Dinner party tricks, so-called because they’re performed with things you would find around the house, will impress friends and win you praise – not to mention a drink or two! Here are some simple yet impressive party tricks to have a go at.
Get matches to dance with ‘magic music’.
Take two sparklingly clean wine glasses filled with exactly the same amount of wine – a third of a glass is fine – and place them side by side. Balance two matches on the rim of one of the glasses. Now ask your audience if they believe you can play magic music and make the matches dance. They’ll laugh in your face!
Dip your finger in the wine in the glass without the matches on it and while holding the base of it gently run your finger round the rim until it starts to produce a ringing noise. Then watch as the matches on the other glass begin to move and ‘dance’.
This trick works because the ringing noise sends sound waves to the other glass causing it to vibrate. And hey presto, the matches dance to your magictune!
Offer a cash prize to the first person to blow a bent beer cap into an empty bottle
Lay an empty beer bottle on its side. Take the metal bottle top, bend it in half and place it just inside the neck of the bottle so it just sticks out. Now throw down the gauntlet.
Watch your friends get crosser and crosser as they try to blow the cap right in but can’t. Don’t worry, your money is safe. This is actually impossible!
What your friends don’t realise is that when they blow the cap they also blow air into the bottle and it builds a pressure within it. That pressure forces the cap to jump right out – and your money to remain in your pocket!
Challenge your friends to balance a coin on the edge of a note
Take a note from your wallet/purse and fold it in half length ways – long edge to long edge – creating a crisp fold. Stand it on the table so it makes a tent-like structure. Invite your spectators to make a coin balance on the folded edge. It’s impossible. Or is it? Now show them how it’s done.
First pick up the folded note and fold it once more, short edge to short edge so the note is quartered and you have a rectangle. Now partially open the fold you’ve just made so the note sits on the table forming a V. You will easily be able to balance the coin on it … not very impressively though!
But watch your friends’ faces as you hold each end of the note and in one gentle movement open the note to its original, once-folded position.
It looks impossible but due to the weight of the coin and the laws of physics the coin remains balanced. And if you have really steady hands you can even lift the note up and the coin will stay where it is. That will definitely earn you a drink!
Watch a match move magically inside a glass.
It is simple science that makes this trick work but it’s really impressive!
Start by laying a coin on a flat surface and balancing another on its side on top of it so one coin is lying down, another is upright. Then balance a match on top of the upright coin – it takes a steady hand. Finally, place a clean, clear glass tumbler over the top so the coins and match are visible.
Now this is where the science comes in. Before starting the trick – and out of your friends’ sight – rub an ordinary biro (lid on) between the fabric of your shirt or jumper, as though you are cleaning it. This creates static electricity. When you circle the pen around the outside of the glass the static causes the match to move round in a circle as if by magic.
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