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Origami in therapy

What is origami?

Origami is the ancient art of paper folding that originated from China and was popularized in Japan.

How does origami benefit your brain, mind and body?

Origami helps to improve a person’s fine motor skill (finger control, manipulation, dexterity), eye-hand coordination, critical thinking, executive function, patience, and attention span.

Fine motor skill

Fine motor skills are the movement and coordination of a person’s small muscles in our hands, wrists, and fingers. When you move your hands and fingers, you are using your fine motor skills.

Fine motor skills include strength, manipulation, dexterity, finger control, finger separation, coordination

Origami requires a person’s fine motor skill while working on folding the paper, flipping the paper.

How does origami benefit your brain?

Origami requires abstract reasoning. One of the fun things about origami is that we need to understand the written structure or picture in order to make the right step. Abstract reasoning is a skill needed for school and work activities and daily life.

Origami also requires skills in executive functioning. This includes problem solving, memorization and concentration. It can be frustrating because of its difficulty.

What is Executive Functioning?

Executive functioning skills are known as “the management system of the brain.” include 12 skills, self-restraint, working memory, emotion control, focus, task initiation, planning/prioritization, organization, time management, defining and achieving goals, flexibility, observation and stress tolerance. (Resource)

What age is origami appropriate for?

Origami can be enjoyed at any age. For children, origami can be introduced at age 5 with picture instructions, and at age 8 with written instructions.

Origami is a fun and creative way to develop a child’s skills in their brain, mind, and body. This can help a child’s performance in school and daily life.

Who can benefit from origami?

Anyone! Origami is a fun and creative activity for everyone to enjoy. Research has shown that origami helps people to improve a person’s physical and mental health. For example, origami benefits people with low self esteem, anxiety, depression, ADHD, dyslexia, ASD (autism spectrum disorder), intellectual disability, and other psychological conditions and developmental delays.

OT does not treat psychological disorders or conditions. Please refer to your mental health provider for more information.

Origami in Therapy

OT helps with self-regulation, emotion control, patience, and stress tolerance. When we work with origami in OT, we work on our regulation and patience.

Origami websites:

I am proud to be an occupational therapist. Ella Wu, OTD, OTR/L Doctor of Occupational Therapy
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