What is a Fortune Teller?
A fortune teller is an old folding game for children.
You don't only fold the figure; you can also play with it. You even use
it to predict events in the future ;). 
...... 
Obviously the fortune teller is spread out all
over the world.
Another name of it is cootie catcher. In
Germany the figure is called Himmel und Hölle (Heaven and Hell),
Nasenkneifer
(nose pincher), Pfeffer und Salz (pepper and
salt) or Salznäpfchen (salt pot).
How to make
Fortune Teller
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1
......

Take a sheet of paper of the size A4 (8 1/2" x 11").
Paper used for ink jet printers will do.
Fold the upper half down on the red line.

2
...

Cut off the lower strip.

3
......

The result is a square.

4
......

Fold upwards on the red line and unfold.
The centre of the square is marked in this way.

5
......

Fold four times, so that the corners of the square meet
in the centre.
Folding on the red lines upwards is the same.

6
......

It must look like this.

7
......

Turn the paper over. The folded middle lines of the square
are seen.

8
......

Fold upwards again four times up to the centre.

9
......

There is a half size square with four (actually eight)
triangles, which meet in the centre.

10
......

Turn the paper over. Four squares meet in the centre.

11
......

Fold the paper backwards on the blue lines and unfold.

12
......

Fold the square a last time. Hold the paper and push
the upper corners in direction of the arrows.

13
......

The figure on the left develops, if you lay the square
sheets outwards.
The fortune teller is finished.

......

14
Some Mathematics
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While making a fortune teller
and also after having finished it, you get two basic geometric forms, the
square and the half square, which is an isosceles, rightangled triangle.
If you divide the square in two,
you get two isosceles, rightangled triangle.
If you divide the isosceles, rightangled
triangle in two, you get two isosceles, rightangled triangles half the
size as before.
...... 
If you unfold the fortune teller, you have got
a triangle pattern.
You can recognize 4x4 squares. Every square has a diagonal.
Blue means mountain, red means valley.



...... 
You can give the fortune teller double walls.
Then go to step 10, add step 5 and 6 and continue with step 10.
If you go back to the square, the 16 small squares have
got both diagonals. 
Games with
Fortune Teller
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1st Game:
The fortune teller has four bowls and can be used
for putting things in. This leads to the German name pepper and salt.
2nd Game:
Put the thumb, the index finger, the middle finger and
the ring finger into the bowls. You can pinch the nose with these "gloves".
This explains the other German name nose pincher.
3rd Game:
A game is played since the 1950s as follows.
...... 
Put the thumb and the fingers in the bowls. If you look
at the opened reverse side, you see red and blue (picture). If two suitable
bowls touch each other, there are only red or blue. If you close the paper,
you must not see any colour. 
The children's game is to close the fortune teller
first. Then the other player must give a direction how to open it. He will
go to Hell with red and to Heaven with blue.
4th Game:
The third game is developed further in many ways in Germany.
Here is a version from the 1980s:
Fetch chocotate,
Hide yourself,
Touch your nose,
Laugh

Write the numbers 1 to 8 in any order on the reverse
sides of the triangles. Then lift two triangles each and write funny tasks
on the reverse side.
In the game the first player puts the thumb and the fingers
in the bowls. The reverse side is closed. The second player chooses a number,
i.e. 6. The first player must open and close the paper 6 times and end
with opening. four triangles and so four numbers are to be seen. The second
player must choose one of the numbers, i.e. 2. The other one lifts the
triangle 2 (and 6) and reads the task. The second player has to obey ;). 
Fifth Game:
Today (in 2002) the tasks are replaced by statements
like "You' re going to get a rich man", "You're going to be a movie star",
"You're going to have three children", You're going to go around the world",
or "You're going to win in the lottery".
Modifications
of Fortune Teller top
...... 
In the chapter "Some Mathematics" you can read how to
produce the pattern on the far left. If you fold the triangles on the blue
line backwards, you form a square standing on one corner. It is the start
for new figures. 
Duck
Sailing Boat

You get a sailing boat, if you slightly change the
duck pattern.

...... 
Windmill Sail and Katamaran
...... 
You can make a windmill sail or a double boat by folding
the sailing boat in a different way. 
Fortune
Teller on the Internet top
Deutsch
kikisweb
Himmel
und Hölle
Labbé
Himmel
und Hölle
Wikipedia
Himmel
oder Hölle
English
Beryl Graham
About
folded paper fortunetellers
EnchantedLearning.com
Origami
Fortune Teller
Laurel Smith
How
to make a Cootie Catcher
TAPPI
Origami
Fortune Teller
Wikipedia
Paper
fortune teller
Gail from Oregon Coast, thank you for supporting
me in translating this website.
Feedback: Email address on my main page
This
page is also available in German.
URL of
my Homepage:
http://www.mathematischebasteleien.de/
©
2002 Jürgen Köller
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