We're crazy about crafts here at Mommy Poppins. We've covered a ton of New York City spots where kids can get creative, from beading to personalized books, textiles to ceramics. So we were really excited when we heard about Park Slope's Taro's Origami Studio, which opened in November 2011. Since Park Slope is our neighborhood of the month, it seemed like the perfect time to share our review of this origami-only spot.
I recently stopped by Taro's Origami Studio with my preschool-age son and a couple of his friends. The space was opened by origami master Taro Yaguchi, who learned the traditional Japanese art of folding paper from his grandfather. Since it's not specifically aimed at kids, I wasn't sure how family-friendly it would be. However, aside from being located on the second floor, which means it's a pain for strollers, it's a great place for the right kind of kid.
The studio is beautifully decorated with paper animals, dragons, and even fire trucks and cars. Kids and adults can learn origami with help from the staff, or by following the directions on a number of touch-screen tablets. The boys loved using these, and were most excited about making (with mom's help) 3-D paper model spaceships. After folding the figures, they decorated their pieces with stamps and paint.
Folding the paper can be difficult and requires a lot of focus and patience, so I would recommend taking school-age kids who are interested in origami. The boys got restless after about a half hour, so we grabbed a couple of pre-printed origami kits of cars, trucks and trains and headed home. The studio also sells Japanese gift-wrapping paper and will offer Japanese-style gift-wrapping, called tsutsumi, soon.
If you'd like to try it out, you can hit the Drop in & Try out Corner whenever the studio is open to the public. The current rate is $10 per person for 30 minutes, which admittedly, isn't a cheap playdate. Group rates are also available. If you're interested in more formal training, after-school classes for children 5 to 12 are also offered. Drop-ins are available if there's space. It's also a lovely, light-filled spot for children's parties.
Taro's Origami Studio is located at 95 Seventh Avenue at Union Street on the second floor. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm.
Read more about crafting with kids or see all of our Park Slope posts.