Folded paper fortune-telling devices known as cootie catchers are a bit of folklore that endures in spite of high-tech phones, tablets and game consoles. A way to pass time between classes, during lunch and at sleepovers, cootie catchers can be created in a few seconds from a square of paper. As the fortune writer, you have a special responsibility to sustain the fun. Try composing the fortunes around a certain theme. You can even decorate the cootie catcher to match the theme.
Write cootie catcher fortunes that speak to the character -- that is, the moral strengths and flaws -- of the person whose fortune is being told. The fortunes can say good or not-so-good things about the person. For example, positive character fortunes could say "You persevere even when the trail gets rough" or "Your kindness warms the hearts of those around you." Less-glowing character fortunes could say "You have a hard time committing to decisions" or "You should apply yourself more in your work."
Give the person getting their fortune told a warning with a cautionary cootie catcher fortune. For example, the fortune could say "Obstacles lie ahead," "You will soon be tested," "Beware of fair-weather friends" or "Hard times will test your character." Consider adding a positive spin to these fortunes. For example, you could write "Obstacles will reveal your true strengths" or "Through hardship, you will persevere and succeed."
Relationship fortunes can speak to relationships with friends, parents, teachers and significant others. For example, the fortunes could say "Your friends are more valuable to you than any gems," "You will discover happiness with a new friend," "Be careful with the hearts of others," or "Honor the people who teach you." If the cootie catcher is for a select few, you can write relationship fortunes specific to them, such as "Your next meeting will lead to love," or "Honesty is the best policy."
Enlighten the person whose fortune is being told (and pay homage to the traditional content of fortune cookies!) with cootie catcher fortunes drawn from the Chinese philosopher Confucius. These fortunes will prompt personal reflection. For example, the fortunes could say "If his mat was not straight, he did not sit on it," "The superior man seeks to perfect the admirable qualities of men," or "The superior man has neither anxiety nor fear."
First published at age 17, Kim Durant is an experienced writer with numerous published articles under her belt. A former tutor and community education teacher, she writes primarily about decorating, crafts and other creative pursuits.