7 Easy Magic Tricks To Keep Kids Spellbound

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Everyone loves magic.

We've compiled a list of easy magic tricks that kids will love and hopefully even be able to do themselves (if you want to give the game away!) With any luck you'll have a captive audience and awe-inspired fans by the end of your magic show.

Our list of easy magic tricks includes some tricks the kids can even perform for their friends once school's back, or use to put on their own show to entertain the family. You'll soon have a budding Harry Potter or Hermione on your hands!

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1. Magic Coin Trick

Let's begin with the classic grandad trick of pulling a coin out from behind the ear.

What you'll need:

A coin

How to do it:

- Grab a coin and put it in your left hand. Pretend to transfer it to your right hand while turning your palm face down.

- Keep the coin pinched between the thumb and index finger of your left hand.

- Close your right hand around the imaginary coin.

- Distract your audience by asking them to blow on your right fist. Let your left hand relax at your side.

- Act like you've just noticed something behind their left ear.

- Bring your left hand up to their ear, palm facing away from them.

- Transfer the coin to your fingertips, lightly brush it past their ear and hold it up to show the amazed audience.

magician hiding a card up their sleeve

2. Find The Magic Card

Another classic you may have seen and been awed by a hundred times already. But it's one of the simplest tricks in the book.

What you'll need:

A pack of cards

How to do it:

- Before you start the show, divide the pack into black and red. Remember which colour's on top.

- Fan out a few cards from the top of the deck. Get your child to pick a card and ask them to remember it.

- Fan out the bottom of the deck and ask them to insert the card back in the deck.

- Split the cards somewhere in the middle and place the bottom half on the top half to shuffle them.

- To find the card, look through the deck. The card you're looking for should be the only one of its colour amongst a load of opposite colour cards.

- Pull the card out and ask 'is THIS your card?' and watch their jaw drop to the floor.

3. Spoon Bending

Remember when Uri Geller was an A-lister? Well, now you can follow in his footsteps and blow your kids' minds with your mind-bending spoon skills. This one is very simple so kids will definitely be practising it at the dinner table!

What you need:

A spoon

How to do it:

- Hold the handle of the spoon with both hands like a shovel. Make sure both your thumbs are on top at the tip of the handle. Make it look like you're really exerting pressure on it.

- Rest the tip of the spoon on the table and pretend to be really struggling to bend it.

- Let the spoon slide down your hand silently on to the table but cover with your hands so your audience thinks it's been bent.

- Now pretend to straighten the spoon by running your hands over it and lifting it up for your audience to see.

Another variation, and a little more convincing for more clued-up audiences:

- Grip a 5p piece between thumbs and index finger and use it to trick your kids into thinking it's the tip of the handle.

4. Make A Cup Go Through A Solid Table

This really looks like pure magic to an audience, so kids will definitely be impressed! This is an exercise in 'misdirection' as magicians call it - planting a red herring so that the audience is distracted from what's really going on.

What you'll need:

A cup

Table

Small object that will fit under cup (coin, small ball, key)

Napkin/piece of paper that just covers cup and can hold it's shape

How to do it:

- Make a big deal out of how solid the table is and how hard it will be to make the small object pass through the solid tabletop. This way they'll be focusing on the small object and not the cup.

- Put the small object on the table and place the cup over it. Cover the cup with the paper and scrunch it down around the form of the cup.

- Lift the cup and paper up and bring towards you, so the audience can see the small object on the table once again.

- Drop the cup out of the paper into your lap. Make sure the paper still keeps the shape of the cup.

- Bring the paper back over the small object and slam your hand down on it.

- Say 'whoops, I pushed too hard!' and whip the paper away to reveal that though the small object hasn't gone through, the cup has disappeared! Magic!

girl dressed as a witch holding a wand

5. Psychic Number Game

Oh, the mystery of maths. Maths is magic, that's all there is to it. Your guest writes four numbers down on a piece of paper and totals them. You have that total inside your envelope. Minds. Blown.

What you'll need:

Piece of paper

Pen

Envelope

How to do it:

- Before you start, write down the number which is 2x the current year's date. So if we are now in 2020 the number will be 4040.

- Put the number in an envelope and seal it.

- Show commences. Ask a helper to write down the year they were born.

- Ask them to write down the year an important event in their life took place. For example, the year they started school, or the year a sibling was born.

- Ask them to write down how old they'll be by the end of the year.

- Ask them to write down how many years have gone by since the year of the important event. (All these numbers must be accurate and have to be whole numbers)

- Ask them to add all these four numbers up, or ask an assistant to do it.

- Open the envelope and show them the number you have inside. That number should be the total of the four numbers your guest gave you!

Example: This year is 2020, so the number in the envelope is 4040. The child born in 2010. Turns 10 this year. Started school in 2015. This year is 5 years after they started school. Total - 4040.

6. Magic Sugar Cube

A volunteer picks a number between 1-10, drops a sugar cube in a glass of water and hovers their hand over the glass. The number magically appears on the palm of their hand. Woahhhh!

What you'll need:

Pencil (pen won't work. Neither will coloured pencils.)

Sugar cube

Glass of water

How to do it:

- Get your volunteer to choose a number between 1-10.

- Write the number on a sugar cube with a pencil, firmly.

- Hold the sugar cube between your thumb and finger, so that the number transfers to your thumb. Press as hard as you can, to make sure it transfers well.

- Say 'Now I will put this cube into the cup'.

- Drop the cube into the water and hold your child's hand over the cup. Make sure your thumb is firmly in the palm of their hand so that the number transfers from your thumb to their palm.

- Show them that the number is now on their palm and they should think it's magically appeared there.

7. Pencil Water Trick

This doubles up as a science experiment and is sure to intrigue your audience! Kids will be amazed as you shove a pencil right through a bag filled with water, with not a drop spilling out! Ziplock bags are made out of a polymer. A polymer has long flexible chains of molecules which form a seal around the pencil to stop water pouring out.

What you'll need:

Ziplock bag

Water

Sharp pencil (make sure it's as sharp as can be)

How to do it:

- Fill 3/4 of a ziplock bag with water and seal shut.

- Hold the bag up in one hand and firmly push the pencil through one side of the bag. Keep going until it pierces and comes out of the other side too.

- No water should come out.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

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Eleanor Larbi
Mum-of-one

Eleanor lives in Brighton and enjoys going on adventures with her three-year-old daughter. They love discovering new activities to do together and are always on the lookout for new experiences and environments to explore. They love the cinema and can be found queueing for popcorn the minute a new kids’ film is released! They also enjoy seeing shows at the theatre and swimming in the sea together, weather permitting!