Friday, August 24, 2012

Making Fortune Tellers and Using Up Some Energy

I love paper crafts. They can be really simple, or complicated when you have the time, and can be wonderous for little kids. This one is super simple and easily fills 30 mins with fun and movement for the child. Fantastic.

My friends and I used to make fortune tellers (or chatterboxes or cootie catchers) at school all the time and somehow predicted wonderful things about the coming years. They are folded pieces of paper which can be moved in two directions. Numbers and colours provide choices and the ‘future’ is written under the hidden flap. This time, I put simple actions under the flaps and my son loved it.

This is how to make one:

Take a square piece of paper, fold it diagonally both ways and open again.

Fold the corners into the middle.

Turn it over and again fold the corners into the middle.

Turn it over again so that you are looking at squares and not triangles. Fold it across the middle. Open it. Fold it the other way across the middle. Open it.

Now, slide index finger and thumb of each hand under the squares and, using the folds you just made, pinch it together. Push index finger against index finger and thumb against thumb to make it move the other way.

I wrote numbers on the squares on top, coloured in the triangles on the other side and wrote actions under the flaps. My actions were simple things: jump five times, spin around, moo like a cow, touch your toes etc. Write things that you know your child will enjoy doing over and over.

This is how you play:

Ask your child to choose a number. Move the chatterbox that number of times. Choose a colour. Spell the colour and move the chatterbox with each letter. Choose another colour then look under that colour and do what it says.

The finished chatterbox can be packed in a bag for entertainment on the road. For a long trip you could make a few. I found a great site dedicated to chatterboxes with print outs which you just need to fold - great for a long drive. Have a look at this one for playing when flying.


  1. I always wanted to know how to make one of these as a kid. Can't wait to try it with my little ones. Vicky from

    1. I hope you have fun with it. My original one is getting tattered from over use.