Magic card tricks. Prior to the activity remove the face cards from several decks of cards and divide the rest into suits, so you have four sets of 1-10 cards for each deck of cards. Divide children into pairs and give each pair of children a set of the 10 shuffled cards. Explain that they all get to learn magic tricks with numbers to perform for their parents or friends. The adult should demonstrate the trick first without explaining what she is doing. This way the children will think it is a real trick and understand how their parent will be amazed. Then explain how to do the tricks before the children do them, using a child for an assistant. Card trick two: Make sure cards are back in order. Remind children that the cards are in order and the last (top) card is a 10. Spread them out somewhat on the table. When the assistant points to a card in the pile, the magician must count backwards to figure out what card the assistant is pointing to. Demonstrate how to do it.
Card trick two: With cards back in order and face down, spread the cards out again. This time the partner will point to a card on the table, the magician will count backward from 10 (silently) to the card being pointed to and announce what it is. The assistant turns it over. If correct, cheering ensues! If incorrect, the assist tries to figure it out. Return cards into the right order. After several turns, reverse roles.
Observe and see which children understand the concepts of one less than and one more than a number. If a mistake is made, can the pair figure it out together? If needed the adult can demonstrate how to count forward from the first card to figure it.
This is a great trick to teach children to do with their parents. Ask the parents for a deck of cards, if available in the home. If not, tell the children they can make cards by cutting pieces of paper and writing the numbers from 1-10 on them. Tell them to arrange their cards without their parents seeing. This way their parents will be really surprised when they know the right number. Tell them to practice before they do it for their parents, so they know they will pick the right numbers. Parents will love this activity!
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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