Origami is both an exacting art and simple form of fun. As a child, we always had books on origami around the house and, even though we couldn’t read Japanese, we could follow the illustrated directions. The only origami I ever managed to memorize, however, is a crane.
Before our wedding, my family sat around a few nights before folding a couple hundred origami boxes. We wanted to include the Canadian tradition of British wedding cake (a dense fruit cake), which we placed inside Japanese origami boxes on plates. We sat around folding paper, recalling stories, and singing songs all evening.
These origami toys are simple to make but full of fun. And you can make all of these from one piece of paper. For more fun you can use coloured paper, although construction paper is probably too thick.
These would make a perfect small gift for a child. For a younger child you can just make them, for an older child you could include instructions so that they can make their own as well (links to printable instructions linked at the bottom). These toys are quiet, require no batteries, and are soon ruined so no clutter.
This is also suitable for a child to make as gifts. The two older girls and I had a lot of fun folding all together.