REAMS OF ENTERTAINMENT
Joel Stern is the author of Origami Games published by Tuttle. The book contains directions for making 21 different origami models, and describes 22 games–both competitive and collaborative–that can be played with them. The models are all made from regular printer paper (8 1/2 x 11 inches), which means that a closetful of games and toys can be had for less than the price of a cup of coffee.
Recently Joel told me some interesting things about his motivation to write the book. “So many of our children have become addicted to technology, and have lost the ability and desire to make things themselves, and to use their imagination. Part of my intent with the book was to provide a hands-on, low-tech activity for parents to do with their children. Further, the cost of these games is negligible, which can be an important factor for families in these tough economic times.
“My inspiration for the book was the ‘football’ game I learned as a kid, where we’d flick a triangle folded from a piece of paper over a ‘goal post’ formed by a friend’s fingers on the opposite side of the table. I figured that anyone who liked to play that game would enjoy playing other games out of paper. The models include a frog, dragon, basketball hoop, and zig-zag units that can form different shapes. The games help foster skills such as balance, speed, and accuracy.
“The book offers suggestions for using origami games in the classroom, and discusses the developmental benefits of origami in general. It also includes a template for kids (or anyone) to document their own games. In fact, I got many ideas for the book by observing the games that a class of third grade students came up with.”
Besides Origami Games, Joel’s authored three other books of paper crafts (origami and pop-up cards), which are described on his website:
Editor’s Note: Joel will be giving a workshop at the Slavin Family Children’s Library of L.A., at 6505 Wilshire Blvd. (the Jewish Federation building), at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 10. If you have access to Facebook, you can see that they’ve highlighted the book on their page.