Origami Fortune Tellers and Cootie Catchers

over 15 Origami Fortune Teller

I remember making these fun Cootie Catchers, a form of origami used as a childhood game, back when I was in school.  

Then I had flashbacks when my now 24 year old daughter came home from elementary school with some of them, begging to tell me my fortune over and over and over.  And THEN my now 15 year old brought them home with her back when she was younger! 

The Cootie Catchers seemed to multiply in our house, with subjects ranging from future wealth to future careers. The best things never change, right?

We called them cootie catchers and fortune tellers, but they are also known as chatterboxes, salt cellars, whirlybirds, and paku-paku.  These were our first introductions to origami, which I later loved to create.Cootie Catcher - by Paul Blais - public domain

I remember the perfectly square, colorful thin paper that my grandma bought for me as a gift. Personally, I couldn’t get enough of origami.  It became a passionate young teen hobby of mine; one I hoped each of my children would enjoy, 

If you missed out on this childhood fun, I’ll fill you in (and you must check out the links below and try it at least once)!!

Kids would take sheets of 8 ½” x 11” inch paper and fold and cut a portion off to make a perfect square.  If you were lucky, like me, and you had real origami paper, you would just skip that step.

Then the folding begins. There are eight flaps to write options for a player to choose from. The person telling the fortune manipulates the cootie catcher based on the choices the other player makes until one final hidden message is revealed when the last flap is opened.

But There is More! (Yuck)

Though mostly used to tell fortunes, the child could use this piece of origami as pincers.  The child would then pretend to catch bugs, such as lice (ewwwww).  There you have it; the “cootie” catcher!

Backstory of The Cootie Catcher

This origami shape was called a “salt cellar” when it was introduced in 1928 to England. It was called a salt cellar because this piece could be placed on a table, point ends down, with the four pockets showing. The pockets could then be used to hold bits of food.

In the 1950s, these shapes became known and used as fortune tellers by children in England. This fun fortune telling game became popular in the United States in the 1960s where it was called a cootie catcher.  

This fun childhood activity has endured the test of time and is still popular today.Origami Fortuner Teller Cootie Catcher printables samples  

Let's Do This Thing!

Time to check out the cool links below for directions and templates for your very own fortune teller!  If you enjoyed this, please check out our paper fun page!

Origami Fortune Tellers and Cootie Catchers

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 Origami Fortune Tellers

Origami Fortune Tellers #ad

Kids can take a peek into the future with 15 colorful origami fortune tellers by Diane Heiman, et. al. - Paperback - Published 2011

Blank Template for Cootie Catcher

Here you can find a template giving you the opportunity to fill in your own questions. Downloadable Cootie Catchers

Christmas Cootie Catcher

Christmas Cootie Catcher

A fun free printable Christmas cootie catcher that your kids will love. The Country Chic Cottage

Christmas Cootie Catchers Characters

Download and print some fun Christmas Cootie Catchers - a Santa and a reindeer. These can be used at storytime. Easy Peasy and Fun

Cootie Catcher

Directions, step by step photos, and a video for complete instructions to fold a cootie catcher. There is also a great take-along page to use to teach your friends. Moms Minivan

Cootie Catcher

Color printable PBS cootie catcher. PBS Learning Media

Cootie Catcher

Written instructions with photos to make a cootie catcher/origami fortune teller. Things to Make and Do

Cootie Catcher (Origami Fortune Teller)

How to make a cootie catcher. wikiHow

Easter Cootie Catchers

Printable bunny and chick origami cootie catchers for kids. Great for play and storytime. Easy Peasy and Fun

Fortune Teller

Prepared template plus fill-in-your-own template, written instructions for making and playing the game, along with printed pictures. Skip to My Lou

Kindness Cootie Catcher

Fun to make kindness cootie catchers (or fortune tellers) for the kids to play with their friends. Along with the suggested acts of kindness, kids can brainstorm and come up with their own. How about doing community acts of kindness. Coffee Cups and Crayons

Mother's Day Cootie Catcher

Mother's Day Cootie Catcher

This printable cootie catcher would delight any mom. There are two sets - one fully colored and one black and white which can be colored. Check them out! Red Ted Art

Printable Summer Fruit Fortune Tellers

A fun summer idea is to make these fruit fortune-tellers and incorporate them with fun summer activities, for example, go for a swim, skip rope, read, hopscotch or perhaps bake! Let kids suggest some activities. Pysselbolaget

Shark Cootie Catcher

Cootie catchers are more than just fortune tellers. They can be used as characters at storytime Easy Peasy and Fun

Thanksgiving Cootie Catcher

This fun cootie catcher game is an interactive way to share what everyone is thankful for this year. A free printable template. Darcy Miller Designs

Thanksgiving Cootie Catcher

Thanksgiving Cootie Catcher

This free printable cootie catcher is a fun way to share the holidays with your kids. The Country Chic Cottage

Thanksgiving Turkey Cootie Catcher

Thanksgiving Turkey Cootie Catcher

A Thanksgiving tradition is turkey. Get the kids involved in Thanksgiving activities by making a turkey cootie catcher. There are two versions of this printable cootie catcher - the black and white version and a color version. Red Ted Art

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