I hadn't seen cootie catchers in years.
At least not in the "tween folded up bits of paper" sense rather than the "toddler who can't resist sucking on the dirty shopping cart handle" sense.
But Animal Planet has teamed up with a company called Cahootie that apparently has made a business out of those origami games we used to play in middle school.
Some people call them fortune tellers.
A description written up on Wikipedia actually explains them better than I could:
"A player asks a question, and the fortune teller operator answers using an algorithm to manipulate the fortune teller's shape. Questions, answers, colors, or numbers may be written on the fortune teller.
"The player asks a question of the person holding the fortune teller; this question will be answered by the device. The holder then asks for a number or color. Once the number or color is chosen, the holder uses their fingers to switch between the two groups of colors and numbers inside the fortune teller. The holder switches these positions a number of times: which may be determined by the number of letters in the color selected, the number originally chosen, or the sum of both. Once the holder has finished switching the positions of the fortune teller, the player chooses one of the flaps revealed. These flaps often have colors or numbers on them. The holder then lifts the flap and reveals the fortune underneath. Steps may be repeated to suit the users."
Sound familiar? Considering how uncoordinated -- and not crafty! -- I am, I could never build my own back in the day, so I loved the Cahootie idea.
A fair amount of them leave a little to be desired -- best friends forever made me yawn. But the Animal Planet cootie catchers -- which naturally feature animals (I know, such a surprise) -- are a perfect backseat of the car educational but still fun tween game.
Do your kids catch cooties?
Image via Cahootie