In the At Home With Martin & Sylvia story, “Magic Tricks”, Martin marvels over the many amazing disappearing tricks a magician at the state fair plays on the crowd.
From that point on, Martin wants to learn tricks and figure out how to make something really disappear and then reappear. Martin, Sylvia, and Daddy all demonstrate their best attempts one night, but it is Momma who proves to be the most powerful magician of all.
Like Martin, so many kids I know have gone through a magician phase. Some grow out of it quickly and some grow up and join the circus, but, either way, it's fun to learn a few beginner tricks.
The following three magic tricks are classic fare, and all use common household items. They'll each take a bit of rehearsal to really pull them off well, but, with practice, soon you'll be hocus pocus-ing them up like a real magician!
Three Simple Magic Tricks
Coin From Behind the Ear
Quarter or half-dollar
This is a trick that takes 10 seconds to learn, but a few weeks to get really good at.
To start, place the coin in the center of the palm of your dominant hand, and use your hand muscles to grip it while keeping your hand as flat as possible. Keeping your grip on the coin, start by moving your hands naturally, as you would if you were enthusiastically talking to an audience. Next, practice quickly slipping the coin from your palm to your fingertips, as if you were going to pull it out of someone's ear.
Once you have those two motions down pat, you'll be well on your way to perfecting this time-honored trick.
Magically Sliced Banana
Long straight pin
Outside the view of your audience, push the straight pin into the banana and wiggle it back and forth on a horizontal plane. Repeat for as many cuts as you'd like to make. I'd recommend three as a good starting place.
Now you're ready for your audience, and showmanship is everything with this one.
Pull out the banana with great ceremony. Let an audience member examine it. Wave your hands over it mystically. Say a few magical words. Then, very dramatically, peel back the banana's skin and watch all the eyes that light up with amazement at your “magically” sliced fruit.
Levitating Playing Card
Deck of cards with box Craft knife or scissors
Every magician needs a good card trick, and this one is delightful!
Outside the view of your audience, remove the deck of cards from the box. Use the craft knife or scissors to cut a small hole—1 to 2 inches square will be about right—in the back of the box.
When you're ready to perform this trick for an audience, slip the cards out of the box without letting the audience see the hole in the back. With the deck facing away from you, push up the fourth, third, and second card from the back of the deck, but don't let the audience see that the first card is still on the bottom.
Have an audience member chose and remember card “one, two, or three” sticking up from the back of the deck. Once they've chosen, push all the cards back into the deck.
Now, pull the number of cards that corresponds with the number they chose off the back of the deck, and stick them randomly into the middle of the deck. (For example, if the audience member chose card two, you would pull two cards off the back of the deck and stick them into the middle.)
Because of the false card on the bottom, if you've done this trick correctly, the audience member's card should now be the card at the back of the deck.
Now, all you have to do is slip the deck back into the box—again, being careful not to let the audience see the hole—and slip one of your fingers through the hole in the box to slide...er, I mean, “levitate” the correct card up out of the box.
If you liked this tutorial, here are others you might like:
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.