Reminiscent of Aesop’s fables, Davide Cali and Marco Soma’s Queen of the Frogs is a great way to start discussions with young readers about leadership, humility, and the whims of peer pressure—heavy but important topics. Lighten things up afterward by making origami frogs and letting kids compete in their own frog jumping and diving competitions.
- Square piece of heavy paper
- Glue (optional)
- Googly eyes (optional)
Step 1: Take the square piece of paper and cut or tear it in half. (Each half will make one frog.)
Step 2: Fold the rectangle in half, width-wise. Then unfold it to reveal two squares.
Step 3: Fold the edges of each square to meet the center of the full rectangle. Unfold after each crease. This should make each square have an X with 4 triangles.
Step 4: Flatten the paper back into a rectangle. Flip the paper over so that the creases are bending up and fold each square in half to the center line of the rectangle. Then flatten the paper back out and flip it back over.
Step 5: With the rectangle sitting vertically in front of you, push the edges of the two outside triangles on the upper square in toward each other as you fold the top triangle so that it matches up with the bottom triangle. You should have a triangle sitting on top of a square. Repeat the same process with the lower square. You should now have a square that is made up by two triangles.
Step 6: Holding the square so that one triangle is on the top and one is on the bottom, fold the bottom corners of the top triangle up to meet the peak of the triangle. You should now have a small square above a triangle.
Step 7: Take the top layers of the square and triangle and fold them to your left so that they are flat on top of their opposite side. Fold the corner pointing to your right so that the edge of the square is flush with the center crease. This should create a tall skinny triangle.
Step 8: Now fold both layers of the small square and triangle over to your right. And fold the corner of your square pointing to your left so that its top edge is flush with the center crease again, creating the tall skinny triangle.
Step 9: Flatten the square and triangle back out so that one side of the square and triangle are on each side of the crease.
Step 10: Fold the bottom point of the triangle up to meet the bottom point of the square.
Step 11: Fold the outer two edges of the triangle down and over the top point of the triangle. This should create a square the same size as the one above. Looking at the paper you should have two squares.
Step 12: Take the inner edges of the square you just created and fold each side back onto itself making two long skinny triangles.
Step 13: Moving to the top square, fold the inner edges of each triangle back so that the inner edge lines up with the lower edge of each triangle.
Step 14: Now take the outer edge of the triangles you just created and fold them back onto themselves so that the point sticks directly up. This will create the front feet of your frog.
Step 15: Make a crease in the center of the frog. Fold the bottom section of the frog in half and then fold that half back under the frog.
Note: To make your frog jump, press on the folded edge of the frog’s back. As your finger slips off the frog’s back, she will jump forward.
Optional: Glue googly eyes onto the top of the frog.