Running out of ways to distract kids stuck at home during a pandemic? Time to (literally) pull out your bag of tricks to keep the ill’ ones occupied! Nothing enthralls people, young or old, like some good ol’ hocus pocus.

Popularised by street magicians like David Blaine, magic is no longer confined to the stage with grand set-ups and fancy props. These days, anyone can pick up a few neat sleight-of-hand moves with the help of Youtube videos, a lot of patience and some persistence.

Spellbound? Here are 5 mind-bending magic tricks you (or the kids) can learn on your own.

1. Turn water into ice

Part magic, part science – watch how a bottle of water that has been placed into the freezer for two hours changes into ice as you slowly pour it out onto a cold surface. Experiment with different bottled drinks and the duration spent in the freezer to get optimal results. The best part? Enjoying the ice-cold slushie you made at the end.

2. Squeeze an egg into a bottle

*Adult supervision required

How do you suck a hardboiled egg into a bottle without any effort? Another science experiment masquerading as a magic trick, this is guaranteed to wow little ones and grandparents alike. It’s a fun way of learning about science concepts like air pressure, with the use of a few simple props that you can find around the house.

3. Pluck a coin from thin air

The classic sleight-of-hand move that all budding magicians worth their salt should master. Plucking a coin from thin air is all about distraction and skilful deception. With a bit of set-up – a coin, scotch-tape and some books – and practice, it’s easy enough for a primary schooler to master and impress their friends in school!

4. The levitating card – and other card tricks

It’s amazing what you can do with a simple deck of playing cards! Learn how to float a card from hand to hand or levitate it above your hand. A sure-fire way to keep junior busy for hours trying to perfect his skills as he tries to master these and other variations of the card tricks.

5. The ultimate trick: Levitate yourself!

Feeling ambitious? Well, there’s nothing more jaw-dropping than self-levitation. From relying on optical illusion to some clever body positioning, there’s more than one way to make yourself float. More suited for older kids, pulling off these illusions require a great deal of trial-and-error and practice in order to deliver a convincing performance. Who knows, you might just have the next David Copperfield on your hands!