Throwback post from 10/15/19-10/21/19 with several resources for your at-home play. (The public activities here are from the past, but you can still make music and art with us.)

Here’s a bit of magic for your parenting bag-of-tricks: origami. Carry in your head just a few, simple folding techniques, ready to be inflicted upon the random piece of paper or restaurant napkin when you find yourself somewhere with your child, waiting.

The first time, they’ll think you’ve gone crazy when you whip out a flapping bird (which is an origami crane, minus a couple of steps, and it can flap its wings!), or one of Joel Stern’s animated origami faces like the bear below (from his book by the same name), or a Yoshizawa butterfly (classic, easy, and so beautiful). A Google search will serve you up dozens of origami games and simple action models, like the jumping frog (best made from an index card), the origami balloon, the fortune teller (remember, from elementary school?), and more that are even quicker to make. And that’s before you even get into the paper airplanes…

This might start out as just some fun you serve up to your kids to distract them, but seeing you do it may encourage them to be folders and tinkerers as they get older, and to experiment with making somethings out of nothings (or 3D materials out of 2D materials for their art or play or whatever they’re into).

We’re going to be making lots of magic with paper–and Cardborigami!–this week. (I’m pretty excited, and I’m hoping fellow folders out there will make themselves known : ). Complete info on the week’s activities is below.

Hope to see you at PLAY–

bear origami

In Messy Art: Cardborigami

During Messy Art hours Tues. 10/15 through Mon. 10/21 (in addition to easel painting), we’ll be painting a craft model of the shelter designed by Cardborigami, a local non-profit working to create solutions for immediate shelter after natural diasters, paths out of homelessness, and youth employment opportunities through sustainable, origami-inspired design. Visit


Mon. 10-12
Tues. 10-12
Fri. 10:45-12
Sat. 10-12

Road Trip still

“Road Trip Paper Story” in PLAY music

Here’s a little story song from blue session, inspired by the simplest origami (the two-fold origami bird). It’s the first “paper story” we made for PLAY music, and the video looks even older than it is because I shot it with an ancient video camera. It’s still my favorite performance from our friend & teacher Angie Engelbart, whom you may remember if you’re on your second or third kid at PLAY : ).

PLAY music is music & movement for babies, toddlers & preschoolers and their families.

Stories & Art

Stories & Art: My Wild Family & Animated Origami Faces

This Thursday, Jasmine will be reading Laurent Moreau’s beautiful book, My Wild Family, with storytelling help from some of Joel Stern’s animated origami animal faces. Kids will get to decorate their own animal faces with (less messy) paint sticks & collage materials. Arrive by 10am to catch the reading. Toddlers to five; drop-in.

Every Thursday, 10-11:30

We use Joel Stern’s book all the time, both at home and at PLAY. (The panda “Bam-boo” mask from purple session is Joel’s.) You can get the book on Amazon or through Dover Publishing. Visit Joel’s website for more.

Messy Mixed Media: Paper Sculptures

The 2- to 5-year-olds in our session-based art program, Messy Mixed Media, will be discovering how to make 2D materials into 3D materials this week when we make sculptures using paper, tape & drawing materials.

Messy Mixed Media is facilitated parent-and-child art for kids 2-5.

(To see how our projects shape up, follow us on Instagram.)

road trip