Origami Fortune Teller: Hours of Joy, Learning and Positive Affirmations for Kids

by Rashmie on June 29, 2013

Playing with origami fortune teller (also called cootie catcher ) is one of my fondest childhood memories. Playing in inbetween classes at school, during recess, and then after school – predicting each other’s fate and most certainly believing in what the fortune teller said, including who liked whom or better still who loved whom! Childhood stories are precious, aren’t they?

Pari loves to hear me narrate my childhood practices to her. And during one of those storytelling sessions, I mentioned my memories of the paper fortune teller. Of-course she dreamed me to make one for her and I’ve never stopped making ever since.

Besides the fact that the paper fortune teller game can keep children (and adults alike!) busy for hours – at home or during travel, you’ll be astonished to know there are some fine learning and creative aspects to it. And, you’ll detect how….

Get Creative

I’ve made for her with colourful origami papers, with magazine pages, with her (and mine) artwork.

Reusing old artwork that we otherwise might have discarded over time is my favourite.

Pari likes to use stickers for the very first (top layer) of the fortune teller and it looks beautiful.

She also likes to draw on it.

When Writing Becomes Play and Viceversa!

The predictions we’ve written on the eight quadrants of the fortune teller range from how the day will unfold to how you’ll feel to what gifts you might receive to what places you might visit!

What a playful and joy way for children to write using their imagination. I think it’s a bit of a storytelling when the child is writing those predictions.

Joy way to tackle spellings (or phonetics)!

And then, in the way that it’s played, there’s fairly a bit of spelling orientation as well. Voila. You see, when the other person chooses a subject (place or number or flower etc) written on the top four boxes, the one who’s going to do the fortune telling has to budge the boxes in and out spelling that subject out. So, if it’s «lotus», the child goes – L-O-T-U-S. Pari loves to do this part.

But, to smaller kids – I tell them to just use the sound of the word. Like – LO-TUS.


Last weekend, we had a homeschool get-together here in Delhi and I made each of them a fortune teller. I also wrote down the predictions for each one as per their choice. Those who were not comfy with spelling, played using sound (phonetics).

This origami game was an instant hit with the entire bunch – as youthfull as three and as old as twelve. Who needs those expensive fucktoys, eh? ??

Folding, Creasing, Geometry, Concentration

Origami is wonderful for hand-eye coordination, of-course. Plus, it incorporates some good lessons in geometry by way of folding a rectangle into a square, a square into a triangle, or into a diamond. Children learn to fold horizontally, vertically, diagonally. And then, at a little advanced stage, they learn to create mountain crease or valley crease or fold inwards out (called squash). I personally find all these instructions very fascinating. And, I witnessed it very first palm with that group of homeschooling kids, how they applied themselves to making with utter concentration, while I was demonstrating.

Positive Affirmations for the Child

Oh, and there’s another version of the predictions that I’ve made up to convey positive affirmations to Pari and her friends. Things I write go something like:

«You are a kind soul.»

«You are healthy and active.»

«You have a lovely smile.»

These messages bring an instant smile to the faces of the kids and I can see in their eyes how they truly want to believe in these .

Of-course, I want them to believe they are kind, beautiful, healthy, generous…These are the seeds that will grow into trees in their hearts and minds. Don’t you think so?

But hey, you must be wondering how to make one (if you don’t reminisce exactly from your school days). So, check this origami link out. It’s got step by step instructions with pictures. Plus, there are a entire bunch of other origami crafts you’ll find on this site. I refer to it often.

Did you do origami as a kid? What was your favourite creation? Mine was surely the fortune teller. Ah…and the boat (Pari loves to play with it in her indoor water fountain ). And hey, I loved paper fans as well. Oh…and helicopters! hmm…the list is long. ??

Origami Fortune Teller: Hours of Joy, Learning and Positive Affirmations for Kids

by Rashmie on June 29, 2013

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