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Crafts And Conversation: Origami With DUCK Lab

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

Get crafty with the DUCK Lab! Each Friday, trained research assistants from the UNCG Psychology Department’s DUCK Lab will guide at-home crafts for children ages 3 to 12. Parents can join too to learn fun facts about crafts that foster age-appropriate skills or learn about the DUCK Lab’s nonprofit child development research projects. 

Parents, did you know?

This bookmark craft engages your child’s fine motor and problem-solving skills! Read on below for more info. about the connection between these types of activities and age-appropriate developmental milestones. 

We also invite you to check out our child development research opportunities, which are now modified for the virtual world! Click here to learn more or sign up to participate with us!

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Paper (origami or other)

  • Scissors

  • Markers

  • Optional: googly eyes and glue


  1. Cut a piece of paper into a 6 in. x 6 in. square.

  2. Turn the square piece of paper to a diagonal in front of you. Fold the bottom corner up to meet the top corner to make a triangle.

  3. Fold the right corner up to the top corner. Then, fold the left corner up to the top corner. You should have a small diamond shape.

  4. Open your paper back into a triangle shape. Take the top fold of the top corner and fold it down to the bottom straight edge of the triangle. This should create a small pocket.

  5. Fold each of your folds from Step 3 again. Tuck the corners into the pocket that you made in Step 4.

  6. Turn the bookmark upside-down: The pocket should be the top of your bookmark. This pocket is the part that will go on the corner of book pages to mark your place.

  7. Now decorate!

Watch the video below to see how to make your bookmark step-by-step!

Origami Bookmarks with the DUCK Lab

Relation to Developmental Science:

This origami activity engages children's fine motor skills as they fold and tuck different parts of the paper. Children must carefully follow step-by-step directions in order to make the bookmark functional. If they find the folding challenging, they will have to problem solve and visualize the shape they are trying to create with the paper and how it will fit with the bookmark's function.

Children must focus their attention to transform the paper and add decorative details to the bookmark. The final decoration step also promotes creativity, which is important to foster through the elementary school years. In addition, creating a cute or silly bookmark may engage children's interest in reading.

**Great for older children, too!**

The DUCK Lab is a partner in the nonprofit Child Development Research Center in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They conduct studies of social and cognitive development with 2- to 12- year-olds. Families who participate in their research studies are volunteers in the Greensboro community who generously offer their time to help support research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

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