Looking for simple tricks that only kids under 8 appreciate.
February 22, 2008 7:05 AM   Subscribe

GoofyTricksForKidsFilter: Looking for simple tricks that only kids under 8 appreciate.

They shouldn't require props, preferably none. Looking to add to my limited repertoire. You probably know the type of body tricks I mean, hard to explain in plain english :
  • The "removable thumb" trick: Tuck your thumb under index finger and place it next to your other hand. Hey look my thumb comes off!
  • Place both hands over nose and mouth, thumbs go inside and thumbnails are on edge of front teeth. Move your hands to left and right and synchronize the motion with the clicking of the thumbnails. Hey I'm breaking my nose repeatedly!
  • "Grab" one of your eyes, (as you really just close your eyelid). "Put" the eyeball in your mouth and move it around (really just using your tongue). Then "put" eye back. That's how I clean my eyes!
Please hurry with suggestions. My kids are getting older and they need skills on the playground.
posted by jeremias to Human Relations (41 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
I like the "water drop" sound. Form an "O" with your mouth. Roll the sides of your tongue up slightly and push air out in a slight 'wfft'. Now flick your cheek with one hand as you do it, and it'll sound just like single drops of water hitting a puddle of water, or like a faucet left dripping in the kitchen sink.
posted by cashman at 7:10 AM on February 22, 2008


Well I am outside your parameters right off the bat, but the only prop this one takes is a quarter: Hold a quarter between your thumb and pointer finger. With your other hand, make a fist around the quarter as if you were grabbing it, while simultaneously dropping the quarter down into the palm of the hand in which you were originally holding it. Take the fist that your audience thinks the quarter is now in, hold it fingers up and blow on it, open it and show them that there is no quarter in there. Take the hand with the quarter in it and raise it to your audience's ear and "pull" the quarter from their ear. I have been doing that for kids as long as I can remember and have never had one not think that it was super cool.
posted by ND¢ at 7:13 AM on February 22, 2008


Curling the tongue into a U or W shape.
posted by Xere at 7:14 AM on February 22, 2008


This isn’t really a trick, it’s more along the lines of a Wet Willy, but my son never gets bored of this:

Me: “Do you want me to make your hand smell like strawberries?”

Him: “Yes!”

Me: *Grab has hand, rub my fist into it repeatedly* “Take a whiff!”

Him: *places his palm up to his nose*

Me: *squashes his hand into his nose*

We: Laugh until we pee ourselves. In his case, literally.

See also: Hurts Donut.
posted by bondcliff at 7:19 AM on February 22, 2008


Dad: "Wanna play Shadow?"

Kid: "What's Shadow?"

Dad: "What's Shadow?"

Kid: "Seriously, what's Shadow?"

Dad: "Seriously, what's Shadow?"

Kid (makes face): "I don't wanna play"

Dad (makes same face): "I don't wanna play"

Kid: "MOM!"

Dad: "MOM!"

(i love this game)
posted by tiburon at 7:32 AM on February 22, 2008


Aside from the under the arm fart, you can try this. Take the tip of your index finger on your right hand and place it in the webbing between the index and middle finger on your left hand. Now hold those three fingers flat up against your cheek (palms facing outwards) and snap the right finger down and out. If takes a bit of practice but if you do it right, it makes this really loud popping noise, almost like the sound of a the world's largest knuckle cracking.

And when all else fails, turn your eyelid inside out.
posted by gfrobe at 7:34 AM on February 22, 2008


Put your hands together, palm to palm, fingers up (the typical praying gesture), then bring each of your middle fingers down, and twist your linked hands around in a circle. Wiggle the middle fingers.
posted by misha at 7:41 AM on February 22, 2008


Rubber pencil: Hold a long pencil loosely between your thumb and forefinger about an inch from one end and move your hand up and down in short strokes. With a little practice you can make the pencil appear to be made of rubber.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:44 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hand Frog:

Splay you hands before you, palms up.

Cross your pinky fingers.

Cross your ring fingers. You now have your pinky and ring fingers laced together.

Curl your middle fingers over your ring fingers. You have now formed the frog's eyes and brows.

Make the tips of your index fingers touch.

Make the tips of your thumbs touch. You have now formed the frog's mouth.

Make the frog talk. If you are at work and have just learned this trick, have your new friend peer over your cube wall at your neighbor. Have it ask them about the weather or TPS Reports.

You can raise a pinky finger or two to give the frog a cowlick/antenna (alien variation) or flip it under into the frog's mouth to give it a tongue.

This is perhaps my only viable skill. I learned it in 4th grade and have been teaching it to others since.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:52 AM on February 22, 2008


Pete and Re-Pete were in a boat. Pete fell out, who was left?

Continue until child goes bonkers.
posted by unixrat at 7:52 AM on February 22, 2008


(When bringing your index fingers together, the tip of your ring fingers should rest on top of the index fingers' knuckles. Otherwise you'll have a weird inside-face frog which terrifies children and befuddles adults.)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:55 AM on February 22, 2008


Echo voice: Cup your hands around the sides of your mouth announcement style, and with a deep, authoritative voice, repeat the endings of words and phrases with diminishing volume. "This iss iss is an announcement ent ent! Takes quite a bit of practice, but can be very funny, e.g., when calling the kids for dinner.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:57 AM on February 22, 2008


Hold up the index finger of each hand.
Move your hands together quickly, and suddenly one finger "jumps" to the other hand!
(How it is done is left as an exercise for the reader).

Whatever you do, don't do any tricks that they'll try "for real" on their own.
I once pretend-swallowed a marble in front of my wife's 5-year-old cousin who speaks only Portuguese, and he proceeded to shove a marble in his mouth. I had no idea how to say "Oh my god! Get that out of your mouth!!"
(Luckily I was able to get the attention of my wife and the kid's mom before any disaster actually occurred)
posted by jozxyqk at 7:57 AM on February 22, 2008


I know you didn't want prop work, but the "invisible ball in a paper bag" always kills:

Get standard grocery store paper bag.
Hold top of bag, palm-down, fingers inside, thumb outside. Pinch with middle finger and thumb.
Mime picking a ball out of the bag, tossing it in the air, and catching it in the bag. Moving your head to 'watch the ball' really sells it.
When the ball comes back down, 'snap' your fingers (like normal, just with a paperbag between your thumb and middle finger) and the bag will sound and react just like a ball has fallen into it.

Feel free to either work it super-cool (behind the back, off the head, into the bag) and eventually toss in some physical 'chasing the ball' humor.
posted by unixrat at 7:59 AM on February 22, 2008


Just learned the Jedi Force Push a couple days ago from my 7 year-old. Lick your palm very theatrically, then make pushing gesture toward your victim, they will recoil from your gross saliva covered palm!
posted by Scoo at 8:01 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Memorize this little word string so you can say it very quickly, and it sounds like an alien language. My friend's dad said it to me when I was about eight, and I've never forgotten it.

In mud eels is,
In clay none is,
In fir tar is,
In oak none is,
Goats eat ivy,
Mares eat hay.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:05 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Two little black birds sitting on a fence.
One named Jack, one name Jill.
Fly away Jack.
Fly away Jill.
Come back Jack.
Come back Jill.

The birds are tiny squares of paper stuck to the nail of your extended pointer fingers, and to fly away you pitch your hand up over your shoulder and return it with an extended middle finger which of course has no paper square on its nail. It's amazing how young kids fail to notice the change in fingers. Usually they will first notice once they learn the concept of flipping the bird, and at one point during this routine you are kind of doing that.
posted by caddis at 8:07 AM on February 22, 2008


the "long finger in the ear" trick:

stick your finger in your ear, pointing downwards at an angle. Push your tongue up against the inside of your cheek opposite the ear with the finger. Wiggle both at the same time. It looks like you are scratching the inside of your cheek viw your ear with a looooong finger.
posted by gyusan at 8:09 AM on February 22, 2008


haha that's "VIA your ear", not "viw your". sigh.
posted by gyusan at 8:10 AM on February 22, 2008


Hand Frog:

I'm going to need pictures of this.
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:35 AM on February 22, 2008


Hand Frog:

Splay you hands before you, palms up.

Cross your pinky fingers.

Cross your ring fingers. You now have your pinky and ring fingers laced together.

Curl your middle fingers over your ring fingers. You have now formed the frog's eyes and brows.

Make the tips of your index fingers touch.

Make the tips of your thumbs touch. You have now formed the frog's mouth.

Make the frog talk. If you are at work and have just learned this trick, have your new friend peer over your cube wall at your neighbor. Have it ask them about the weather or TPS Reports.

You can raise a pinky finger or two to give the frog a cowlick/antenna (alien variation) or flip it under into the frog's mouth to give it a tongue.

This is perhaps my only viable skill. I learned it in 4th grade and have been teaching it to others since.


I can't make this work, dang my simian brain. Any chance for a youtube post? :)
posted by DWRoelands at 8:42 AM on February 22, 2008


Knock knock.
Who's there?
Banana.
Banana who?
Knock knock
Who's there?
Banana
Banana who?
Knock knock
Who's there?
Banana
Banana who?
(etc)
Knock knock
Who's there?
Orange
Orange who?
Orange you glad I didn't say Banana?
posted by tittergrrl at 8:47 AM on February 22, 2008


Stand in a doorway with your arms at your side, and press your hands hard against the doorframe for about 30 seconds. Then walk out and let your arms hang by your sides. They "magically" levitate. You can tie in zombies if the kid is particularly gullible.
posted by tiburon at 8:53 AM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tricky and educational too, learning the nine times tables on your fingers.

This site explains it better than I can.
posted by NoraCharles at 9:31 AM on February 22, 2008


Extend your arms in front of you, palms down and crossed at the wrist. Rotate your palms towards each other and interlace your fingers. Bend your elbows so your hands come towards you and continue the motion in, over and out again so your hands are in front of you and you are looking down at the knuckles.

Once that makes sense, have someone else do it. Then tell them you are going to point to one of their fingers, and they have to wiggle that finger and only that finger. They'll probably move the opposite one.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:33 AM on February 22, 2008


I'm going to need pictures of this.

Sure thing!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:41 AM on February 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Another good one is the fake "cracking an egg over the head" trick, where you put your fist on top of their head, then rap your knuckles on your hand to "crack" it, and then ooze your fingers down their hair. Variations include water.
posted by tiburon at 11:43 AM on February 22, 2008


And that reminds of this one. Put your hand on top of their head and squeeze lightly.

Dad: "Know what this is? "

Kids: "No, what?"

Dad: "It's a brainsucker, know what it's doing?"

Kids: "No, what?"

Dad: "Starving."
posted by tiburon at 11:45 AM on February 22, 2008


One more: Super Nose Picking.

Turn your head to the side, bend a finger (or thumb) at the first knuckle, then jam knuckle into nose. Kids love this one.
posted by tiburon at 11:54 AM on February 22, 2008


If your forehead is flat and oily like mine, you can stick coins, bottle caps, refrigerator magnets, etc., to it. I have a whole schtick built around why some coins stick and others don't. You can then pretend to stick coins to the kids' foreheads, then watch with amusement as they wiggle their foreheads to get the coins to drop off. Hilarious.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:51 PM on February 22, 2008


Yay caddis! My grandfather did that one for years before I finally got it (I even did it myself, successfully, without realizing I'd switched fingers!). His version was "...sitting on a hill" to rhyme with "Jill," and drawing little beaks-and-eyes on the nails instead of paper tails.

The other one from my family:
Stand with your arms straight out in front of you, palms down and hands close together. Bend your right arm and rub your left elbow vigorously with your right hand. Straighten your right arm again--but this this time, shift your right shoulder back slightly so your right arm looks shorter. Voila. You've "stretched" your left arm. Repeat to "fix" your arms again.

Similar to hydrophonic's:
Have the kid one leg and the matching arm out in front of them and move both in a figure 6, then switch and move in a 9. Now--keep the leg moving in a 9 while moving the arm in a 6. Hilarity!
posted by hippugeek at 1:03 PM on February 22, 2008


This always made me laugh: stand next to an open doorway, and have the kids on the other side where they can't see you. The doorway will be your "screen". Put your arms in front of you as if you were flying, slowly moving them into view - its kind of like watching Superman in slow motion.
posted by Shebear at 1:17 PM on February 22, 2008


Kids never get tired of (and never figure out) the "string passes through the finger" trick.

Tie about 2 feet of string into a loop. Have the child hold an index finger straight up and put the loop over it. Put your left index finger up through the other end of the loop and gently pull the loop out straight.

Reach across the string with your right hand and hook the left side of the loop with your right little finger. Pull your right hand across and then over and down, rotating your right palm up and straightening your little finger, so that the string is on the back of your right little finger knuckle.

Reach close to the child's hand and put your right index finger up through the loop between the child's hand and where the two sides of the loop cross, hooking the right-hand strand of the string. Rotate your hand to a palm-down position while straightening out your right little finger and putting it tip-to-tip on the child's index finger.

Pull the string gently tight, wait a moment and then release your right index finger. The string will "magically" slide "through" the child's finger.

The magician's trick is distraction. The loop around your little finger is not part of the child's awareness field. When you put your little finger on the child's index finger, it carries the loop over the finger, but it appears to be still around it because your index finger is holding it there.
posted by KRS at 1:21 PM on February 22, 2008


Have them hold all their fingers on one hand straight out and pressed together, as if they were pressed on a flat surface.

Now, have them bend either the ring or middle finger 90 degrees while holding all the other ones straight out. Bet them something fantastic that they cannot stop you from moving their finger.

Now wiggle the first finger joint of the bent figure. No matter how hard they try and keep it rigid, you can wiggle it around like a piece of jelly.
posted by spatula at 2:12 PM on February 22, 2008


charlie chaplin bun dance
hand elephant
from the hand elephant video you'll see links to other little hand tricks like that.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:44 PM on February 22, 2008


Meant to include: you can also do a finger can-can dance along the lines of those two links. Start with your two hands just over a table in an exaggerated "typing" posture. Wrist high, first two fingers arrayed down to touch the table like "legs". Then the legs dance. For example, the left "leg" of each hand kicks up straight to the left, then down, then with "knee" bent to the left, then down, then turns to the right and does kick-straight, down, kick-bent, down -- repeat in as many variations seem humorous. This is endless fun at restaurant tables, and a little hard to master so the kids will keep trying and trying.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:49 PM on February 22, 2008


Hang a spoon on your nose: Wipe the point of your nose to remove excess oil, breathe on a teaspoon, and hang it on your nose. Do it at the dinner table when nobody's watching, then try not to laugh when they notice.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:08 PM on February 22, 2008


The "zero" offer:

me: Would you like (ice cream / video game / whatever)?
kid: YES YES YES.
me: Excellent, because I have some for you.
kid: GIMME GIMME PLEASE.
me: Would you like to know how many I have for you?
kid: HOW MANY?
me: Zero. I have zero (whatever) for you. Here you go.

kid: LET'S PLAY!
me: Great idea, yes, I will play with you.
kid: (grabs arm) COME ON LET'S GO.
me: Would you like to know how long I am going to play?
kid: How long?
me: Zero. I will play with you for zero minutes.

Depending on the disposition of the particular child, crying may result.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:05 AM on February 23, 2008


The hearing problem.

It is time for a tickle attack. You ask the victim "So, should I tickle you?"

Of course they say "NO NO NO". Very calmly, you repeat "Ah, 'YES', OK," and proceed to begin tickling. Be willing to stop, though, as the child attempts to reason with you. When they try to clarify that they have said "no," you explain that there must be some problem with your hearing, and apologize.

Ask again. Of course, if they say "yes" to try to outwit you, your hearing works perfectly.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:32 AM on February 23, 2008


Along the lines of the stand-in-doorway, push-arms-up-against-frame, arms-levitate-on-their-own trick mentioned above, there's "fall into the floor":

1. have kid lie flat on the floor, face down, arms up over head (on floor).
2. you take their hands and lift up their arms so they're at something like a 45 degree angle. hold for a minute or so, long enough that it's starting to be uncomfortable.
3. slowly lower them back down the to floor, let go of the hands.
4. kid will get eerie feeling that their arms are continuing to slowly lower into the floor.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:45 PM on February 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Another good restaurant trick - you can make a little talking guy out of a business card.

To make:
1. gently fold business card into thirds (such that you have three squat rectangles, not three long skinny rectangles), so that it makes a triangle when viewed from the side -- ie. top and bottom edge meet. [Note: over time you'll refine your folding technique so the middle third is a little narrower than the top and bottom thirds, and has bowed edges, i.e. is eye-shaped. You may eventually want to draw eyes and mouth etc. too.]

To operate:
2. grip it in the middle third, thumb on one side, middle finger on the other side.
3. point the top and bottom edge toward your audience. [Top and bottom edge are the "lips" of the talking guy. Your hand is at the back of his head.]
4. put your index finger between your other two fingers, and push gently in the center of the card while pulling back with the thumb and middle finger at the same time, to close the mouth. Then release to open the mouth. Repeat, making little "wah- wah" noises, or comedy voices, etc.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:23 PM on February 23, 2008


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