Posted by: Michelle Mitton | May 28, 2008

Simple Magic Tricks

We had a family activity a few weeks ago and Spencer and I treated everyone to some magic tricks. I don’t exactly have a repertoire of them or anything, it was kind of a whim on our part but the tricks were good and we had everyone stumped.

So you want to see them? Here’s a video clip of Spencer’s card trick. Can you spot how he does it?

Then, Lillian decided that if Spencer could do it, so could she (she’s nothing if not confident). Here’s her version:

My own trick was a little different and I don’t have a video but here’s how it works:

I, Michelle the Amazing, have a hat and a piece of paper and pencil for everyone in the room. I ask each person to write a simple sentence on their piece of paper, something along the lines of, “I drink orange juice” or another easy one.

Everyone writes their sentences on their slips of paper and they fold them up. I collect all the folded slips of paper in my hat and say that I will now magically read each person’s question before seeing the pieces of paper.

I wave my hand over the hat and without looking into it, draw a slip of paper. I hold it to my head, scrunch up my eyes, then tell everyone the sentence that is on the piece of paper. After saying the sentence I ask, “Who’s sentence was that?” and wait for the person to claim it.

This impresses everyone and I say, “Let me see if that’s correct” and I open the slip of paper to read the sentence to see if it’s right. Then I wave the paper and smile in triumph.

I repeat the process, drawing slips of paper and magically reading the sentences one by one then I take a bow.

Pretty good huh? The secret is so easy. I’m going to print it here but to see the answer you’ll have to drag your cursor over the white space below to highlight the hidden text and read the answer—just in case you want to think a bit before you get the answer.

The trick is to arrange with one person beforehand to write a sentence that you dictate. I told David to write “I wish I had a dog.” on his paper then when I collected the slips I kept David’s separate from the others.

When I drew the first slip of paper out of the hat I pretended to magically read it but I just said the sentence David and I had already agreed upon. He claimed it was his but when I went to check if the sentence was right I was actually reading someone else’s sentence off of their piece of paper. Get it?

So you say one sentence but when you go to check you’re reading the next person’s in line, all you need is that first sentence to get you going and you’ve got them in the palm of your hand. Just don’t let your 9 year-old trick you and leave you hanging by not playing along when it’s his turn.

Anyway, has a good page for demonstrating other simple magic tricks, many that kids can do—it ought to provide hours of summer fun. I’d particularly recommend:

The Clipped Card
Vanishing a Coin with Rings
Sawing a Lady in Half
Restoring a Torn Bill

Oh, and a brief note: we novices made the critical mistake of repeating our tricks. Never repeat the trick because they’ll figure it out if you do. And never tell them the way you do it because it will spoil the whole effect. There’s a reason a magician never reveals his secrets and don’t you get caught doing it.


Congratulations to Tina at Life in the Lapadula House for winning the Starlooks Boutique giveaway this past weekend–she gets to have her choice of Peri Poncho. I’ve got another giveaway lined up for Saturday so don’t miss it–come hungry.

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