Generally, we are pretty low-tech when it comes to play time: wooden blocks, dress-up clothes, Legos, etc. Recently, the kids have simplified even further: paper and string.

Both Lizzie and Joshua have been spending a lot of time with the origami book of late. The book is from Japan and all of the instructions are in Japanese. As with other Japanese craft books, a basic knowledge of the craft and the many detailed illustrations will get you pretty far. I have learned that my children have some mad folding skills. Even Joshua, who will turn 5 this week, can get pretty far on his own. I think the main thing that slows him down is his tendency to choose complicated objects, like this treasure ship.


The directions are labeled “muzukashii” (difficult) with an illustration of a very grumpy girl next to it.  I think that is how Brad felt as he tried to follow the complicated instructions once Joshua got stuck.


Lizzie spent the other morning working on this ball. She folded all of the side pieces by herself and then sought help with the assembly.


The other day we wanted to go see Ratatouille. Lizzie didn’t want to go, but changed her mind when she saw directions for an origami hat that suggested turning the hat over and using it as a bag for popcorn. She made one for each of us before leaving for the movie.


Lizzie was trying to play some string games a while ago and I could not remember how to do any.  Brad was no help, since apparently you have to have been a 7 year old girl to have learned these things. What’s a mother to do? Go to the library, of course. I found a vintage book of string games and she has been totally enthralled with that ever since. We spent all morning playing cat’s cradle and attempting all its derivations.