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Paper Folding Activity for Toddlers

by Kim Blakesley, studioD

Items made with paper translate to creative and inexpensive craft projects for toddlers. Paper folding is a basic fine motor skill all children learn as they grow. Toddlers see adults folding newspapers, letters, cards and many other items made from paper. Capture their curiosity by providing paper folding activities for their young hands.

Hamburger Fold

Art teachers at the preschool and elementary level often use a basic fold called the hamburger fold. This basic fold is the foundation to more complicated folds and may be used to make greeting cards. Turn the paper so the long edge is at the bottom. Bring the right edge and left edge together so they match, then crease the fold. Model the process for your toddler then let him have a go at it. Keep in mind that the right and left edges will not match exactly when your toddler performs the task. With practice, the process will become easier.

Hot Dog Fold

The hot dog fold, similar to the hamburger fold, is the foundation to folds used in more complicated craft projects. Turn the paper so a short edge is along the bottom. Match the right and left edges and press the fold to create a crease. Again, model the folding process for your toddler first, showing him he can create a fold that is different from the hamburger fold.

Fan Folded Snake

Make a fan folded snake from a piece of colored construction paper. Place the short edge of the paper along the bottom. Help your toddler fold the bottom edge of the paper up approximately one inch and crease the folded edge. Flip the paper over so the back is now the front. Use the same process over and over again until the entire paper is folded. Fold the fan folded paper twice using the hamburger fold. Ask the toddler to open the two hamburger folds and draw eyes on one end to create a fan folded snake.

Paper Snowflakes

Paper snowflakes provide a toddler with paper folding and cutting skills. Two folds are required to make the snowflake. Make a simplified paper snowflake for toddlers by folding a piece of paper twice using the hamburger fold. Instruct your child to make small cuts along the four edges with safety scissors, making sure to cut through all the layers of paper. Assist if needed. When the cutting is complete, open the folded paper to view the newly created snowflake.

About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images