Origami crane folding is a great activity for all ages, but is a little challenging for children under 7. It is often easier for children to learn by folding larger (8” paper) cranes..
1: Where do origami cranes come from? What is the history of the origami crane?
Origami is a Japanese compound word meaning “folded paper”. While it is believed origami originated shortly after the invention of paper, and developed in several areas in Asia, today origami, and especially origami cranes, are associated with Japan and Japanese culture.
2: Why fold 1000 cranes? What is the significance of that number?
There is a Japanese legend that anyone who folds 1000 cranes gets a wish. That tale was made popular in the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who contracted cancer as a result of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima and who tried to fold 1000 cranes before she died. Her story inspired her classmates and later the world. There is a statue of Sadako in Hiroshima Peace Park and children from Japan and all over the world send thousands of cranes each year to her statue in an effort to support World Peace. Sadako’s story is told in the award winning children’s book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr and also in the play that Lafayette College performed, A Thousand Cranes, by Kathryn Schultz Miller.
3: How do I learn to fold a crane?
There are many, many websites that offer detailed instructions on folding origami cranes. Here is one from YouTube, though a search on the same site reveals plenty of others.
4: Do I need to use origami paper?
Real origami paper is helpful because it is white on one side and a color on the other, which helps to know which way to fold the paper. Basic origami paper is fine to use – while there is beautiful, more decorative paper, because the cranes are assembled in groups of 1000, even solid color papers looks beautiful.
5: Where do I get origami paper?
You can find origami paper at any craft store in smaller qualities of around 40 sheets to a pack. If you wish to fold larger qualities, better deals are to be found in bulk on the internet.
6: Does it matter what size my cranes are?
Any size cranes folded using from 3” to 8” origami paper work well for our purposes of creating crane mobiles.
7: What happens to my cranes once I send them in?
Once we receive the cranes and have 1000 ready to be strung together, we string them into rows of 50, and then attach 20 strings to a wreath base, placed horizontally, to create a mobile of 1000 which can be hung from the ceiling. Cranes will then be installed in pediatric cancer centers.
8: Where do I send my cranes?
Currently, cranes can be sent to David’s family at the following address: 130 W. Lafayette Street; Easton, PA 18042.
9: My cranes aren’t perfect – should I still send them in?
Of course – origami crane folding gets easier with practice, but we welcome all attempts to help in the project.