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Kiddie Crafts: Origami fortune teller

Filed Under: kids, toys, Crafts, papercraft

cootie catcherEvery week Francesca Clarke tells us how involving kids can make DIY fun, rewarding, and keep them out of trouble too. Welcome to the science of wrangling rug-rats into doing their own DIY projects and exploring the world while making it better. Watch out for the hot glue!

Last week we celebrated Valentine's day by crafting butterfly puppets and floral decorations. This week I'll show you how to make origami fortune tellers. This DIY version of the magic 8 ball, also called a cootie-catcher was iconic in the 80's. All you need is a piece of paper, scissors and a pencil.

Most of you will remember them from sixth or seventh grade, where you'd huddle around the fortune teller and eagerly await your fate. Some of you will take out a sheet of paper and fold one in seconds, remembering each move as if you were playing it yesterday. Others will fumble with it, folding and re-folding, trying to replicate this childhood game.

For the fumblers, here's how to re-create the origami craft with your own kiddies.

cootie catcher(click thumbnails to view gallery)

materialsSquare the paper


Step-by-step:
  1. Square a sheet of paper
    Fold the paper diagonally from one top corner flush to the edge to make a square, and cut away the extra strip. I used colored paper to better illustrate the two sides and give definitions to the folds. This was simply to provide a better tutorial, any paper will do.
  2. Find the center line
    Fold into a triangle to find the center line and create a crease.
  3. Fold the corners into the center point
    Fold all four corners so that they meet in the center.
  4. Turn the paper over

  5. Fold the corners into the center point
    Bring all four corners of this side in to meet at the center point the way you did in step 3
  6. Turn the paper over

  7. Lift folds
    Make creases to easily lift the folds.
  8. Put your fingers in and move the cootie catcher
Once you've made the origami fortune teller there are a couple of different ways your kiddie crafters can decorate them. It depends on the games they want to play. Older ones will enjoy predicting each other's fate, while the younger ones can play a fun little drama game.

Reading the future with your cootie catcher
Older elementary children will love telling each other's future. They can easily learn to fold it on their own and play around with decorating techniques.

Here's how to label your origami fortune teller:
  1. Write a number on each of the outer spaces
  2. Write a color on each of the inner spaces
  3. Flip up each inner fold and write a fortune
Here's how to play:
  1. Have the player chooses a number
  2. The fortune teller will move the cootie catcher back and fourth that many times reveling the color choices
  3. The player will choose a color
  4. The fortune teller will move the cootie catcher to spell out the color, ending on more color choices
  5. The player will choose one
  6. Lift the flap and read the fortune
Playing drama games with your cootie catcher
Younger children may not be able to fold the paper, and they may not even care about telling fortunes, but they can still enjoy the traditional origami toy in a non-traditional way.

Here's how to label your origami drama toy:
  1. Fold two cootie catchers
  2. Write a number on the outer spaces of each
  3. Write a color on the inner spaces of each
  4. Flip up the inner folds of one and write a variety of nouns
  5. Flip up the inner folds of the other and write verbs
Here's how to play:
  1. Using the toy with nouns, have the player chooses a number
  2. Move the cootie catcher back and fourth that many times reveling the color choices
  3. The player will choose a color
  4. Move the cootie catcher to spell out the color, ending on more color choices
  5. The player will choose one
  6. Lift the flap and read the noun
  7. Do the same with the other cootie catcher ending on a verb
  8. Now pair those up and act it out



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