Ah, this brings back many memories. I haven’t made one of these chatterboxes for a long, long while but have recently been making them again with my kids.
If anyone needs a refresher, here’s a step by step process how to make a chatterbox with an A4 piece of paper. I’ve written instructions for each picture represented below plus there’s a video by my daughter.
1. You can use square origami paper, but I just use regular A4 paper.
2. Cut to size. Simply fold the right hand bottom corner in to line up with the top edge (and thus forming a square).
3. Trim excess paper and open up the square. This means the first step of folding the paper is already done (you can see the one fold line). If you’re already staring with square paper, start at this point and fold your paper in half, point tip to point tip (so fold the diamond in half).
4. Fold again in half, point tip to point tip (fold the diamond in half).
5. Take the first corner point and fold into the centre.
6. Do again with the second.
7. And third.
8. And fourth.
9. Turn over.
10. Again, bring the first point in the centre and fold.
11. Do with the second point.
12. And third.
13. And fourth.
14. Fold in half to help assist in opening the chatterbox.
15. Ease your fingers into the four openings and open out.
16. Ensure the middle flip-open sections stay inside.
17. Decorate (see below for ideas).
The great thing about a chatterbox is you can tailor it however you like. Think birthday party games, school holiday activity, family nights or just because. There are three levels to write on:
Top: Make it colourful and fun! Can be colours, names, animals, anything really!
Inside: Numbers work well but you can write names or draw pictures.
Opening: Write an action.
These can be made for different themes. Below are example ideas:
- Nature: Top: draw four different coloured flowers | Inside: numbers | Opening: 1. feel the bark of a tree 2. count birds 3. find 5 leaves 4. find a pet rock 5. name 3 different colours you can see 6. run on grass with bare feet 7. find an animal 8. run between 2 trees 3 times.
- Animals: Top: draw or write four different animals | Inside: numbers | Opening: 1. bark like dog 2. meow like a cat 3. oink like a pig 4. neigh like a horse 5. moo like a cow 6. jump like kangaroo 7. slither like a snake 8. walk like a sloth.
- Exercise: Top: four different colours | Inside: numbers | Opening: 1. jump up and down 2. do 10 push ups 3. skip for 1 minute 4. 30 second plank 5. run around the house 6. 20 squats 7. 20 sit ups 8. 15 star jumps
- About me: Top: draw or write four items that represent the person | Inside: numbers: | Opening: write 8 facts about the person.
- Drama: Top: draw happy, sad, mad, surprised face | Inside: numbers | Opening: 1. do three laughs 2. fake cry 3. say the line, “line from a favourite movie” 4. meet the Queen 5. you’re in a dark alley 6. walk through Autumn Leaves 7. you lost something 8. you’re shocked
- Conversational: Top: four different colours | Inside: numbers | Opening: 1. What were you doing the last time you felt really happy? 2. what was the best thing about your day? 3. What is a dream? 4. If you had a spare $10K, what would you spend it on? 5. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? 6. What is your biggest struggle right now? 7. Say something nice about someone. 8. How could you say I love you, and not use words?
- Sight words: Top: Four short sight words | Inside: numbers | Opening: 1. Write ______ 2. Make up a song with _____ in it 3. Use you finger to write _____ 4. Spell _____ out loud, slow and fast 5. Write _____ with each letter a difference colour 6. I’ll spell it, you spell it. 7. Write out ____ 3 times. 8. Write out the letters in ____, cut, jumble and reassemble.
Once you start thinking about it there are so many ways to have fun with this.
We did a mish-mash and often when we do these types of things, we play on and off for days.
1. Do three different laughs
2. Sing something
3. Show me your dance moves
4. 10 push ups!
5. Jump up and down 10 times
6. Run around the house
7. Tell a joke
8. Fake cry
All of these things only take a minute, so the kids come to me randomly to do it, and it only takes a few minutes out of my day. A few days ago, I was jumping in the kitchen while doing dinner. Interaction.