I know that The Transformers ® cartoon coined the phrase, “more than meets the eye,” but I feel that slogan should have been given to the disciplines of origami. After all, paper is so simple and so vanilla-plain, but after a few folds paper even a kid can turn it into an origami car or a flower or any of a few zillion other things. I guess you could say that origami is the original transformer. It turns out, origami and The Transformers have similar roots and similar power to spark our imagination. Read all about it below and then follow the video with your children to transform paper into an easy origami car.
For Kids -Transformers Captivate
I am old enough to remember the first Transformer cartoons in the 80s (I realize that is only slightly after the dawn of man, but stick with me). And my brothers loved the Transformers. We watched that cartoon daily after school. How can kids not be captivated by this idea that there are (1) robots among us in secret and (2) those robots hide themselves in our world as cars and boomboxes? (for the millenials: boomboxes are like a 2 foot long phone that only has the “I Heart Radio” app) Hasbro brought the Transformers to life in the form of plastic action figures that moved around to become a truck, plane or automobile.
Where did Transformers originate?
The original cartoon was based on a Japanese toy line called MicroMan. MicroMan depicted a battle waged by robots that transform into cars. (Turns out Hasbro wasn’t as original as we thought –though I give them full credit for marketing power). I am guessing, though there is no proof of this, that Japanese transforming robots were inspired by Japanese origami. It just seems natural to me.
Who invented Origami?
Just like their Transformer buddies, origami was developed to it’s fullest in Japan. While China is credited with inventing paper. And it’s likely they even folded (I guess ancient people needed to put things in pockets too). It wasn’t until paper folding was adopted by the Japanese culture and passed down by oral tradition that it finally got named “origami” in the late 1800s. So both Transformers and origami started their lives in Japan.
How kids can transform paper into an easy origami car
So let’s harness your inner transformer and spark your imagination to create this simple origami car. Get your 6 x 6 piece of paper, it can be the same color on both sides or a different color. This origami car is a flat origami, meaning it only looks like a car on one side; therefore the back of the paper has no effect of the results. If you prefer to make a more complex car there are several great 3D Origami Cars out there. I have included a video for a fun (but advanced skill jeep at the end of the post). For kids, beginners and anyone that just wants a 3-minute craft, watch my easy origami car video above. I swear there are no tricky parts and you will probably not even need to stop the video to follow along.
Transformers Roll Out
Now that you have made my easy origami car you are officially a Transformer. Or paper that is. Are you wondering what else you can make with paper. Grab another square of origami paper (or printer paper) and you can also fold
- A Paper Tulip
- A Traditional Starbox Origami (simple for kids and beginners)
- Origami Gift Box
- Easy Rabbit Origami
Better yet come up with your own design for a car using the simple car as a start point. You can transform it into whatever you want, give it only one wheel or make it a convertible. Or color the paper with markers to make it your own. Make it “more than meets the eye.”