What do a deck of cards, a salt shaker, and a pencil have in common? Though they are ordinary household items, when pulled out of a hat or made to disappear, they contain hours of fun.
"Bonding through magic is a great way to bridge the generation gap," says magician Avi Frier. "Grandkids, especially the athletic or tech-savvy ones, may feel superior since they are faster or can surf the web better. If grandparents amaze grandchildren with magic tricks, then the playing field is leveled."
Kids love learning how tricks work, and being able to perform a trick that astonishes people is a confidence-booster for someone who rarely gets a chance to choose what to have for dinner.
Don't just perform — teach
While magic has the potential to bring grandparents and grandkids together, be wary of performing tricks while claiming to have powers or skills other people don't have.
"The smart-aleck magician who makes people feel foolish will distance himself from the audience instead of feeling closer to them," says magician Arthur Kurzweil, who teaches tricks to his step-grandchildren instead of just performing them.
Keep it simple
When picking tricks to master, opt for simple ones, advises magician Robert Strong, because these are usually the most amazing."Tricks like disappearing salt shakers or levitating pencils are wonderful because they are unexpected ways to use everyday stuff," says Strong. The secret to making a magic trick really good is in the practice. Consider the staging, costume, lighting, and above all, the story. "Have fun creating a backstory because magic, in essence, is all about storytelling," says Strong.
Show off their skills
If grandparents and grandkids find that they really enjoy tricks, creating a website to document their experience, uploading videos to share with the family, or inviting parents to a magic show, are wonderful ways to make these memories last a lifetime. And what could be better than grandchildren who perform magic tricks for friends and say, "Guess what my grandpa taught me?"
Tricks to try
In these short videos, Strong demonstrates simple magic tricks using household items and reveals the secrets to each. See how quickly you can master them, and teach them to your grandkids.
Three Pencil Tricks
Make a pencil disappear into your nose, levitate on your hand, and vanish altogether.
Show off your psychic powers by predicting the revealed card.
Vanishing Salt Shaker
It seems as if you're making a coin disappear, but you'll leave them wide-eyed when you make the whole salt shaker vanish into thin air!
Make sure to catch all our grand videos on GPTV. See the hottest new toys from Toy Fair 2009, watch Real Grandparents talk about their grandchildren, and laugh at hilarious viral videos from Around the Web.
How well do you get along with your grandchild and other family members? Want to know if your personalities mesh?Find out here.