevalent in Europe and China as well. It involves neatly folding flat square sheets of paper, fabric or cloth to transform them into final sculptures of decorative designs and shapes, by using the technique of sculpting. An interesting fact is that a single sheet of paper or multiple papers may be used to create innovative art forms of origami.
Some of the most popular types of origami are: bonsai, Kawasaki rose, dollar bill elephant, flamenco dancers, Kawasaki cube and so on. Akira Yoshizawa, a Japanese, is considered as the father of origami.
How Does Origami Benefit An Individual
Origami promotes various skills in an individual. For instance, good eye-hand coordination, attention to detail and focus, patience, sequencing ability, processing ability, mathematical reasoning, etc. The involvement of these skills boosts the mind and thinking ability to a great extent. The reason for this is the stimulation of the entire brain.
Pros Of Origami
Research says origami, especially for children in elementary schools, helps develop their thought patterns and coordination skills. It is an activity full of fun and learning at the same time. Some of the major benefits of practising origami for educational purposes or even for improving professional or personal skills are:
• Mathematical reasoning ability - Helps enhance mathematical logical thinking.
• Understanding of geometry - Strengthens the knowledge of geometric concepts and formulae.
• Problem solving - Improves problem-solving skills by helping individuals figure out more than one solution to a problem.
• Behavioral skills - The ability to create or recreate an artwork through origami helps increase focus, energy and confidence.
• Thinking ability - Improves thinking skills by boosting visualisation and imagination specific abilities.
• Flexibility - Origami helps adapting to new situations or needs by promoting flexibility in order to improvise or strategise problem-solving skills.
• Therapeutic advantage - The therapeutic benefits of origami are many. E.g. generating a sense of acceptance or belonging by means of interaction with others either by performing origami for others or by watching someone else perform it.
• Memory enhancement - Increased brain-stimulation leads to better memory.
• Patience - Origami involves numerous techniques, attempts, etc. to achieve the desired result. All this requires a patient approach.
• A sense of achievement and happiness for finishing a task - This is an important aspect of origami. Creating a simple or complicated design just with a plain or simple material such as paper, fabric, etc. develops a sense of accomplishment and joy.
• Awareness of community-building - Most large designs involving smaller units of designs may require the contribution of more than one person. Such a practise definitely promotes community-building, knowledge-sharing, coordination and mutual cooperation.
Origami Is For Everyone!
Origami, being a traditional art, may be helpful in enhancing various mental, physical as well as psychological skill sets. This stands true not just for students, but for adults too. Just like any art could help enhance the overall personality of an individual, origami may also be considered as an exceptional tool to improve focus, boost imagination, inculcate a sense of achievement, and act as a relaxant by reducing stress.
A Final Note
Looking at the ocean of benefits that origami offers, it is a wonderful idea to learn and practise it on regular basis. Being a simple art, involving the minimum raw material, it is one of the best and easiest options to help improve one's skill sets.
Origami is an excellent way to help build healthy relationships or connections both on personal and professional levels. So, if you plan to start origami soon, you may be assured that it is a fun activity that you would simply cherish and tremendously benefit from!