Magic Peter’s School of Magic
Magic Peter’s School of Magic opened in March 2020 for children who were at home while schools were closed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The school ran until the end of June that year – over 15 weeks.
A magic trick was posted in the school each day for 100 days. Most of the videos were magic lessons showing a trick being performed and then explained. There was a mixture of tricks – some that were easy enough for very young children to perform, others a little more difficult but still within the ability of primary school children.
And every fifth video was a just a performance posted for entertainment, many of the tricks from Magic Peter’s act, as well as some he doesn’t normally get the chance to perform at children’s parties.
All 100 videos are listed below. The very first one from Day 1 is at the bottom of the page, the very last one, number 100, at the top.
If you enjoy the tricks and the lessons, please share this page with your friends who have school-age children. (And, of course, there’s no reason why mums and dads can’t learn the tricks themselves and put on a show for their kids!)
I hope you enjoy your time at Magic Peter’s School of Magic. If you do, I’ve listed some more resources you can use to learn more magic you can learn and perform to entertain your friends and family. And, of course, I’m happy to take your questions and offer you advice.
A spectator chooses a card. It’s placed back in the deck and the deck shuffled. The magician shows a card, but it’s not the chosen one, so it’s placed on the table. A magic gesture and without any cover it changes to the spectator’s chosen card.
The magician is about to perform a rope trick when his allergy strikes – and he sneezes three knots onto the rope!
Another bit of fun you can perform as an introduction to a longer rope trick.
The magician draws an ancient symbol on the spectator’s chosen card, then calls upon the ancient spirits to find the card when it’s lost in the pack.
This is a nice ‘dressing’ for the classic trick of finding a chosen card.
In this trick, the spectator does virtually all the work … and finds her own chosen card.
A self-working trick, although you will still need to practise it so you learn the procedure by heart.
A card at any number.
A shuffled deck. A spectator chooses a card. Another chooses a number. The magician counts down that number of cards and finds … the chosen card.
This is an easy-to-do version of a much more difficult trick, a trick that has vexed the greatest minds in magic, all trying to find the perfect solution to a card at any number. Now you can do it – with some practice.
The magician shows two black aces and a red ace. They are placed in separate parts of the deck and the deck is shuffled. When the cards are spread the red ace has disappeared. It’s found back in the card box.
I think this was the very first card trick I ever learned. I hope you enjoy it.
The magician ties a knot in a scarf, squeezes the knot, slides it off the scarf and vanishes it.
Compare this to video no. 85 from a few days ago. This time, I teach you how to do the trick. Not a mind-blowing mystery, but a nice lead in to any trick using a scarf.
Eight cards are laid on the table and the magician leaves the room. The audience chooses one of the cards. When the magician returns, he’s able to tell which card was chosen just by having a spectator point to each card in turn.
You’ll need to find a partner to help with this, but if you do you’ll have an amazing mindreading trick.
People often say that magic is where the speed of the hand deceives the eye. Well, no matter how slowly the magician’s hands move, no matter how closely you watch, they can still deceive the eye.
A spectator is asked to find the four aces, but sadly finds four different cards instead. Not disheartened, the magician places them back into the deck, and as he does they change into the four aces.
This trick is almost self-working, but please practise it well before to perform it for anyone – then you’ll be sure you’ll give a great performance of this fantastic visual mystery.
A spectator selects a card and it’s returned to the pack. The joker is placed near to the bottom of the pack and it jumps up through the pack, stopping precisely next to the chosen card.
There is a little bit o a knack to this trick, so like all the magic here you’ll need to practise it.
The magician has the ends of a rope tied around each wrist. He shows a solid metal ring and, without untying the rope, he’s able to tie the ring onto the rope with a knot.
You don’t need a special ring – a bracelet will do – and any piece of rope about a metre long is fine.
A spectator shuffles the deck and then, taking two cards at a time, divides the cards into three piles: cards that are both red, cards that are both black, and cards that are a mixture of red and black. The magician shows his written premonition that correctly predicted the number of red and black cards in their respective piles.
The magician shows a scarf and ties a knot in it. He slides the knot down the scarf, then explains that it’s just a trick. Real magic would be if he could slide the knot right off the scarf and put it in his pocket.
So he does.
The spectator shuffles the deck and cuts it in half, giving half to the magician and keeping the other half. The spectator then does everything the magician does – choosing a card, swapping cards with the magician, then putting it back in the deck. When the deck is spread out, two cards are reversed – the magician’s card and the spectator’s card.
A tale from old London town, where master criminal ‘Black’ Jack has been arrested by two officers of the law. But as soon they reach Scotland Yard, the criminal twists them this way and that and makes his escape.
Another variation on the three-card trick theme, this one with a storyline set in the criminal underworld. Easy to do after a very small bit of DIY.
The magician shows six pairs of face-down cards, each pair containing a red and a black card, and asks a spectator to say which is red and which is black. The spectator chooses correctly six times out of six.
A spectator cuts the cards into three piles, looks at the top card of one, then mixes the cards, some face-up, some face down. The deck is then shuffled. The magician is still able to find the card.
A self-working trick, but you’ll need to be able to perform a riffle shuffle. Fortunately, I teach you that too!
Just a handkerchief and a banknote. The handkerchief is pushed into the hand, the banknote is waved over the top and the handkerchief disappears … only to reappear in the most impossible location.
No explanation today, just a fun trick for your entertainment.
Not a genie in a lamp, the magician has a ghost in a bottle. But he can’t wake up the ghost. He uses a pen to prod the ghost awake, but then the pen starts moving on its own. Spooky!
And the pen and the bottle can be examined by the audience, but they’ll find no trace of the ghost – or anything else for that matter. A little bit of effort goes into this one, but this trick is completely different to everything else here in the School of Magic.
The magician shows six different coloured Smarties (or other sweets) and an unopened box of sweets. A spectator selects one of the sweets, and when the box is opened and the sweets tipped out, they are all Smarties of the colour the spectator chose.
An easy prediction trick, and one where you can eat the props afterwards – or give them away to your lucky spectator.
The magician shows a length of rope. He cuts it in half and, magically, shows that the rope has been restored. A classic of magic, and an easy version YOU can perform – with practice.
Another red-letter day today, because this is the first time I have shown this trick to anyone anywhere. Aren’t you lucky?
Three coins – one silver, one copper, one brass – which should make it easier to follow as the coins jump from hand to pocket, from hand to hand, and from pocket to hand. Don’t blink. Good luck.
A classic of modern magic. A spectator chooses a card and signs it. Seconds later that very same signed card is found in the magician’s wallet.
There are many, many ways of getting a spectator’s signed card into your wallet. Some are very difficult. Some require an expensive special wallet. This version you can do with things you probably have at home already. (And if you don’t have a wallet yourself, why not make one out of cardboard or plastic or an old book cover – it’s just a container with a hinged edge where you place the ‘signed’ card.)
The magician ties a handkerchief onto a rope, then knots the handkerchief around the rope. In the blink of an eye, the handkerchief penetrates the solid rope. Both can be handed out for examination.
Another easy to do magic trick with objects you can find around the home.
The magician borrows a deck of cards and has someone shuffle the cards, then touch the back of one of them He holds that card up for everyone to see, then reads the spectator’s mind and correctly names the card. Remember, this a deck of cards he borrowed from the spectator.
The thing that makes this trick so convincing is that it uses a deck of cards supplied by the audience. If you do it with your own cards, everyone will assume you can read the card from the back, so do it with someone else’s cards are really fry their brains.
When is a book test not a book test? When it’s a card trick. This is a method of forcing a number, and that is often used to predict a particular word on a particular page in a book. But I’ve recently shown you a book test, so for today’s video I decided to use playing cards.
A grid of numbers from 1 to 16 is shown, and any four are chosen, the other twelve crossed out. When the four chosen numbers are added together, they make 34. And the 34th card in a red-backed deck of cards s the only one with a blue back.
The magician shows the four Aces and four Kings. He places each of the Aces in separate pockets. Almost instantly, the Aces are back in his hand and he removes each of the four Kings from a separate pocket.
A spectator chooses a card and it’s returned to the middle of the deck. The cards are spread and one card is face up, but it’s not the spectator’s cards, it’s a five. The magician counts five cards further down in the deck and turns over … the spectator’s card.
This has to be one of the easier tricks I’ve filmed for you But please practise it before you perform it on someone. Make sure you can do it as well as possible, and then knock their socks off.
While the magician’s back is turned, a spectator hides a coin or prize under one of three cups and switches the places of the other two. The magician immediately knows under which cup the object is hidden.
A very easy trick with the added interest for the audience that if they are able to trick you they will win a prize. They never do, of course.
The magician shows three cards – two black spot cards and a red queen. The cards are placed face down on the table and mixed. No matter how closely the spectators follow the queen, they never find it. The queen has disappeared.
There are dozens of versions of the Three Card Trick. Many require a great deal of skill. This version is a bit easier, but you’ll still need to practise it to conceal the secret when you perform it.
A book is shown. A three-figure number is chosen, but it is larger that the number of pages in the book. So maths is used to generate a smaller number. The magician knows the exact content of that page in the book.
You can’t call yourself a mindreader if you don’t do a book test. There are dozens and dozens of methods for discovering the words on a random page in a book, but this is one of the easiest. It requires no special props, no stooges, just a little arithmetic.
This is the first trick I ever saw, where a magician counted six cards, threw one away but still had six cards. So I tried to learn the trick, but each time I threw away one card, I only had five left. And then a seventh card appeared. I threw that one away but it came back. So I never did learn the Six Card Trick … or did I?
The numbers 1-5 are written on five pieces of card. A spectator chooses into which of five empty envelopes each piece of card is placed. The spectator then mixes the envelopes and chooses one of them. Despite all this, the magician has predicted which number the spectator will choose.
This trick isn’t limited to a choice of numbers. You could use shapes, symbols, drawings, colours, dates – anything you can write or draw on a piece of card.
The magician holds a penny in his/her otherwise empty hands. But if you’re going to make money by magic, don’t make pennies. Make pounds. And instantly the penny changes into two £2 coins.
This is a trick you can perform when you have one person asking you to do a magic trick. Don’t try to perform it in front of a group of people, because they’ll probably see exactly how you do your magic.
The magician holds a £20 note in his otherwise empty hands. He folds the note in half, then in half again, then tips out a £2 coin.
This sleight of hand can be performed with other objects: paper; lottery tickets; poker chips; cheese biscuits. Use your imagination.
You borrow a coin and wrap it in paper. The spectator can see the outline of the coin and feel it inside the paper. Yet the coin has vanished right under their nose.
Another easy-to-perform trick you can perform pretty much anywhere.
Two ropes of equal length, one red, one white. A knot tied in the white rope jumps across to the red rope, and when the white knot is untied it’s seen that the white rope is woven into the threads of the red rope.
You take three coins in your right hand and three in your left. Magically a coin invisibly jumps from your right hand to your left. Then another. And then a third, so you have six coins in your left hand and none in your right.
This is an amazing magic trick that, with a bit of practice, you can perform using the spectators’ coins right under their noses. I hope you enjoy learning this easy-to-do version of a classic of magic.
The magician shows five cards, four black spot cards and, in the centre, a red queen. When the cards are turned over, spectators are unable to place a paperclip on the queen in the middle – even though the cards are all glued together.
Here is a trick that uses no sleight of hand whatsoever. It can’t – the cards are glued together. Get out your glue stick and get to work. The easiest trick so far!
A criminal is at large in the city. Two detectives – Jack and Jack – are sent into the city to apprehend the criminal, and emerge with him held between them.
A very easy to learn trick with an amusing storyline. Remember to share this with your friends.
After failing to find a spectator’s card, the magician tries spelling the name of a card and magically that card turns up. So the spectator spells the name of the card they chose, and lo and behold the chosen card appears.
You need to remember the names of a couple of cards and too be able to spell, but here is a trick where the spectator finds their OWN card!
A spectator chooses a card and the magician fails to find it. In frustration he tosses the pack down, and the spectator’s card appears face up.
This one will take some practice, as there is a knack to causing the card to flip face up. But all the tricks in the School of Magic need practice to perform them well, so don’t perform any of them until you are sure you can perform them well every time you show them to an audience.
The magician has six numbered cups on the table. The spectator shakes a dice in a matchbox to choose a number between 1 and 6. The other five cups are lifted to show they are empty, but under the cup the spectator chose is a prize.
A little bit of craft work needed today, but an easy trick to make up and a baffling trick to perform for adults or children.
Two cards deeply in love, and no matter how far apart the world tries to separate them, they will always be together. All together, “Awwwww!”
An easy card trick for you to learn, and one with an interesting storyline. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, share it with your friends.
This is another trick where you read a spectator’s mind. You can perform this trick anywhere – in this version, I used playing cards, but if you don’t have cards to hand you can just use pieces of paper instead. Draw three different pictures on the three pieces of paper, and then carry on as described in the video.
The magician shows five cards. Four are turned face down and the fifth, a king, is placed face-up between them. In the blink of an eye, the king vanishes. And then the other four are gone too!
A spectator chooses a number between 1 and 15, and the magician is able to correctly name which number the spectator chose.
I’ve called this trick Mental Columns because the numbers are arranged in four columns and you’ll need to do a little bit of mental arithmetic (that’s adding up in your head) – not a lot, though – to perform the trick.
A spectator’s chosen and signed card is lost in the deck, the deck placed back in the card box and the box is placed in the magician’s pocket. But he can instantly remove the spectator’s card from his pocket.
This is a lovely trick to perform, because it really does surprise the spectator how quickly you can find their card.
A spectator hides a number of coins in his/her hand, and the remaining coins are covered with a cup. Without touching the cup and without asking any questions, the magician knows how many coins the spectator has in his/her hand, even though he was not in the room while the coins were removed.
The magician shows a small fan of cards and asks the spectator(s) to remember any one of the cards. He places the cards in his/her pocket and removes four of them. The card that is missing, that is still in his/her pocket, is the spectators’ card.
This is on one the GREAT card tricks, but in the version I teach here you don’t need to buy any ‘special’ magicians’ cards – you can use the regular deck of cards you have at home.
The magician (that’s you) deals the four aces FACE UP onto the table, and then deals three cards onto each ace. One by one, the aces disappear, to arrive, by magic, all on the fourth pile.
This is another classic magic trick. If you like it, I teach you how to do a much easier version of the same trick video in number 39 below.
A spectator cuts the cards behind the magician’s back, so surely the magician can’t cheat? Yet she/he correctly reveals the correct card … eventually.
This trick is more about comedy than magical amazement, so ham it up and get as many laughs as you can.
The magician places a coin in one matchbox – the audience know it’s there because they can hear it rattling inside. He shows a second matchbox empty. But with just a wave of his hand, and the magician tips the coin out of the second matchbox and shows the first matchbox empty. (And as they say in all the best magic trick advertisements, everything can be examined!)
By studying just one sheet of a newspaper he has never seen before, the magician is able to read the thoughts of the person holding the newspaper to correctly count the total number of pages in it.
This is a GREAT to rick to perform when you are in someone else’s home – yes, I know, that doesn’t happen at the moment, but it will, so remember this trick. It takes no skill but does need a good head for mental arithmetic. If that’s you, this could be a reputation-maker.
The magician causes a spectator’s chosen card to rise from the deck. Another classic of card magic, but again this version is easy to learn and uses a normal deck of cards. But like all the tricks explained here, you still need to practice to be sure that when you perform it for an audience, you perform it well.
The magician pushes a red handkerchief into his empty hand, but as it passes through his hand it changes colour to white. He does it again to explain how it wasn’t done!
The four aces are dealt face down onto the table. Three cards are dealt onto each ace. But when the first three piles are turned face up, the aces have vanished, and they have all assembled on the fourth pile.
A ring is clearly threaded onto a rope. Yet the magician is able to remove the ring from the rope without passing it over the rope’s ends. And, as a bonus, I show you how to remove a ring that has been tied onto the rope – again, without passing it over the ends.
You borrow a deck of cards, have a member of the audience shuffle the deck, have another spectator cut the deck into three piles. But with your X-Ray vision, you are able to see through the backs of the cards to name the top card on each pile. Remember, this is a borrowed deck that has been shuffled by a spectator before it is cut.
A spectator cuts a deck of cards beneath a handkerchief. Even though the magician can’t see the cards and even though the spectator had a free choice of where to cut the cards, the magician knows exactly where the spectator cut the deck.
A spectator writes down the names of two male friends and one female friend. Without reading the names, with them held behind your back or with your eyes closed or with a blindfold covering them, you are able to say which name is male and which is female.
Of course, you don’t need to use boys’ and girls’ names, you can use any words you like so long as you use two of one and one of the other. You could even use drawings – the sun and moon, a boy and girl, a car and train. Just make sure that the odd one is written in the middle section.
A spectator chooses any a card and it’s returned to the pack. The cards are mixed and then tossed into a paper bag. At the third attempt the magician finds the chosen card, but in a slightly surprising way.
Another easy-to-do card trick that looks like real magic – or in this case, real mindreading. A spectator chooses a card and it’s returned to the deck. The magician then reads the spectator’s thoughts to discover the colour, then the suit, and finally the value of the card the spectator chose.
Ever wondered how Uri Geller bends cutlery? Is it really with his mind? Or is it just a magic trick? Well, however he does it, it won’t be like this, but now you can bend metal too. Get yourself a spoon and try this.
Another trick you can perform any time someone asks you to perform some magic. All you need is a coin, and if you don’t have one, you can borrow one from someone. In fact, it might look even more amazing if you do borrow the coin. The rest is down to misdirection and acting.
A spectator shuffles a deck of cards and then deals as many cards as he or she wants to deal onto the table. No matter where they stop, the card they stop at matches the magician’s prediction.
Today’s trick is possibly the most original card invented in the last 75 years. How can a flat two-dimensional object like a playing card turn completely over even when folded flat inside another flat object? Watch and see, but you’ll think it’s all a camera trick. It isn’t, but how else could it be done?
A coin is isolated beneath a glass, the glass is covered and the magician is all set to push the coin through a solid table top. But then it all goes wrong – or does it?
Another trick you can do almost any time someone says “Show me a trick!” A handkerchief is folded over a coin, and when the handkerchief is opened the coin has vanished.
A sheet of paper, rolled into a tube; a magic word or gesture; and a handkerchief appears. Or a sock. Or a pair of pants! (Why you would want to produce a pair of pants, I don’t know. But if you want to, you can!)
Today’s trick is a quick one that you can perform almost anywhere when somebody says “Show me a trick!” It just uses a coin and a handkerchief, it’s not difficult to perform, and you can even borrow the coin and the handkerchief, making it even more mystifying.
This really is the oldest trick in the book; the oldest trick in magic. Carvings depicting this trick have been found on the walls of ancient tombs in Egypt. Usually it involves three cups and balls, but we’ll use pieces of sponge instead of balls. I’ll explain why.
A simple trick with three items you can find in any home. This is the very first magic trick I ever learned. There’s a little bit of preparation, but when you’ve done that, it’s probably the easiest trick so far.
A simple trick with three items you can find in any home. This is the very first magic trick I ever learned. There’s a little bit of preparation, but when you’ve done that, it’s probably the easiest trick so far.
Just like oil and water, no matter how well the red and black cards are mixed, after a short time they always separate. I promise you there are no camera tricks … it just looks like there are!!
A piece of string threaded through a straw is quite clearly cut in two, yet emerges unharmed.
This is another trick using scissors, so younger children please ask a parent or grown-up for their help.
Another lesson in magic. Again, this is an easy-to-do miracle that primary-aged children will be able to perform without any special apparatus – a couple of bootlaces and a tea towel are all that are needed.
Today, you’ll learn how to link two ropes or cords under impossible conditions.
You find a spectator’s card behind your back using just your sense of touch. Any easy card trick that will amaze your friends – but just because it’s easy doesn’t mean you don’t need to practise it. Like all magic tricks, you should practise it until you can perform it flawlessly EVERY TIME!
One of the classic card tricks. Today I teach you the easy version and a more advanced version that you can do if you’re comfortable with a deck of cards and are prepared to practise a bit more to get a more amazing performance.
In this lesson I talk about two principles of magic – misdirection (getting the spectators to look someone else while you’re doing your sneaky stuff) and conditioning an audience to expect one thing while you surprise them buy doing something entirely different.
There’s nothing difficult in this trick, but as with all magic tricks practise it until you can do it smoothly every time.
Anything Uri Geller can do … This trick makes it look as though you can bend metal with nothing more than the strength of your mind.
This video comes from an after-school magic club I ran a coupe of years ago. The kids love after-school clubs, so if your school would be interested in learning more, just drop me a line.
One for older children, because it uses scissors. And scissors are … sharp! (Thank you, Mr Maker.)
A balloon is cut in half. Yet, despite the fact that half the balloon is missing, it can be inflated like any other balloon.
Today, I will read your mind. Even though we’re not in the same room, with a few simple instructions I will read your mind. And then you’ll be able to read other people’s minds.