They’re nostalgic. They’re fun, and I use them to help my children practice their sight words. They’re paper fortune tellers, or cootie catchers, or whatever you called them when you were young. My daughter calls them word monsters, but I know that they make great learning tools!
How to Make a Paper Fortune Teller
With some simple folds, you can make a fortune teller and then put your child’s sight words in them for practice.
First you’ll need a square piece of paper. Fold it in half and then fold it in half again so that you have a square. Now unfold it. You are creating creases for line guides and so that it bends right when you put your fingers in it.
Then fold one corner to the opposite corner to make a triangle. Unfold it again and do the same with the other corners. Next, unfold it so you have your original square with a bunch of creases in it.
Now to the read folding; fold the corners into the center crease. Turn your paper over and do the same thing again, folding the corners into the center crease.
Finally fold the whole square in half and stick your pointer fingers and thumbs in the side that has an opening.
To make it a sight word fortune teller, we use words that combine to make a sentence. You could also use letters for beginning readers. The words on the outside of our fortune teller are When, What, Which, and Then. Sometimes Audrey has trouble with the “W” sound so I made sure she got extra practice.
The next place to write words is when you look down into the fortune teller. We put different animals.
Finally, you’ll need to open the inside flaps to write one more word or phrase. We put different verbs. You could also put letters or numbers in them depending on the abilities of your child.
How to Play
Have your child read one of the words on the outside of your fortune teller. Then move your fingers to the spelling of the word. So, for example, if your child read the word “What”, you would move your fingers 4 times saying a letter each time you moved.
On the last move you reveal four of the words that are written down on the inside. Have your child pick another word to read. Let’s say Audrey picked “gorilla”. You do the same thing you did with the first word moving your fingers for each letter in the word spelling it out loud.
Finally your child picks one side that you reveal on the last move and you open that side to reveal the final word in your sentence. Let’s say it was “skipped”. Then you would ask your child what their secret sentence was. In our example, we got “What gorilla skipped?”
You can add a phrase at the end to make it really silly and motivate your child to do the game over and over to reveal all the silly sentences, plus get some extra reading practice in.
If you’ve never played with a fortune teller before or are having trouble following my directions, here is a little video of Audrey and I playing the game!
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Did you make fortune tellers when you were young?