However, there is a little trick to learning this. If you and your kids are doing this for the first time try these basic steps to get the hang of it. Once mastered, kids can move on to make more free form shapes and characters.
1. Fold a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper in half lengthwise (any kind of paper but this is laser paper). In this picture I only folded over about half way but have the kids fold the paper in half to start- it is less confusing.
2. Use a pencil to draw a basic figure shape along the fold. (I used marker here to make it visible.) Tell the kids they need to draw half of the figure shape. Be sure to start the head below the top edge, as shown.
Tips: You could provide a basic template like these for young children to trace. Trace and cut on cereal box cardboard for a really sturdy doll. Use this template as the "pattern" for decorating and designing clothes and costumes. Provide an assortment fabric scraps and papers, water colors and colored pencils for the most imaginative results!
And here are a few option for boys if they need encouragement to make paper dolls (figures):
Be sure to go back to this post for ideas on painting and coloring these funny little dolls.