Activity:

Equation Magic

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What You Need:

  • Deck of cards

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to shuffle the deck of cards. Tell him that for the purposes of the game jacks= 11, queens= 12, kings= 13, and aces = 1.
  2. Have him look at the bottom card and memorize it.
  3. Tell him to place the deck on the center of the table and turn over the top 3 cards.
  4. Now, have him deal cards below each of the 3 cards he turned over. He'll need to figure out how many cards to place down. To do this, have him subtract the number amount on the face-up card from 15. For example: If the card is a 5, he should deal 10 cards under it (15 - 5 = 10).
  5. Now have him collect all cards he dealt in step 4, and put them on the bottom of the deck. The three original face-up cards should remain on the table.
  6. Ask him to find the sum of the three face-up cards and deal out that many cards. For example: If the 3 face-up cards are 2, Ace, and 5, he would perform the addition operation 2 + 1 + 5 = 8.
  7. Then, place those cards on the bottom of the deck.
  8. Time for the magic! Explain that you can force any card to come out of the deck whenever you like. Now, ask him to name the card he chose in step 1.
  9. Wave your hand over the deck of cards mysteriously. Ask for his card to come forth! Encourage your kid to repeat the command.
  10. Have him turn over the cards one by one on the top of the deck. At first, he won't see anything special. However, have him keep turning slowly as you say, "This is the first card, here's the second, this one's the third, and the (name of his card), comes fourth!" The fourth card will be his card!

Can your kid figure out how this magic trick works?

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