Phyllis Smith shows the correct fold to make a frog during her origami class in the Laughlin Library on Nov. 18.

LAUGHLIN — Folding paper for fun dates back to the 6th century when Buddhist monks brought paper to Japan, but today’s enthusiasts can try their hand at the ancient art on select Sundays at the Laughlin Library.

Origami with Phyllis Smith takes place Jan. 13, Feb. 10 and March 10 from 1:30-2:30 p.m.

“In the past, I have taught how to crochet and knit but this time I’m teaching origami,” said Smith. “Today we are doing a frog but we have plans to do birds and other various animals.” 

Friedrich Fröbel, inventor of kindergartens, saw paper binding, weaving, folding, and cutting as teaching aids for small motor coordination during the early 19th century. As kindergartens spread throughout Europe, it brought with it the small colored squares recognized today as origami paper. 

“I start the programs around November and go to about March since that’s when most of the snowbirds are in town,’ said Smith. “I retired from teaching real estate and now I volunteer my time here at the library.”

One of the origami pieces that the class is making is a crane and according to Smith, the Crane is a symbol of good luck and longevity in the Chinese and Japanese communities.

It is believed that anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes will have their heart’s desire come true.

“Since the start of this event I have only missed one class,” said Barb Saxe. “Phyllis is a great teacher I have learned how to do a lot from her teaching us.”

The Laughlin Library is located at 2480 Needles Highway and can be contacted at 702-507-4060.

“I encourage all ages to come and learn how to fold different origami pieces,” said Smith. “It doesn’t matter if your old or young, everyone can learn.”

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