If you’re looking for a way to entertain kids without resorting to setting them in front of a screen, nothing does the job like a good old-fashioned paper fortune teller. Fortune tellers keep kids engaged for a substantial stretch of time, and they really get a hoot out of them. Making one is a great idea to keep in your metaphorical back pocket, whether you’re a dad hanging out with your kids, an uncle yukking it up with his nieces and nephews, or a just a dude visiting with his friend’s children.
You probably made fortune tellers when you were a kid. But if this bit of childhood know-how passed you by, or you’ve forgotten the steps since becoming an adult, follow the tutorial below:
Step 1: Make a Square Piece of Paper
Step 2: Make an “X” in Your Paper
Step 3: Fold Corners to Center of Square
Step 4: Flip Your Square Over; Fold the Corners to the Center
Step 5: Fold the Top to the Bottom, the Left to the Right
Step 6: Tuck Your Fingers Into the Four Openings
Step 7: Add Colors, Numbers, and Fortunes
How to Use a Paper Fortune Teller
Once you’ve written in your colors/numbers/fortunes, fold your teller back up and put your fingers back inside. Then use it on someone who wants their fortune told by following these steps:
- Ask someone to choose a color. Spell it out (R-E-D), and as you say each letter, open and close the fortune teller, alternating between right-left (the two sections on your left fingers go left; the two sections on your right fingers go right) and up-down (your left and right forefingers go up; your left and right thumbs go down). So for “red,” you would open and close the teller 3X (right-left; up-down; right-left).
- Ask the person to pick a number. Count it out loud. As you count, open and close the fortune teller as just described. So for the number eight, you would open and close the teller eight times.
- Ask them to pick another number. Lift the flap of that number to reveal their fortune. Read it: “Your breath will smell like farts.” The paper fortune teller has spoken.