- Coloured pens or pencils
- Access to a computer
- A4 paper
Before you begin
- Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely.
- Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers.
Planning this activity
- Print out copies of the illustrated instructions, so people can copy how to fold their paper.
- Print out photos of different Scout uniforms from around the world, such as Scouts in Australia, Brazil, Iceland, Mexico, Spain, India, Canada or South Africa.
- You may want to practice folding the paper and doing this craft before the session.
Run the activity
- Gather everyone together and tell everyone you’re going to make origami Scout uniforms to show what Scouts wear all around the world.
- You could have some photos of different Scout uniforms from around the world and talk through these. Ask people how they’re similar or different to their own uniform.
- Make sure everyone has a piece of paper before you get stuck in. Everyone should make a square from their piece of paper. It should be at least 15cm on each side, so it‘s not too tricky to fold. Remind people to choose the right coloured piece of paper for the uniform you want to recreate.
- Give out copies of the illustrated instructions to show everyone how to fold the uniforms. You could show everyone how to fold their piece of paper to make the uniform. They should remind everyone that they can look at their sheet to help them.
- Try to hold your paper up as you make each fold. Give everyone time to copy and catch up before you move on to the next step.
- When people are ready, everyone should decorate their shirts. They could copy a uniform from a different country or section or use their imagination to design their own, such as a futuristic Scout uniform.
- Remind everyone that they can draw on details, such as badges and scarves if they want to.
- At the end, put all the paper uniforms together. Does anyone recognise another country’s uniform? Has anyone invented their own uniform? What do you like about each other’s designs?
How to fold
- Fold the paper in half horizontally and then vertically, then unfold it. There should be a slight cross-shaped crease in the paper.
- Fold the bottom of the paper up to within one centimetre from the top. Then turn the paper over.
- Fold the sides of the paper into the middle so they overlap slightly.
- Fold the top flaps back on each side to make two right-angled triangles (or lapel shapes). The narrowest points should be at the bottom, in the middle of your creation.
- Fold the strip of unfolded paper at the top down and tuck it behind the right-angled triangles. Then turn your creation over. The right-angled triangles should stick out so they look like sleeves.
- With scissors, carefully cut down the crease that runs from the centre top to bottom. The cut doesn’t need to be long – just enough to make a hole that looks like the neckline.
- Fold the paper either side of the cut down to make a shape that looks like a collar.
People in Japan have been doing origami for many hundreds of years. It’s a traditional pastime that is said to relieve stress, though it can be difficult to master the complex designs. How did this activity make people feel? Maybe it felt frustrating when a design wouldn’t go right, exciting when someone mastered a tricky fold, or calming to repeat the process for a second time. Did anyone have to try, try again when the paper crumpled or tore? What kind of instructions do people find easiest to follow: written instructions, pictures, diagrams, or videos? How would people show others how to do it?
- Phones and cameras
Make sure parents and carers are aware and have given consent for photography.
Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.
- Online safety
Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe. Take a look at our online safety or bullying guidance. The NSPCC offers more advice and guidance, too. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command. As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare, including their online experiences, follow the Yellow Card to make a report.
- Look online to find other origami challenges – there are plenty of simpler and trickier ones with pictures and instructions.
- Use larger sheets of paper to make this activity less fiddly.
Make it accessible
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.
This is a great opportunity for any origami experts to show off their skills and help anyone who’s struggling. Encourage any young people that finish first to share their skills with others.