How to Make a Paper Frog

    by Jillian Downer

    About the Author

    Based in New York, Jillian Downer has been writing travel, fashion, and active lifestyle articles since 2004. Her work has appeared in "Travel + Leisure," "Outside Magazine," "Women's Health," "Footwear News," and "US News & World Report." Downer holds a Master of Arts in comparative literature from New York University.


    The art of paper folding comes from the ancient Japanese paper craft called origami. Learning to create unique characters, animals and other fun and abstract toys and decorations is a great way to train your fingers to deal with intricate patterns and is a fun activity for the kids. The jumping paper frog is an intermediate paper-folding trick that can distract you and your kids for hours. Make dozens of the little paper amphibians and have races and jumping contests or add a straw and use them to decorate house plants and flower arrangements or a string to make ornaments. There are a dozen things you can do with the jumping paper frog, just get creative and let your mind wander.

    Things You'll Need

    • Origami paper
    • Printer paper
    • Card stock
    • Notebook paper
    • Scissors
    • Flat surface
    • Straws
    • String
    • Hole punch
    • Tape

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    Square a sheet of paper. If you're using origami paper, the sheets will already be precut into perfect squares, but if you're using printer paper or a sheet of notebook paper, you'll need to adjust the paper to make a square. Create a square by folding the paper diagonally into a triangle and cut off the remaining edge.

    Create eight even triangles. Take your square sheet of paper and fold it in half, top to bottom like a newspaper and side to side like a book, and then in triangles, bottom left corner to top right corner and bottom right corner to top left corner. Unfold your square and lie flat. Your square should have crease outlines that create eight even triangles.

    Squash fold your square into a triangle. Using your index finger and thumb, begin to push in on the two points on either side of the center crease line until they meet under your square and a point has formed on top. Squash fold the paper to create a three-dimensional triangle.

    Fold the points of the top layer. Take the right bottom point and fold it up so that its open flap is in line with the triangle's center seam. Do the same with the left side so that you have a diamond atop a triangle.

    Fold the diamond. Take the right point of the newly folded diamond and fold it along the center seam and repeat with the left side, so that you have what resembles a kite.

    Move the kite points to the outside. Keeping the folds you made in Steps 4 and 5 intact, fold the right kite arm to the outside so that it lines up with the outside right fold of the original kite fold from Step 5. Repeat on the left side.

    Turn the paper over so that the large unfolded triangle is facing you.

    Fold the bottom points of the large triangle. Take the right bottom point and fold it toward the center crease of the triangle so that it lines up parallel to this crease and points downward. Repeat this step on the left side. You will have a kite shape.

    Fold the bottom points of the kite outward. Taking the edge of the right center seam, fold it out to meet the exterior fold you made in Step 8. Repeat this step on the left side.

    Fold the frog's body in half. Fold the bottom half of the frog's body up and under, like a newspaper, to the top.

    Turn the frog over. Fold this bottom section in half once more, so that the points (the frogs legs) are pointing down. Turn the frog over.

    Make your frog jump. Place your frog on a hard surface, like a table or wood floor and press down on the frog's back. Release your finger to see the frog jump.

    • Paper frogs can only jump on hard surfaces. Carpet or other soft surfaces will absorb the friction needed to make the frog jump.
    • Card stock is harder to work with when making your initial folds, but makes a much more bouncy frog in the end. When using card stock, use a ruler or pen to crease each fold.