You know those paper fortune tellers? They were the rage when I was a kid.

by Rachel

I loved them! And it is time to introduce my kiddos to the joy of Cootie catchers – while reviewing math lessons.

We made two paper games, one to review fractions and another to review times tables.

Want to learn how to fold a cootie catcher? Check out our instructions on our “Learning to Read CVC words” post. We made a fortune teller there to help our kids sound out words.

Basically, you start with a square piece of paper and fold the corners into the center. Flip it over and fold the corners into the center again. You then fold it like a hot dog – with the thumb flaps on the outside. Your kids stick their fingers into the flaps and move them to reveal the inside. Your kids can lift the inside flaps to see another message. We used math as our “messages” inside the classic fortune teller.


For our multiplication cootie catcher, we wrote each “family” of math problems on the outer flaps. The tables we are working on with our second grader are 2, 3, 4 & 5s – so I wrote those numbers on the outside. Inside the flaps we have the numbers written out by skip counting. So as your kids move the paper game, they choose between the different “groups” of skip-count numbers. When they lift the flap, there are four multiplication problems for them to solve.


For the fractions game, draw a circle on each of the four main sections. Break the circle apart into “fractions. We did the following fractions on our catcher: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, & 1/5.

The next level of flaps the kids had to figure out which “flap” matched the circle. Even though my kids are learning just the fractions, I wrote the decimal number beside “the answer” to try to help them begin matching the two numbers together.

When the kids pull up the flap, they see another “problem”. They had to color in the fraction amount on the bar using their finger.

I loved seeing the kids put their math lessons into their pockets and carry them around practicing them throughout the day!


For more ideas on ways to help your kids skip count, check out our post on Math Patterns. We can also snack on our times tables.
For more ideas on fractions, cookies are by far my kids favorite way to learn – you can also make and eat fractions through sandwich math.

Rachel is the founder of the blog, One Crazy House. She is the co-author of 101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! and The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and six children.