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View Full Version : What were these childhood paper creations called, and how do you make them?


Anaamika
06-02-2009, 03:26 PM
Girls might know what I am talking about. Let's see if I can describe these correctly.

We would take paper and fold them into these sort of rose-like shapes. The resulting item would have four sides. On each side we'd write numbers. You'd have to choose a number, then we'd open and close it that many times. Then you chose another one, and same thing. Then you'd open that side of the flower, and inside would be written a fortune, or something like that.

Any ideas? I can try to describe it more if I need to.

not_alice
06-02-2009, 03:28 PM
Boys had them where I lived too. We used colors, and spelled them out IIRC.

Don't recall what they are called, but give me a square paper and I bet I could make one from muscle memory after at least 40 years!

gigi
06-02-2009, 03:30 PM
Apparently they're called fortune tellers, but that's not the term we used.

http://www.mathematische-basteleien.de/fortune_teller.htm

filling_pages
06-02-2009, 03:31 PM
Google paper fortune teller. I always call stuff like that "middle school origami". I can still make paper throwing stars - I just made a handful the other day, out of the tear sheets from some netflix envelopes.

Electric Warrior
06-02-2009, 03:35 PM
We called them 'cootie catchers'; no, I'm not sure why.

How to make them: http://www.momsminivan.com/article-cootie-catcher.html

silenus
06-02-2009, 03:36 PM
Yep, cootie catchers.

colbeagle
06-02-2009, 03:36 PM
Cootie catchers?

dangermom
06-02-2009, 03:39 PM
My girls call them both fortune tellers and cootie catchers, and regularly drive me mad with requests for questions they can fortune-tell for me.

Johnny L.A.
06-02-2009, 03:40 PM
Cootie catchers?

Yes. Cootie catchers.

Incidentally, I once saw the instructions in a book and the thing was called a 'candy dish'. Apparently the author thought that if you put it face-down on a table, the pockets where you'd put your fingers were just right for holding little candies.

Of course if you turn them upside-down like that the cooties can get out.

Cosmopolitan
06-02-2009, 03:46 PM
It's so odd that this popped up! I was having a discussion about these very things just this weekend with my best friend, her husband & my boyfriend; we were trying to remember how they were made.

As for what they were called.... I'm not sure if I ever knew. While discussing, we just called them "those fortune-telling thingies".

Cat Fight
06-02-2009, 03:54 PM
There's a South Park episode (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marjorine) about them – the girls play with one at a slumber party and the boys believe it gives them real psychic powers.

Malleus, Incus, Stapes!
06-02-2009, 04:20 PM
We always called them fortune tellers.

gardentraveler
06-02-2009, 04:57 PM
We called them cootie catchers. Not sure that I ever really learned how to make one, though. I grew up in mid-Michigan (or, more accurately, middle of the lower peninsula).

Isn't this the kind of thing where someone should be mapping what these are called in different parts of the Doper world? :D

Cunctator
06-02-2009, 05:37 PM
We always called them Chinese fortune tellers.

Henrichek
06-02-2009, 05:46 PM
Wow, we used to make these too. I had no idea it was a globally known thing.

RealityChuck
06-02-2009, 07:48 PM
We called them 'cootie catchers'; no, I'm not sure why.

How to make them: http://www.momsminivan.com/article-cootie-catcher.htmlThat's easy. What a boy would do is snap the thing near a girl, have her go through the rigmarole, and then have them open a flap. A drawing of bugs would be underneath (the thing was rigged, of course, so that was all they could get). The boy would say "those are the cooties I caught from you!"

Hours of juvenile fun!

Bravo Romeo
06-02-2009, 08:00 PM
At my school they were called chatterboxes.

Anaamika
06-02-2009, 08:01 PM
Fortune tellers! Though my boss, who is fifteen years older, claims they are cootie catchers. Methinks that is a generational gap right there.

I'm going to make one. Thanks, all!

gigi
06-03-2009, 05:01 PM
That's easy. What a boy would do is snap the thing near a girl, have her go through the rigmarole, and then have them open a flap. A drawing of bugs would be underneath (the thing was rigged, of course, so that was all they could get). The boy would say "those are the cooties I caught from you!"

Hours of juvenile fun!
OMG, I think I've just unearthed a repressed memory. I won't look straight at it and maybe it will go away again.

Enright3
06-04-2009, 08:28 AM
We called them cootie catchers. Not sure that I ever really learned how to make one, though. I grew up in mid-Michigan (or, more accurately, middle of the lower peninsula).

Isn't this the kind of thing where someone should be mapping what these are called in different parts of the Doper world? :D

In rural Oklahoma they were called fortune tellers. They're easy to fold. Basically all you do is take a square sheet of paper, fold the 4 corners into the center, flip it over, and fold the 4 corners into the center again.

The hardest part is then positioning it so you can stick your fingers into the crevices.

Hampshire
06-04-2009, 08:43 AM
Related t-shirt (http://www.bustedtees.com/futureisinyourhands)

Jodi
06-04-2009, 09:05 AM
Another vote for fortune tellers, at least in Montana in the '80s. All the flaps had fortunes under them, no bugs. Never heard of "cootie catchers."

glee
06-04-2009, 09:11 AM
We used to make hexaflexagons (http://www.flexagon.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=36).

Ephemera
06-04-2009, 09:14 AM
I never called them anything, but I really like hexaflexagon.

TheFaerie
06-04-2009, 09:34 AM
We called them 'cootie catchers', but used them for telling fortunes. Ours used both numbers and colors.

I think the age gap vs. object name thing is interesting. I'm 42 and grew up in KCMO.

gigi
06-04-2009, 09:56 AM
I think ours had a number, then a color, then a boy's name.

Crotalus
06-04-2009, 09:58 AM
Cootie catchers. Grew up in Baltimore, MD, born in 1954.

Jeep's Phoenix
06-04-2009, 11:51 AM
Red Lobster used to have a children's menu/placemat thingy that folded into one of these; I believe it had a fish print on it, so that it looked like you were opening and closing the fish's mouth.

I only saw handmade ones a few times in school. I don't know what they were called though.

misling
06-04-2009, 12:44 PM
cootie catcher/fortune teller instructions:

http://www.dltk-kids.com/WORLD/japan/mfortune-teller.htm

Anaamika
06-04-2009, 02:02 PM
Would you guys believe my boss actually instructed me to find them and make one? Now I have just made one, yay!

SmellMyWort
06-04-2009, 04:05 PM
We called them fortune tellers. There was also something we made out of paper where you could create a pretty loud pop by flicking your wrist.

The hardest part is then positioning it so you can stick your fingers into the crevices.

That's what she said:D

Einmon
06-04-2009, 04:37 PM
Hey, I remember those! We called them "heaven and hell", because one side would be colored red with a bad fortune on it, the other one was blue with a good fortune.

Cardinal
06-04-2009, 10:42 PM
There was also something we made out of paper where you could create a pretty loud pop by flicking your wrist.Paper Popper instructions ("http:/http://www.metacafe.com/watch/452433/paper_banger_popper/)

Rala
06-05-2009, 01:22 AM
We called them chatterboxes.

Lynn Bodoni
06-05-2009, 01:49 AM
Paper Popper instructions (http://www.metacafe.com/watch/452433/paper_banger_popper/) You had an extra http or something in your link, this should work now.

Crowbar of Irony +3
06-05-2009, 01:54 AM
Well, we have those in Singapore too. I remember seeing it when I was much younger.

panache45
06-05-2009, 03:34 AM
Yeah, cootie catchers! We used to make 'em back in the 50s.

Malacandra
06-05-2009, 03:50 AM
We used to make hexaflexagons (http://www.flexagon.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=36).

And that's the first time I've heard them mentioned in about 36 years. :cool:

Rigamarole
06-05-2009, 03:57 AM
Hmm, I've seen 'em, but neither "fortune teller", "cootie catcher" (I almost just typed "cootchie catcher"), or "chatterbox" rings a bell. Maybe because I never heard it called anything.

Half Man Half Wit
06-05-2009, 04:04 AM
Hey, I remember those! We called them "heaven and hell", because one side would be colored red with a bad fortune on it, the other one was blue with a good fortune.
That's what we called them over here (Germany), too. Well, of course we called them that in German. I never got what the fuss was all about, frankly -- it was just one of those weird things girls did.

SmellMyWort
06-05-2009, 08:47 AM
Paper Popper instructions ("http:/http://www.metacafe.com/watch/452433/paper_banger_popper/)

Paper Popper instructions (http://www.metacafe.com/watch/452433/paper_banger_popper/) You had an extra http or something in your link, this should work now.

Cool, thanks. Will have to try that out.

Lynn Bodoni
06-05-2009, 12:32 PM
And that's the first time I've heard them mentioned in about 36 years. :cool: {Refering to hexaflexagons} OMNI magazine had one that you could cut out and assemble, and Piers Anthony had a book that used them as a plot device. I think that this was 25 years or so ago, because I know that this was after I got married. I was fascinated by the idea, and flexed my hexahexaflexagon until I wore it out.

I love manipulative things like this. For instance, I bought a...thingy...made of beads and wire at my local science museum. It can be shaped into a ball, an hourglass, and several other shapes.

4everkid
06-05-2009, 12:47 PM
We called them 'cootie catchers', but used them for telling fortunes. Ours used both numbers and colors.

I think the age gap vs. object name thing is interesting. I'm 42 and grew up in KCMO.

I also grew up in KCMO, but we called them Mock-mocks. But I have heard them referred to as Fortune Tellers and Cootie Catchers too.

Anaamika
06-05-2009, 12:47 PM
We used to make hexaflexagons.

And that's the first time I've heard them mentioned in about 36 years. :cool:

Wow, yeah, we didn't make any of those. We were just the ordinary kind of nerds; book-reading ones. :)

Scribble
06-05-2009, 08:30 PM
We called them either chatterboxes or fortune tellers when we used them to tell fortunes.

Sometimes, I'd paint eyes on the four outside squares and what would look like an open mouth on the inside surfaces. I'd call them "point symmetry monsters" and chase my sisters with them.

And I remember hexaflexagons, too. They were pretty cool!

SciFiSam
06-06-2009, 12:41 AM
I'm not exactly sure what name we had for them. It might have been fortune tellers, but that might be just because I looked them up at a later age.

Certainly, one of the main purposes of them was to trick someone into an answer they wouldn't have wanted to give. They'd end up with 'you're destined to marry [MOST DISLIKED BOY IN YEAR]! Ha-Ha!'

My girls call them both fortune tellers and cootie catchers, and regularly drive me mad with requests for questions they can fortune-tell for me.

I use them for EFL and Eng Lit now, as a revision or starter game, but they're useful for any subject as a fun way to revise stuff - use your imagination and you can adapt them for any subject. The categories are replaced by a general question about an area of the topic under question. I only mention this because I know you homeschool. I'd use them if I were teaching multiple subjects on limited resources, like I would if I homeschooled.