A chatterbox is an origami paper craft that is fun to fold and more fun to use. Perched on top of two thumbs and two fingers, it becomes an instant Magic 8 Ball, a game or a tool for learning. It requires only a single sheet of paper and a simple folding technique.
Begin with an 8-inch-square (21-centimetre-square) sheet of paper. Use a ruler to make sure you have a square, as a rectangle just won't do. While any sheet of paper will work, try a more creative option. If you're on the soccer team, for example, buy a sheet of soccer scrapbooking paper at a hobby shop and include fortunes for the team. If you're a teacher, get ABC scrapbooking paper and use stickers to create a Rewards Chatterbox.
Fold the paper in half in one direction, then in half again in the other direction. You should now have a small square. Unfold and lay flat.
Bring each corner into the centre point and crease. Be sure not to overlap the flaps. If it isn't working well, you may not have had a square to begin with. Flip the paper over.
Bring the four new corners into the centre point and crease. Flip over again.
Place the thumb and pointer finger of each hand into the folds. Bring all the points together. You now have a chatterbox.
By placing words on the chatterbox flaps, a student might practice spelling. With pictures, a toddler might learn the names of animals or animal sounds. An Action Chatterbox challenges players to "do a cartwheel," "sing a song" or perform another activity. Let your imagination run wild.
Fortune Telling Chatterbox
To create a Fortune Telling Chatterbox, lay the chatterbox flattened on a table top, with the side with four squares facing up. Number each square, with the base of the numbers toward the centre line. Flip the chatterbox over and number the eight triangles. Number each triangle so that the base of the number is toward the centre point of the square. With these triangles facing up, open each flap. Write a fortune beneath each number, so that as the flap is raised, two fortunes show. Refold the chatterbox.
How to Use a Chatterbox
Place your thumbs and pointer fingers into the four little flap squares and bring them together in a point. Ask a friend to pick a number on the outside flaps. Count aloud, and for each count, bring your fingers apart to the front, then the side. When you stop, have your friend pick a number from the newly visible numbers. Count aloud and repeat the chatterbox movement. Finally, have your friend pick another number from the visible numbers. Flip open the triangle and read her fortune.