Unfold Your Dreams: A ‘Cootie Catcher’ Activity for Kids
By Wesley Salazar
Cootie catchers aren’t just fun for kids to play with — they can provide an entry point for exploration and discussion too! Underneath the folds of this cootie catcher, which is featured in our Eugenie Clark issue, kids will discover questions and activity prompts that get them thinking all about determination.
Eugenie Clark, nicknamed the “Shark Lady,” was a brave marine biologist who made exciting discoveries in the field of ichthyology, or the study of fish. She was determined to show the general public that sharks were interesting and smart, not just sharp-toothed creatures to be feared. Eugenie’s passion for the species she studied took her all around the world in the name of scientific study, and she published more than 160 scientific and popular articles in her
lifetime. In short, she was a rad, incredibly accomplished scientist.
The prompts in this cootie catcher take inspiration from the resolve Eugenie showed throughout her life, and they approach the concept of determination from four different angles: dreaming, doing, learning, and self-reflecting. The prompts and questions are designed to encourage kids to identify what determination looks like in their own daily lives and articulate some of their hopes for the future.
Below you’ll find a link to the template so that you can print out as many as your family or class needs. While cootie catchers are fairly simple to make, the process can be a little confusing if you haven’t folded one in a few years. With that in mind, we’ve also included some instructions to get you and your kids started. Once you’ve exhausted all the prompts in this template, feel free to create your own from scratch!
Building the Cootie Catcher:
Supplies You’ll Need:
- Cootie catcher template
1. Cut out the template. Flip the template over so the printed side is down. Fold each corner of the square towards the center. Once all the corners are folded, you should have a smaller square.
2. Flip over the template so that the flaps are down. Again, fold each corner of the square and align the corners with the center of the square.
3. Create a crease in the paper by folding the square down the center. Unfold it, turn the square 90 degrees, and create another crease by folding the square down the center again.
4. Keeping the side with Dream, Do, Learn, and You facing downwards, push the four corners of the square towards the center simultaneously and slip your fingers into the flaps of the four theme words.
Using the Cootie Catcher:
1. Choose one of the four themes on the flaps: Dream, Do, Learn, or You. Spell out the words, alternately opening and closing the cootie catcher with your fingers with each letter.
2. Then choose one of the visible numbers inside the cootie catcher. Spell out the number, opening and closing the cootie catcher with each letter.
3. Then choose one final number and open the flap to reveal the prompt or question underneath.
4. Gather your family and friends, choose different themes, and repeat!
We’d love to see your cootie catchers in action. Snag a pic or video and tag us @bravery_mag!