Cootie Catcher Instructions and Fun Ways to Use them in Your Classroom!

Beware! Cootie Catcher Instructions ahead! Making cootie catchers can be addicting. You have been warned! 🙂

Every year I have had a student who is a cootie catcher master. They learned how to make a cootie catcher from someone, now they can make them and they LOVE to show off their paper-folding prowess! I don’t know about your kiddos, but as soon as they see this paper-folding magic, they can’t get enough!

Cootie Catcher Instructions and ways to use cootie catchers in your classroom with an image of cootie catchers

What is a Cootie Catcher?

A Cootie Catcher (or fortune teller) is an origami marvel that students can’t get enough of! All students need is a square piece of paper and cootie catcher instructions! Then, they can add numbers, words, pictures etc. They use these to tell the “fortune” of a friend following their instructions and moving the cootie catcher back and forth. They LOVE them! I found this fascinating article about the History of Cootie Catchers if you are like me and like to geek out about that kind of thing. They were once used to hold salt! Can you imagine?

Cootie Catcher Instructions:

So, how do you make these magic paper marvels?

I made this video of cootie catcher instructions. I would put it into our learning management system so my darling cherubs had access whenever they needed it. They could fold, pause, fold, etc. They could also show the video to their parents to get some assistance as well.

I always try to enlist the help of my resident Cootie Catcher experts to help me to teach my students how to make cootie catchers. Pretty soon, they are all experts!

Beware though…once you teach your students how to make them, they will want to make them all the time, so keep plenty of paper on hand! 🙂

Why would you want to teach your students how to make Cootie Catchers?

1. They have to follow instructions. We know that they all need to practice following instructions and are super motivated to make cootie catchers!

2. Small muscle control. Students are coming to school with less and less fine motor control. Folding a cootie catcher is good folding practice using those small hand muscles!

3. They are fun and engaging! Students LOVE them and will want to use them often. Take advantage and use them for learning activities in your classroom.

Cootie Catchers in the Classroom

Now that your students are experts in folding cootie catchers using these cootie catcher instructions, there are so many fun ways to use them in your classroom! My favorite way to use them is for writing.

The video shows Fall Cootie Catcher Writing Prompts, but I do have them for year-round! I even have one for shark week if you have shark-obsessed students like I always did. I also have several freebies if you are interested in trying them out in your classroom!

You can find a Halloween Cootie Catcher Freebie HERE, and you can get an Emoji Cootie Catcher Story Starter Freebie and a blank cootie catcher template to use any way that you could like in my Free Resource library (not to mention a TON of other fun Freebies) by signing up for the Primary Planet Newsletter! It is full of fun teacher tips, new products, sales notifications, and FREEBIES!

Emoji Cootie Catchers text and image of cootie catcher

You could use them for pretty much any subject. Have your students write math problems in the inside flaps that they could solve and write the answers under. Then, they can practice them with a partner!

Use them to build classroom community. On the top squares have your students write a subject or a color. Then, open to write a question that they want to know about a friend. Then, give them some time to get to know their classmates better! I do understand that time is of the essence, so I do have premade cootie catchers that already have fun questions for your students to get to know each other better! Great for Back to School, or any time of the year that you need to help your student reconnect!

Put pre-folded or unfolded Cootie Catcher Story Starters in your Writing Center! They are always a hit and a great way to get your students writing and freshen up your writing center! Win-Win!

Let your students use them to tell stories with their friends as morning work! What a fun way to get ideas for writing, practice math skills, or just get your students talking to one another (not that they need any help with this). It is always nice to give them a little time to talk.

Whatever you do with your cootie catchers, your students will love them and become obsessed with making their own. You have been warned! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my post! Please pin and share to help me spread the Cootie Catcher madness! 🙂

Cootie catcher instructions and ways to use cootie catchers in your classroom with an image of cootie catchers!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Happy Teaching,


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