Mind reading magic?

Magicians are oftens mathematicians who wear fancy capes. 

There are plenty of fun tricks you and your child can work on to amaze your family and friends. Try this one out on your child before using it to surprise and amaze a larger audience.

30 minutes

5-6, 7-8, 9-10

25 February 2021

Things you need

  • Pen and paper for working out
  • Calculator (optional)

 

 
 
 

The challenge

Step 1

Ask your child to think of a number, any number...

 
 
 

Step 2

Then ask them to double it.

 
 
 

Step 3

Now add 10.

 
 
 

Step 4

Halve it.

 
 
 

Step 5

Take away the original number.

 
 
 

Step 6

Now tell them that you're going to read their mind using all of your amazing magical powers. 

Tell them you know the number that they're now thinking of is... 5!

 
 
 

The conversation

Many magic tricks are rich in mathematics. After amazing your child with this trick, explore the number magic further by:

  • working with your child to do this trick with a few different numbers. The answer is always 5.
  • asking your child to figure out how and why this trick works
  • creating your own trick that leads to a different solution. 

For more amazing number tricks like this, visit NRich Maths for ideas.