The Match Box Trick

4-6 year olds | one hour

See how many people can guess how you do this one, it’s a great thing to teach the kids and then can really annoy their friends, as their friends fail time and again to guess which box the matches are in.

What You'll Need

  • Four empty match boxes
  • Elastic band or hair band
  • Some dry spaghetti
  • Some decorative paper (to decorate the match boxes)


The trick
You show your audience three closed match boxes, and demonstrate to them, by picking each up one by one and shaking them, that only one has matches inside that make a sound. You ask your audience to watch the one box that they believe has matches in it, and you shuffle the boxes carefully. Once they’ve found places, you ask them to guess which box the matches are in. They get this right, but you tell them that you’re going to do another shuffle and that they have to watch very closely. Shuffle the matchboxes carefully but quickly and then ask that person again. This time, though, they’re going to get it wrong. They are then going to insist on another turn, which you can give them and, if you’re feeling cruel, they will get it wrong again.



  1. Make sure that all four of your matchboxes are empty and that you are wearing a long-sleeved top
  2. Break some dry spaghetti into pieces the size of a match.
  3. Put your dry spaghetti into one of the four matchboxes.
  4. Attach this matchbox with the spaghetti in to one of your wrists using an elastic band or a hair band. Make sure that your wrists are covered and nobody can see this secret fourth box.
  5. Perform the trick knowing that none of the boxes will rattle or make a noise unless you use the hand which has the fourth box attached, as they are empty. You can use the hand with the fourth box to make one of the boxes rattle, defying which box your audience believed the matches were in. Be careful, if you slip up and use the wrong hand you could reveal that the boxes are empty or suggest that more than one has things in.

Tags: magic

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