Abracadabra Party

INVITATIONS
  • Write the party details on white cutouts of a rabbit. Cut out a black hat and make a slit in the hat into which the rabbit "disappears." Leave the rabbit's ears showing, and let the kids pull the rabbits out of the hats to read the invitations.
  • Write the party details with a white crayon on white paper to make the invitations appear blank. Include a color crayon with each invitation, and tell the guests to color over the paper to magically reveal the party details!
  • Buy invisible felt-tip pen sets at a toy store. Write the party details on white sheets of paper with the invisible ink. With each invitation, enclose the pen that makes the invisible writing appear. Tell the guests to color over the invitations to read the surprise information.

COSTUMES
  • Ask the kids to come dressed as magicians, complete with capes and hats.
  • Provide the kids with magic wands (see Favors) to complete their outfits.

DECORATIONS
  • Set up a stage in your party room where the kids can perform their magic acts. Place a sturdy piece of wood on some two-by-fours, or spread a bright sheet or blanket over the floor to serve as the stage. Make a curtain from an old sheet and hang it from floor lamps or tall-back chairs to hide behind-the-scenes preparations.
  • Hang posters of great magicians, such as David Copperfield and Harry Houdini.
  • Cut out classic symbols of magic, such as wands, hats, and rabbits, from construction paper to decorate the walls.

GAMES
  • Play Mind Reader. Secretly select and coach a kid ahead of time to be the Mind Reader. When the game begins, "randomly" select this child to be the Mind Reader. Ask the Mind Reader to leave the room, then select a Guilty Person. Have the Mind Reader return to the party. Ask the Mind Reader one question regarding the identity of the Guilty Person. "Magically," the Mind Reader will identify the Guilty Person. Here's the trick: Be sure to phrase the question using the Guilty Person's initials in the first two words. For example, if the Guilty Person is named Bruce Lansky, you might say, "By fooking around the room, can you tell us who is guilty?"
  • Spread out a number of magic tricks on the floor. Have the players close their eyes. Remove a trick. When the players open their eyes, they must guess which trick has disappeared. The player who correctly guesses the missing trick first wins the removed trick and drops out of the game. Continue until all the tricks have mysteriously vanished. (You may want to have enough tricks for all players, so everyone gets something.)

ACTIVITIES
  • Ask the kids to come to the party ready to share a magic trick they've learned. Then stage a magic show and have the kids perform their tricks for the rest of the guests.
  • Borrow some books on magic tricks from the library and learn a few simple tricks. Then take each kid aside during the party and teach him or her a trick to perform for the others.

FOOD
  • Make rabbit-shaped sandwiches using a cookie-cutter; fill with the kids' favorite spreads. Have your bakery tint the bread pink for added fun.
  • Make Magic Wands. Roll bread-stick dough (available in the grocery refrigerator section) in cinnamon and sugar. Twist two sticks together, and bake according to package direction.
  • Serve fortune cookies or Cracker Jacks with surprises inside.

FAVORS
  • Send the budding magicians home with a collection of inexpensive magic tricks purchased from a toy or hobby store.
  • Give the kids rabbit's feet for good luck.
  • Hand out decks of cards so the kids can perform card tricks at home.
  • Make magic wands by taping lengths of ribbon to two-foot-long dowels and attaching a silver star cut from poster board to one end. Let the kids decorate their wands with pens, glue, and glitter.

VARIATIONS
  • Hire a professional magician to perform and teach magic tricks.
  • Take the kids to a magic show to enjoy amazing tricks.

HELPFUL HINTS
  • Practice a few magic tricks yourself so you know they work well before you try them with the kids.
  • Choose tricks that the kids can learn easily.

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