Gift Lab: Alphapets

I’ve always thought that origami was pretty neat. I’ve seen people fold paper into those prophetic fortune telling contraptions, make beautiful swans out of napkins, construct geometric fish in just a few creases, and create those highly fashionable newspaper hats. However, to be perfectly honest, aside from the occasional paper airplane, I had never made an origami figure of my own.

Of course, when I was offered the opportunity to test the Alphapets Origami Book, I had to give it a try.

Full discretion–this is a children’s book, but since I had zero experience making paper pets, I decided to enlist a little help. Fortunately, my best friend’s daughter, Kaitlyn, volunteered to be my assistant.

Background Research

Kaitlyn happens to live in my hometown, which is quite a ways away from Brooklyn. Since this book is small and lightweight, it seemed like a great small gift to bring along on the plane. I thought it would be a fun activity for us to do together while I was visiting, and I was sure Kaitlyn would like playing with the cute animals when we were finished building them.


Alphapets is a fun introduction to origami for kids and adults alike.

The Experiment

First we read the book together. Each page features a letter and an animal associated with that letter.

After giving it a read through, we took a look at the instructions page. I liked how the book included images of each of the completed animals. The images helped get Kaitlyn excited to start making origami!

We punched out the letters we wanted to use, then we flipped back to the instructions page to make sure we knew how to fold each letter. The instructions are detailed, so you know just where and how to fold each line.

Some of the letters were a little trickier to fold than others, but the markings printed on the underside of the paper really helped. It was also nice to be able to refer back to the images of the completed animals when needed.

Once we had converted K to Koala, A to to Alligator, and so forth, we gave each animal “eyes” using the included stickers. Kaitlyn was proud to show off her name in animal art!


Our paper folding project was a success! Although Kaitlyn was a little too young to fold all of the animals herself (she is 4 1/2, the recommended age is 6+), she had fun folding the simpler designs and she loved playing with the completed critters.


Alphapets is an easy project to bring along on vacation or slip into your bag to keep kids busy on the go. It’s a fun, educational activity for kids, and adults looking for an introduction to origami will enjoy it, too!

Written by Cassie

Cassie spends most of her time at work writing things. She loves books (including comics), sketch comedy, and sci-fi. She's inspired by art and science. As a former Minnesotan, she longs for an afternoon on a lake, Grain Belt in hand. The New Yorker in her is happy spending that afternoon at the American Museum of Natural History instead.


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