Use Magic Tricks in Speech Therapy

April 02, 2020

Use Magic Tricks in Speech Therapy

Use magic tricks to keep your students engaged during speech therapy!

I loved doing magic tricks as a kid. I have memories of setting up entire magic shows - top hat and all - and performing tricks for my friends and family. A couple months ago, one of my clients asked me if he could show me a new magic trick that he learned. This student of mine is 7 years old and was working on sequencing and retelling narratives. I immediately thought, YES! Show me your trick! This will be the perfect opportunity to work on your goals. After he showed me his trick, we wrote transition words on the white board and practiced sequencing and retelling how he had done the trick. 
It was so much fun for both me and my student. That evening, I set out to find some fun and simple magic tricks that I could incorporate into therapy. Below are a few of the many speech and language goals that you could target while performing magic tricks, along with some of my favorite tricks to use in my speech therapy sessions!

Goals that can be targeted using magic tricks:

  1. Following directions
  2. Paraphrasing
  3. Sequencing
  4. Past tense verbs (describe what I just did)
  5. Future tense verbs (describe what you will do)
  6. Predicting and Inferencing
  7. WH questions
  8. Fluency
  9. Articulation carryover

Make a cup disappear!

To do this trick, you will need: a cup, a piece of computer paper, and something to place under the cup. First show your audience the item under the cup. Then, place the cup on top of the item. Next, Place the paper on top of the cup and mold it to fit the shape of the cup. Pick up the cup and show the audience that the item under the cup is still there. As you do this step, you will secretly drop the cup onto your lap. The paper should keep the shape of the cup so your audience will not know that the cup is gone. Place the "cup" back onto the item and smash the paper down. It will look like you made the cup disappear! Here is an example:


Turn a spoon into a knife! 

Guess what color a crayon is without ever looking at it!

To do this trick, you will lay out a few different colored crayons on a table. Instruct someone in the audience to choose a colored crayon and place it in your hand behind your back. You will never look at the crayon. Turn to face the audience so that your hand is behind your back. While you are doing this, use your thumb nail to dig into the crayon behind your back. Some of the crayon wax should now be under your thumb nail. Use that hand to wave in front of your audience and say something magical while keeping the crayon behind your back with the other hand. When you do this, you will see what color the crayon wax is!



Make a toothpick disappear!

To do this trick, you will need a toothpick and some clear tape. I did not have a tooth pick on hand so I'm showing this trick using a hair clip :P
Tape the top of the toothpick to your thumb. When you close your hand it will look like you are holding it but when you open your hand it will "disappear" behind your hand!


Pull tissue out of an empty paper tube!

To do this trick, you will need some Kleenex and two pieces of construction paper. Roll the two papers together and tape them to form a tube. Tape the ends together on one end of the tube. This should create a pocket on the opposite end of the tube. Place a few Kleenex into the pocket. Don't overstuff it... You want to make sure it looks like one single paper tube when you look through the taped end. Show your audience the closed end of the tube so they can look through the tube and see that it is just a normal piece of paper. Then, wow them by pulling tissues out of thin air!


More Ideas

This youtube video from WhatsUpMoms, has more great ideas (including a demonstration of the paper tube trick).


I hope that you and your students enjoy using these tricks in your therapy sessions!

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