Popsicle Magic from Nurse Lulu's Clowning on a Budget

Whether it’s hospital clowning or strolling entertainment, close-up magic is challenging, fun and effective. Keeping in mind that hospital clowning should always include empowering the patient, "magic shows"  should be structured to encourage participation. If the patient cannot participate for some reason, involving family members or visitors can also be satisfying for all.

While it is best not to expose magician secrets, if a sick child shows interest in learning magic, you can treat them like an apprentice and teach them how to do a simple trick. This implies that they will want to keep it, and we all know how pricey magic tricks and giveaways can get. Here is a simple trick to give away that you can make yourself.

Materials needed: A pack of Popsicle sticks, a magic marker. (I’ve purchased a pack of 60 Popsicle sticks in a dollar store.)

A. Using the magic marker, draw a simple picture like a smiley face on one end of one side of the popsicle stick. That’s it!

Now here’s how to do the trick (this will look familiar if you’ve done simple tricks before):

1. Hold the Popsicle stick in your dominant hand with a closed fist (as if holding a small flag), showing the drawing. Make sure you can control the popsicle stick with your index finger and thumb.

2. Slowly bring your non-dominant [open] hand down in front of the stick, fingers pressed together. Do not stop moving this hand.

3. Just when the palm of your non-dominant hand is covering your index finger and thumb, tip the Popsicle stick to reveal the blank side by the time your hand uncovers the Popsicle stick [as it moves down]. As you get better at it, you can do it a bit faster.

This is simple, but it’s great for a child to do it and impress family members!

Lucy E. Nunez has been a theatrical performer since 2002 and created Nurse Lulu for the Big Apple Circus Clown Care program in 2014.  For more information please visit: www.sunnybearbuds.wix.com/buds

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Check out a simple video of this trick on my Instagram:

Nurse Lulu

Thank you! This has worked well with teens in the hospital who want to try doing magic tricks. The scrub hat was a perfect choice for me because I’m actually a nurse and I wanted to cover my hair for hygiene purposes (look out for a future post on that) and to avoid a wig, which is a no-no in the hospital for the same reason.

Nurse Lulu

Very cute Lulu! I also love your idea of using a scrub hat instead of a wig!

Mary Ernst

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