Origami, the Japanese art of folding paper. As a parent of a child obsessed with it, there are certain scenes that are familiar: the random squares of paper tucked in every corner of the house, random paper animals, flowers, and boxes on and in your desk and any flat surface in your house really, nevermind the little shavings and scraps of paper you find from more complicated projects. It came as no surprise that my nine year old son’s eyes sparkled when I handed him My First Origami Fairy Tales Kit produced by Tuttle. 

This boxed set boasts 11 character models, 36 folding sheets and 85 stickers all packed in a bright red sparkly box. His excitement grew as he discovered the origami papers inside were each individually designed for specific characters in a fairytale; the witch, the fairy godmother, a wizard, princess, knight as well as a few animals plus a dragon. A small booklet provides all the instructions for every project and are detailed with written and color images for each step. Familiar with this instruction format, my son promptly left to work independently on each project.

Not too long after, my son returned to solicit my help which is rather unusual. His origami skill set is intermediate, he can handle most projects himself with the exception of very intricate or advanced folds that my husband and I will struggle with. That being said, as we worked together two challenges became apparent. While he could manage most of the animals such as the enchanted frog and dragon, the humans have more complicated and intricate folds. The paper, while having fun designs, is very thin and smooth making it even more challenging to get a good grip and press into clean crisp folds.

Eventually the two of us decided to make do with the simpler projects, which were mostly the animals. While he enjoyed the unique designs and flash of the kit, he was a little deflated that some characters seemed out of reach, or were not as cleanly folded as he liked. We did appreciate the resourcefulness of the kit, it utilizes every aspect using the box as a holder for various fairytale backdrops for the completed projects. Just be aware that this set will more likely require the adult to complete many of the projects while the child waits in anticipation for their chance at some imaginative play.

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