In this easy magic trick for kids, a rubber band mysteriously jumps from being wrapped around your pinkie and ring fingers to the first and middle fingers of the same hand and then back again.
Once you master this trick, you can learn an impressive, advanced variation with two rubber bands.
One medium-sized, colored rubber band. If you like, you can substitute a hairband, but you'll need to make sure it has enough slack to complete the trick.
Setup Part 1
Hold your hand naturally and wrap the rubber band around your pinkie and ring fingers. Let the rubber band rest at the base of your fingers. The back of your hand should be facing your audience.
Setup Part 2
With your other hand's index finger, stretch the rubber band diagonally toward your thumb and hold it taught. Next, bend all four fingers on the original hand against your palm, so your fingernails are just underneath the stretched rubber band.
An advanced, alternate version of this step does not require the use of the second hand—instead, use your thumb to loop under the rubber band and pull it toward your body so there's enough room for the rest of the fingers to be placed underneath. The key is to remove the thumb from the loop once the other fingertips are secured—otherwise, the thumb will create a twist in the rubber band once it "jumps" and the trick will not have the same effect.
Rest all four of your fingers in the rubber band, against the palm of your hand. The rubber band will not jump if a finger is accidentally on top of the band instead of underneath, so make sure your all fingertips are in the correct position.
At this point, you should be able to open (straighten) all of your fingers to make the rubber band appear to "jump" to your index and middle fingers. If the rubber band doesn't jump, review the instructions again, and double-check your setup.
Note that by repeating steps three and four with the exception of reversing the direction you initially pull the rubber band (this time it will need to be stretched toward the pinky side of your palm), you can make the band jump back to the original fingers.
The reverse direction is much more challenging to do with only one hand using your thumb to stretch the rubber band. It can feel awkward, but it is possible and gets easier with practice.
An Advanced Trick With Two Rubber Bands
An advanced variation of this trick requires two rubber bands; in this trick, one rubber band seems to switch places between your fingers, and the second rubber band appears to block it.
One rubber band is placed just as you placed the rubber band in the easy trick, while a second rubber band encases all four fingertips. You can even twist the second rubberband between each finger for a more tangled appearance. Even though you’ve wrapped the rubber band around the tips of your fingers, the bottom rubber band is still able to quickly jump from your pinkie and ring fingers to the first and middle fingers of the same hand when you straighten your fingers.
This is possible because the first rubber band actually clears over the tops of the fingertips and never needs to go between them to make the jump.
With practice, the movements in these tricks will become more fluid and you will be wowing audiences in no time.