When they were little, my children made comecocos with all kinds of messages and fortunes inside and played the game with their amiguitos. This traditional toy is made of folded paper and is also called a sacapiojos. In English, it is called a cootie catcher, a chatterbox or a fortune teller.
You can make a comecocos for Spanish learners of any level. It is an excellent language activity because kids speak, hear and read Spanish as they play.
If you are not familiar with the game, it involves folding paper to make a toy that fits over a child’s fingers and opens and closes. A friend chooses a picture or color on the outside and the child with the comecocos opens and closes the toy as she spells the word. For example, if the friend chooses green, she opens and closes it five times as she spells out v – e – r – d – e. Then, the friend chooses a number from the inside and the child opens and closes the toy as she counts to that number. Finally, they lift the flap to find a saying or a prediction. You can make a comecocos to answer questions by putting answers like sí, no, tal vez, and ¿quién sabe? on the inside. Kids also love simple predictions like these:
- Se resolverá un conflicto.
- Tu deseo se cumplirá.
- Un regalo tuyo le hará muy feliz a alguien.
- La buena fortuna te espera.
- Te invitarán a un evento emocionante.
- Viajarás a muchos lugares hermosos.
- Tu futuro inmediato trae algo emocionante.
- Algo que se te perdió pronto reaparecerá.
- Te espera una sorpresa agradable.
A comecocos is easy to make. Click here for a blank game with fold lines and instructions. Then write in words, add drawings or use stickers to make your game. If you want to see a video of how to fold them, just search “cootie catcher” on YouTube.
You can click here to print a finished comecocos with positive messages inside. If your niños are just learning Spanish, this game is a fun way to practice personal information questions. Click here for a comecocos with questions for beginning language learners. There are folding instructions on both of the games.
¡Que se diviertan jugando y hablando español!
Special thanks to Spanish Playground for providing this activity. Visit their site for more activities to teach Spanish to kids.