Although most people associate fortune cookies with Chinese restaurants, I immediately think of them as a great opportunity for reading practice. Last year when my sister was visiting, we had fun making rainbow fortune cookies to learn Chinese greetings. Since my daughter loves anything colorful, my sister loves origami, and I’m obsessed with Chinese learning, we were the dream team! This post will guide you step-by-step on how to make perfect paper fortune cookies. Be sure to check out our video tutorial at the end of this post!
Fortune cookies are often served as a dessert in Chinese restaurants in Western countries, but they are not traditional Chinese food! This history is unclear, but fortune cookies may have originated from Japanese immigrants and then popularized by Californian Chinese immigrants. Currently, fortune cookies are known for their crisp, sweet flavor with a surprise message and “lucky” numbers.
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What you need:
- 8.5″ x11″ colored printer paper
- White printer paper
- Circle template (this one or this other one) or a compass
- Permanent double-sided tape or hot glue (regular tape and glue does not hold well)
Although there are a few video tutorials on YouTube, we realized that it wasn’t quite as easy as depicted. Through trial and error, we discovered ways to save time and also that scoring and folding the paper is important before inserting the fortune message. We are excited to share our tips so you’ll have an easier time making these compared to when we first tried it!
How to make Rainbow Paper Fortune Cookies: (Video at end of post)
- Cut white paper into 0.5″ x 2″ strips.
- Write special messages.
- Set aside.
Fortune cookie instructions:
- Fold printer paper in quarters (i.e., fold it in half vertically, then fold it in half horizontally). This step will save you time & paper.
- Trace circle on the folded paper using a compass (radius 1.75″) or a circle stencil ~4″ in diameter.
- Keep paper folded while cutting. You should now have 4 circles.
- With 1 circle, make a 0.5″ crease at its center with fingernail.
- Unfold the circle
- Flip the paper around and gently bring the edges of the circle together 90 degrees to the crease.
- Press crease in with thumb
- Use opposite thumb and index finger to press cookie edges together. You now have the fortune cookie shape.
- Place 1 message inside circle; length of paper should be 90 degrees to the crease.
- Repeat steps 4-8.
- Place double-sided tape (or glue) in the middle of the cookie to maintain shape.
- Gift the fortune cookie to a special friend! 🙂
And finally, this video shows you how to make the perfect Rainbow Paper Fortune Cookies!
If your family has fun making these Rainbow Paper Fortune Cookies, please let us know! Leave a comment and don’t forget to tag @CHALKAcademy on Instagram and Facebook! We love to see how other families do Chinese activities!
Looking for Chinese cultural activities? Click here to see what my kids and I have done together!
Looking for books on Chinese New Year? Click here to see our recommendations for books, audiobooks, and workbooks!