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Easy-to-Do Magic Tricks for Children
By Karl Fulves, Joseph K. Schmidt
Dover Publications, Inc.Copyright © 1993 Karl Fulves
All rights reserved.
The Strength Test
"When I put on these gloves, they give me added strength," the magician says. He holds up a pair of ordinary-looking gloves. "Here, I'll show you what I mean." He puts them on. Then he extends his fingertips so they touch. A spectator grasps the magician's wrists and pulls in opposite directions, Figure 1. Surprisingly, no matter how hard he pulls, he cannot separate the magician's hands.
"Let me show you another test. Make your hands into fists. Put them together. I bet I can separate them with one finger of each hand." It looks impossible, but the magician succeeds. When the spectator tries to separate the magician's hands by the same method, he finds it impossible.
Method: You can use any pair of gloves. Put them on, then touch the tips of your first fingers together. Have the spectator grasp both wrists and pull them apart in the direction of the arrows shown in Figure 1. He cannot use a quick, jerky motion. He should increase the force gradually. No matter how hard he pulls, he will find it extremely difficult (and in most cases impossible) to separate your hands.
The secret is that, if you hold your hands at chest level and lock your elbows against your sides when performing this trick, the spectator cannot generate enough force to pull your hands apart.
In the second test, tell the spectator to make two fists, then to put them together as in Figure 2. Say, "While I'm wearing these gloves, I can separate your fists with just one finger of each hand." After struggling to separate your hands in the first test, the spectator will think it is impossible for you to separate his fists using just one finger of each hand.
The secret is to strike his fists as shown in Figure 2. Move the first fingers in opposite directions, one striking downward, the other upward. The result will be that his hands immediately move apart.
Say, "It was the superhuman strength in these gloves that allowed me to do that. Here, you try it." You are still wearing the gloves. Make your hands into fists, but as you do, secretly place one thumb into the other fist, Figure 3. Your hands are now locked together. If he strikes your fists with his extended first fingers as shown in Figure 2, he will be surprised that your hands do not move apart.
This routine can be performed with just the bare hands, but by wearing gloves, you misdirect the audience into thinking that perhaps the gloves do have something to do with these feats of strength.CHAPTER 2
"Being a magician has its advantages," the magician says. He displays a shoelace or sneaker lace. "Sometimes I get a knot in the lace."
The magician holds the lace near the center between the left thumb and first finger. A knot is tied in the lace. "Being a magician, I don't have to struggle to get it unknotted." The magician blows on the knot and it magically disappears.
Method: You can use a shoelace, sneaker lace or a piece of string to perform this mystery. Hold the lace near the center between the left thumb and first finger. The center of the length of lace on your right is grasped between the right thumb and fingers as shown in Figure 4.
Turn the right hand in the direction of the arrow in Figure 4. This causes the lace to twist or cross on itself. The twist is held in place by the left thumb. The situation is shown in Figure 5. As the lace is twisted, say to the audience, "It starts with the lace getting knotted like this."
The right hand now grasps the ends of the lace and places them through the loop in the direction of the arrow in Figure 6. "Then the ends get into the act."
Grasp the ends with the right hand, Figure 7. Then gather the knotted center of the lace into the left hand, Figure 8.
"Here's where it comes in handy being a magician." Blow on the left hand. Then pull the lace out of the left hand. The tangled knot has vanished.CHAPTER 3
The magician twists a rubber band over his fingers. "This," he says, "locks my fingers together." He displays another rubber band. Instantly he causes it to penetrate the first rubber band.
Method: Have two rubber bands in your left trouser pocket. Remove one band. Place it over the left first finger. Loop it over the right first finger as shown in Figure 9. Make sure the band is as close to the fingertip as possible throughout this and later steps.
Turn the left hand palm down. This puts a twist in the band as shown in Figure 10-A. Insert the right second finger into the band as shown in Figure 10-B.
Slip the left first finger out of the band. Then insert it back in the position shown in Figure 9. Turn the left hand palm down again. Another twist has been put into the band. Insert the right third finger into the band as shown in Figure 11.
Slip the left first finger out of the band. Insert it back in the position shown in Figure 9. Turn the left hand palm down again. This puts another twist into the band. Insert the right fourth finger into the band as shown in Figure 12.
Notice that each time a twist is put in the band that it is put in the same direction. This is important to the success of the trick.
Display the right hand on both sides. Remark that the rubber band is locked onto the fingers.
Turn so your left side is toward the audience. Say, "In my pocket I also have—" As you speak, drop the right hand to your right side. This is the side that is away from the audience. The spectators do not see you perform the following secret action. Silently withdraw the right second finger from the band as shown by the arrow in Figure 13. As soon as the middle finger is free of the band, press the middle finger against the band. The situation will appear to the audience to be unchanged; it will look as if the band is twisted around all four fingers. Really, the right middle finger is free as indicated in Figure 14.
You now complete the last sentence: "—another rubber band." Withdraw the second band from the pocket. Loop it around the left thumb and fingers. You may have to use the right hand to aid in doing this.
Say, "I want to try something impossible. I want to cause one band to pass completely through the other." Hold the right hand up so the palm faces the audience. Bring the left hand to a position over the right hand. Then slide the left-hand band over the right middle finger in the direction of the arrow in Figure 14.
The result is that the left-hand band seems to penetrate the right-hand band and end up on the right middle finger, Figure 15.
Reverse the above moves to cause the left-hand band to come free of the right hand. Slip the right-hand band from the fingers and toss both bands onto the table.
If you have only one rubber band and wish to try the trick, use a ring in place of the second band. Make sure it is slightly larger than the fingers. This allows you to slide it on and off the right middle finger easily.CHAPTER 4
When an object moves in a mysterious manner, it always creates audience interest. In this trick a coin is placed upright on the table. The magician waves his hand over it and the coin suddenly starts to spin.
Method: Rub the coin against the sleeve, Figure 16. Tell the audience that this puts energy in the coin.
Stand the coin on edge on the table. Hold it in place with the left first finger as shown in Figure 17.
Slide the right hand across the left first finger as indicated in Figure 18. Do this two or three times, each time with a quick motion. The next time you do it, hit the edge of the coin with the tip of the right thumb. This will cause the coin to spin as shown in Figure 19.
The trick can also be done with two coins. Hold them on edge as shown in Figure 20. Perform the trick as written above. When the right thumb hits the coins, they will both begin spinning.CHAPTER 5
This is a good trick to do if you are in a restaurant and there is a drinking straw handy. The magician removes the straw from its wrapper and places it on the table. He rubs his hands together to create a magnetic field. Then he places his hands on either side of the straw. The straw mysteriously rolls toward one of his hands.
Method: Place the straw on the table in front of you. Then put the hands on the table, on either side of the straw, as shown in Figure 21. The palm of the right hand and the back of the left hand face the straw.
The straw moves because you secretly blow on it. If you were simply to blow air against the straw, it would move away from you. Others at the table would quickly guess what you were doing. The trick is to make the straw roll toward you. It is done as follows.
Rub the hands together. Explain that this charges the magnetic field between your hands. Place the hands on either side of the straw as shown in Figure 21. To cause the straw to move toward you, do not blow on the straw. Rather, blow on the palm of the right hand. The column of air is deflected off the palm and pushes the straw toward you as shown in Figure 22.
Make sure to keep your head bent downward, as if you were staring at the straw. Blow gently, just enough to get the straw moving. A drinking straw is a lightweight object that rolls easily. For this reason it is preferred to a pen or pencil. If a straw is not handy and you wish to perform this trick, roll a piece of paper into a tube. Hold the tube secure with tape. Then perform the trick.CHAPTER 6
Memory Plays Tricks
An assistant places a ring or bracelet into the magician's shirt pocket. The magician says that, by clapping his hands together in a steady rhythm, he will put the spectator into a hypnotic trance so he will forget where he placed the ring. The magician claps his hands and, maintaining a steady, rhythmic clapping, steps behind the spectator and then out in front again.
The spectator reaches into the magician's shirt pocket for the ring, but it is not there. The magician says, "You only thought you placed it in my shirt pocket. Really you placed it here." He removes the ring from his trouser pocket!
Method: Ask someone to place an easily identified object like a ring or bracelet into your shirt pocket. Then begin to clap your hands. Step behind the spectator, Figure 23, still clapping your hands in a steady rhythm.
When you are entirely behind the spectator, maintain the sound by clapping your right hand against your face, Figure 24.
This allows you to reach into your shirt pocket with your other hand, remove the ring and place it in your trouser pocket. If there is a couch nearby, you can toss the ring onto the couch. This takes no more than a few seconds to accomplish.
Now clap your two hands together and step back in front of the spectator. The spectator has heard the steady clapping sound all along, so he thinks there was no chance for trickery. When he reaches into your shirt pocket, he will be surprised the ring is gone.
Say, "You only thought you put the ring in that pocket." Produce the ring from its new location.
The trick can be done for only one spectator at a time, since others in the room would see how it is done. Practice to maintain a smooth, steady clapping sound and you will create an excellent mystery.CHAPTER 7
The magician announces the discovery of a new weight-gaining food called Heavy Air, or H.A. (as in HA!) for short. A glass of H.A. is displayed and stirred with a spoon. The glass is covered with a handkerchief. When the spectator tries to lift the glass, he finds it is too heavy to lift.
Method: You will need an ordinary glass, a book and a scarf or handkerchief large enough to cover the apparatus. The handkerchief should be thick enough that no one can see through it. If such an item is not available, a hand towel can be substituted.
Place the glass on the book. Stir the imaginary contents with a spoon as you say to the audience, "You're probably wondering what's in the glass. It's the stuff in food that causes people to gain weight. You can't see it, you can't taste it, but it puts on the pounds."
Cover the glass with the handkerchief. Grasp the sides of the book with one hand. Place the other hand on top of the apparatus as if to steady the glass. The situation is shown in Figure 25.
As you perform these actions, say, "I call it H.A. for short. H.A. stands for Heavy Air. I'll show you how it works."
Walk toward someone in the audience. As you do, place the left first finger on top of the book. Grasp the glass between the thumb and first finger as shown in Figure 26. This action is concealed because the handkerchief covers the book and the hand.
The spectator grasps the glass through the handkerchief, Figure 27, and tries to lift the glass. Your thumb and first finger hold the glass in place. From the audience's point of view, it seems as if the glass has become so heavy, the spectator cannot lift it.
To finish, bring the hands back to the position shown in Figure 25. Remove the handkerchief, pretend to pour the Heavy Air from the glass and go on with your next trick.CHAPTER 8
Static cling is caused by static electricity. The magician demonstrates by rubbing a pen or ruler against his arm, then causing the pen to cling to his hand.
Method: Rub a pen, pencil or ruler against your arm as if to build up static electricity. Place the pen in the left hand. Hold it in place with the left thumb. Grip the left wrist with your right hand as shown in Figure 28.
Raise the left hand. The audience sees that, when the thumb is taken away, the pen clings to your hand, Figure 29. Actually, the right first finger holds the pen in place, Figure 30. Because the first finger is extended behind the cover provided by the left hand, this move is not seen by the audience. To them it appears as if the pen mysteriously clings to your hand.
Shake your hand up and down. The pen remains firmly in place. State that static electricity can be got rid of in a simple way. Blow on the pen. Then release pressure with the right first finger. Then pen falls to the table.
If asked to repeat the trick, hold the pen in place as shown in Figure 28, but grip the left wrist as in Figure 31. By extending the right little finger behind the left hand, the pen can be held in place.
This trick can be followed with "Dating Game," page 20, another routine in which a pen behaves in a mysterious manner.CHAPTER 9
The Great Escape
"A magician friend of mine sends out postcards that are magic tricks. Here's one with his picture on it. You tie him up and he somehow gets free. I still don't know how he does it."
As he speaks, the magician threads a length of string through a hole in a piece of cardboard, then knots the string. Without tearing the cardboard, he causes it to come free of the string.
Method: Use a piece of cardboard measuring about 3" by 6". The string should be two to three feet long. A shoelace or sneaker lace can be used instead of string. On the cardboard draw a picture like the one shown in Figure 32.
Thread the center of the string through the hole in the direction of the arrow in Figure 32. Bring it up above the top of the cardboard to the position shown in Figure 33.
Then bring the ends of the string through the center of the string. This is indicated by the arrows in Figure 33. The result is that the cardboard is firmly knotted on the string, Figure 34.
A spectator holds the ends of the string, one end in each hand. Place a handkerchief or scarf over the cardboard so it is completely covered. Make sure the handkerchief is thick enough so that the apparatus does not show through the fabric.
Under cover of the handkerchief, grasp the center of the knot at the point shown by the X in Figure 34. As you do this, remark that your friend had a reputation as a great escape artist. Pull the center of the string downward in the direction of the arrow, Figure 35, until it is free of the cardboard. The cardboard can now be brought out from under the handkerchief.CHAPTER 10
The magician claims he has a pen that is trained to pick out the name of a friend's girlfriend. When the apparatus is set up, the pen moves in a mysterious manner to find the person's girlfriend.
Method: While you turn your back, have a spectator divide a piece of paper into three parts. He writes his girlfriend's name in the middle, then the names of two other girls on either side. He tears the paper into three pieces, Figure 36, and mixes them up. In this example Carol, the girlfriend's name, is in the middle.
Write the words "No," "Maybe" and "Yes" on a pad in the way indicated in Figure 37 and rest the pen against the pad. Grasp a rubber band about a half-inch from the ends as shown in Figure 38.
Slip the rubber band under the pen as indicated in Figure 39. Stretch the rubber band so it is taut. By raising the hands slightly, lift the point of the pen off the pad a fraction of an inch. This makes it easier to move the pen.
Excerpted from Easy-to-Do Magic Tricks for Children by Karl Fulves, Joseph K. Schmidt. Copyright © 1993 Karl Fulves. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of ContentsThe Strength Test
Memory Plays Tricks
The Great Escape
A Mind for Figures
Silk from Nowhere
Pick a Pet