Numbers

Magic Math Trick

NumbersFool them all with a little math quirk that makes you, the magician, look like a genius! I had to run through this multiple times to get it because it’s so unbelievably simple. No practice, no magic required, just an audience that’s old enough to do one multiplication, and a subtraction. So, this is suitable for mid-elementary school age, say age 8, 9 and 10.

The five steps you’ll guide your party kids through for this trick are very well outlined for you on about.com, but so you don’t have to go through all the iterations I did, here’s the key: the answer here is ALWAYS THE SAME! That’s the ‘math quirk’ this trick is based on. Unless Einstein’s attending your party, I don’t think the kids are going to see through to that fact.

This is a great magic party trick because it’s interactive and can involve the whole group.┬áHave the group elect one person, or choose the birthday child, to pick a number between 2 and 9, and it can be either 2 or 9 or any number in between. You, the magician, isn’t to know what number they choose. Also in ‘secret’, instruct the group to multiply that number by 9, which results in a 2 digit number. Instruct the group to then add the two digits of that number together, and to subtract 5 from the result.

Now have them switch from numbers to letters, assigning a letter to this resulting number with a=1, b=2, etc., and to think of a country that begins with that letter. HINT: It will always be ‘D’ and they’ll come up with Denmark – the fact that the result here is always 4 is the math quirk this trick is built upon. The next and last step for your party guests is to take the second letter in the country and associate it with an animal. It might be ‘eel’, but far more likely to be elephant.

You’re an absolute genius when you ‘re surprised, after all these machinations, to know that there are elephants in Denmark!!┬áDO let them go through the whole thing again, choosing an entirely different number, to be amazed that the answer comes out exactly the same.

Follow this prediction trick up with a similar one based on a clock, where the answer is always 6. Not as spectacular as the first one, but good magic party fun none-the-less.

We’ll be continuing this week with more ideas for you magic birthday party theme, all without the expense of hiring a magician.

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