Sunday, June 29, 2008


Welcome to Kidzone, which is a site especially designed for children.

On "Kidzone" and "Kidzone Archives" you will find interesting stories, illusions (I show you how to do them, so you will then be able to amaze your friends), "Laugh breaks", quizzes, cool pictures, and lots of answers to questions that I have been asked by children. If you have a question for me, you can send it to I will email you my answer.

If you missed the earlier postings of "Kidzone", you can find them all at

To find out more about my ministry to children, go to my main 'Blog' -

NOTE. New Blog from Uncle Maurice - "Bible answers for kids" -
Who made God? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? Why is my brother/sister nasty to me? When did God create the dinosaurs? Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Where is heaven?
These are just a few of the questions that are answered in this Blog.

Uncle Maurice

Uncle Maurice and George.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Uncle Maurice with Shaun and George.

Click on picture to enlarge.

Uncle Maurice at Karaka and Clevedon.

Click on picture to enlarge.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Uncle Maurice as "The Mad Professor"

Click on pictures to enlarge.

1. Ventriloquism.
2. Balloon modelling.
3. Illusions (The 'Flaming Bible').

Uncle Maurice's wishes for you.

May you stay out of trouble.

May you always make the right moves.

May you always have someone to care for you.

May you always find shelter from any storm.

Remain good looking and looking good.

Watch your diet.

Always keep good company.

Have as much fun as you can before someone makes you stop.

Find someone bigger to take care of you.

Always get enough sleep.

May everyone you meet be interesting and kind.

Never try to eat too much at a time.

May you always know when to walk away and to know when to run.

May your friends always bring you joy.

Always aim high.

Remember to exercise.

Take time to relax.

Realise that nothing is impossible.

And finally - Always take time to smile.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Kidzone - An Illusion special..

Note. If you have a question that you would like answered, email it to me on

Grown ups. Check out my web site for Children's ministers at , or to find out more about my ministry, go to :

Kidzone - An Illusion special.

In this special edition of Kidzone, I have gathered together sixteen of my favourite illusions. I hope that you enjoy trying them out.

Check out for all the illusions that I have shared on Kidzone so far.

Uncle Maurice

1. Passing a pencil through a handkerchief.

Effect. Place a square handkerchief (linen or paper) in a "diamond" shape on a flat surface. Lay a pencil across the centre of the handkerchief. Bring the bottom corner of the handkerchief up to the top, but ensure that it slightly overlaps. The pencil will now, of course, be covered. Place a hand on the pencil through the handkerchief, and tightly roll it up until the lower corner flips over. Unroll the handkerchief, and you will see that the pencil is now on the top. i.e. it appears to have penetrated the handkerchief from inside to outside. Try it out. It is much simpler than it sounds!

Explanation. By rolling up the handkerchief until one corner 'flips over', you are actually turning it inside out, and thus bringing the pencil from the inside to the outside. The critical part is ensuring that only one corner flips over. If both ( or no) corners are flipped, the pencil will remain on the inside.

Application. This illustration can be used to illustrate that obedience brings success.
Example. Once you have practiced this a few times, you can try it out on your friends. Say "If you obey me, you will be able to pass this pencil from the inside to the outside of this handkerchief. What I want you to do is roll it up tightly, tap it three times with your finger, unroll it, and the pencil will have passed through the material - you will be successful. Wait a minute! First let us see what will happen if you are disobedient, and you tap the pencil four times? (Ensure that the rolling stops just before the flip over). Oh dear. You were unsuccessful because you were disobedient! This time you can be obedient (Ensure the bottom corner flips over). Wonderful. Your obedience has brought success!"

You may wish to get a few more volunteers to try it out. All you need to remember is that you control the flip overs, depending on whether you want the person to be successful or not. It is very rare for any volunteer or spectator to notice the differences in the three ways you can roll up the handkerchief - i.e. no, one, or two flip overs.

2. Faith - A water experiment.

Faith is believing in something that you cannot see. Although we cannot see God (or Jesus) because He is a Spirit, we can still know that He is real (mainly by studying all the wonderful things He has made. - You cannot have a creation without a Creator). Something else we cannot see, but is real is the air. With this experiment, we will prove that the air in the room is real.

Pour water into a glass until it is almost full. Place a piece of cardboard, cut to slightly larger than the top of the glass, shiny side down, over the top. (An old breakfast cereal box is an ideal source of suitable cardboard). Hold the cardboard in place, and invert glass. Take away your hand from the cardboard. Explain that gravity is still at work trying to make the water fall on the floor, but that the air - which we cannot see - is stronger than gravity and is keeping the cardboard in place.

Tips. 1. It is best to practice this over the sink at first, until you are confident at doing it. 2. Before inverting the glass, hold the cardboard firmly in place with your second hand, then turn the glass upside-down quickly. If you see any bubbles at this stage, wait until they disappear before removing you hand from the cardboard. 3.Always ensure that your cardboard is flat. You will probably need to replace it after it has been used a few times.

Invite a few of your friends to put their faith in the air - which they cannot see- and walk under the glass. As they are doing so, remind them that they are using their faith - by trusting in something that they cannot see.

If you wish, you could conclude this illustration as follows.

State that you are now looking for someone with GREAT faith. Choose a volunteer. State that you are now going to hold the glass of water over their head as before and tip it upside down, but this time you are not going to use any cardboard! Say you wouldn't want them to get too wet if things went wrong, so you will pour some of the water out of the glass. Pour out water until about 2 or 3 cm. remains. State that you still don't like the idea of wetting their hair - if things did go wrong - so you will hold a cup between the glass and their hair. Pour the water out of the glass and into the cup. Act surprised that the water came out of the glass. State that you have worked out the problem. You weren't really using faith, because real faith in Jesus is trusting in Him alone. Therefore, real faith in the air is trusting in the air alone. Therefore you are now going to invert the cup (now containing the water ) over the volunteer's head, but with nothing in between. Do this. The water will not come out of the cup, because you had previously placed a SPONGE in the bottom!

3. Predicting a number.
Prepare six cards, each showing 32 numbers, as illustrated below.
Card 1
1 3  5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39  41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63
Card 2
2 3 6 7 10 11 14 15 18 19 22 23 26 27 30 31 34 35 38 39 42 43 46 47 50 51 54 55 58 59 62 63
Card 3
4 5 6 7 12 13 14 15 20 21 22 23 28 29 30 31 36 37 38 39 44 45 46 47 52 53 54 55 60 61 62 63
Card 4
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63
Card 5
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 73
Card 6
32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63
Chose a volunteer. Ask them to think of any number between 1 and 63, and say that you are going to predict which number they will choose. Hand your volunteer a pen and piece of paper and, while you are turned away (or even out of the room), get them to write down their chosen number, show it to anyone else present, and hide the paper.
Tell your volunteer that you are going to show them (and everyone else present) six cards (prepared as shown), each with lots of different numbers written on them. All they have to do is say "Yes" if their chosen number is on the card, or "No" if it is not. 
As they do this, place all the "Yes" cards in one pile, and all the "No" cards in another. At this point you will know (see below) the chosen number (say 37 for example). Tell your volunteer that they chose "37" and get them to bring out the hidden paper to confirm it.
This trick is actually a lot simpler than it sounds. The right number is arrived at by a process of elimination. There are 64 possible numbers to choose from (including "0"). Each of the six cards shows 32 numbers - write them out on large pieces of cardboard (or paper) as shown below, and make your numbers large enough for all the class to read.
After your volunteer has said "Yes" or "No" to the first card, the number of possible numbers has been reduced from 64 to 32. As you continue the process, the number of possible numbers is halved each time, i.e. 32. 16. 8. 4. 2. and 1. So after the six cards, you have deduced the chosen number.
The six cards are designed in such a way that you can quickly calculate the chosen number. All you need to do is add up the FIRST numbers on all the "Yes" cards. For example "37" is found on cards 1, 3, and 6. Thus, adding the first numbers on these cards, you have 1 + 4 + 32 = 37. If the chosen number was "54", it will be found on cards 2, 3, 5, and 6. Thus, adding up the first numbers, you have 2 + 4 + 16 + 32 = 54.

4. WOW / MOM.

All you need for this illustration is a square piece of cardboard - ideally about 30 cm x 30 cm. On one side of the cardboard write the word "MOM" (The American for Mum) in large letters. On the other side of the cardboard, again write the word "MOM" in large letters, but this time from bottom to top.

Hold the cardboard in front of yourself, with your left hand grasping the top left hand corner, and your right hand grasping the bottom right hand corner. Practice twisting the card over. The secret is to keep your hands still, and let the card make all the movements. Now, change your hand positions. Grasp the bottom left hand corner with your left hand, and the top right hand corner with your right hand. Twist the card over a few times as before. You will note that - depending on where your hands are placed - you can make the word "MOM" appear to either read the same on both sides of the cardboard, or to keep changing to the word "WOW" as the card is twisted.

With a little practice, you will be ready to try this out on your mom (mum). Turn the card in the appropriate way as you say "MOM, whenever I think of you MOM, I have to say WOW, MOM, WOW, MOM. You're so good to me MOM, that I have to say WOW, WOW, WOW, all the time MOM.


On one side of the cardboard draw a large horizontal arrow. On the other side of the cardboard draw a large vertical arrow.

You are now ready to illustrate any story which involves a change of direction (or repentance), e.g. Jonah, Zacchaeus or Saul. I often use this method to share my testimony as follows, changing the direction of the arrow at the appropriate places:-

Once I always went my own way ( <- ) and did my own thing ( <- ) . Nobody, not even God could get me to change my direction ( <- ). But then I heard the good news about Jesus Christ. He said to me what He says to us all - "Instead of going your way ( <- ), you need to turn round and start going My way ( -> ). Instead of living a life centred around yourself ( <- ), you need to centre your life around Me ( -> )." For a little while, I wasn’t sure what to do. Whether to continue going my way ( <- ), or to turn around and start going Jesus' way ( -> ). But then I decided that the best thing I could do was to turn and start going Jesus' way ( -> ), because I saw that His way was the best way ( -> ). For the last 20 years I have been going His way ( -> ), His way ( -> ), His way ( -> ) all the time.

Having tried out your square piece of cardboard a few times, you may wish to try out your story with an Octagon (eight sides). This is essentially the same as for the square, but it has the advantage that - by grasping the shape at two opposite corners - you are also able to make the arrow point vertically upwards or downwards.( With a little practice, you should soon become proficient ).You could then conclude your story as follows :-

Going Jesus' way (-> ) is the best way, because His way ( -> ) leads you Upwards towards God. His way ( -> ) leads you Upwards. But does your way ( <- ) lead you towards God ? No, your way ( <- ) leads you Downwards away from God. So the best thing you can do is to go His way ( -> ), His way ( -> ), His way (-> ) all the time.

5a. The meaning of the cross. This illusion does require the lighting of a candle, so please get an adult to supervise you as you do this.

For this close-up illustration you will need a little coloured water (coloured lemonade or squash will do), a saucer, a short candle, a glass, a small coin and matches.

Presentation. This illustration explains what happened at the cross of Jesus.

State - that the coin represents you or me - place it in the saucer, towards the edge.
- that the coloured water represents our sins (t he wrong things we do) - pour it into the saucer until the coin is submerged.
- that the candle represents Jesus - stand it at the centre of the saucer, and light it.
- that the flame represents the life of Christ.

Take the glass and place it over the lighted candle. Within a few seconds, the flame will consume all the oxygen in the glass and be extinguished. However, it will have created a vacuum, which in turn, will draw the water up inside the glass (thus surrounding the candle) and leave the coin dry.

Summary. 1. The coloured water is drawn to the candle - Our sins were put on Jesus.
2. The flame goes our - Jesus gave up his life for us.
3. The coin becomes dry - Because our sins are now on Jesus, we go free.

5b. The resurrection of Christ.

Preparation. This illusion will require a little practice, but it is well worth the effort. You will need a coin (Practice with a small one at first, then you may wish to try a larger one for a better effect), a clear glass, and a piece of thin clear balloon rubber, large enough to cover the top of the glass. (I have found that rubber, cut from a clear balloon, (e.g. Qualatex 'Diamond clear') is a good source of this - check out your local store).

Stretch the rubber in all directions, hold the coin on your finger and press it on the underside of the rubber. When you cease stretching, you will find - with practice - that the rubber will wrap itself a little way under the coin as well as covering the top. The coin will thus appear to be on top of the rubber sheet (actually it is underneath) because the rubber has been stretched so much that it will be almost invisible. Finally, stretch out the rubber and coin on the top of your glass, and secure with an elastic band around the rubber overhanging the top of the glass.

Illustration. Produce your glass, with rubber and coin in place. Ask for a volunteer. State that he/she is now going to push the coin right through the rubber sheet without making a hole, or even a tear, in it. Get your volunteer to push the coin firmly downwards with their finger. The coin will fall into the glass, leaving the rubber sheet intact.

This reminds us of the resurrection, when Jesus came right out of the tomb, while the stone was still in place. It also reminds us that in his resurrection body, Jesus was also able to pass through locked doors without leaving a hole in them! (see John 20.19).

6. Floating a pin on water.

One of the most amazing miracles that Jesus did was walking on water. We all know that one of the natural laws of the Universe is that objects heavier than water (like metal) sink. However Jesus was able to overcome this natural law. We can't walk on water of course, but it is possible to float a pin or a needle on it! You all know that a pin is much heavier than water and usually sinks to the bottom. But there is a way to make it float! Because water actually forms a thin film at it's surface with the air, this flotation can really be done if you lower the pin very gently onto the water in the following way.

Place the pin on a paper tissue, and lower it carefully onto the water. After a few seconds, the paper will have absorbed enough water to make it sink, leaving the pin floating alone.You will need to have a steady hand to ensure that the film isn't broken. And, of course, ensure that nobody knocks the glass during the procedure!

If you have a very steady hand, you may even be able to carefully lower the pin onto the water without the aid of the paper tissue.

7. Jumping elastic bands.

Hold your right hand in front of your face. Turn it round to face you, i.e. your thumb is to your right.

Take a fairly small elastic band, and place it over your first two fingers, i.e. those nearest your thumb. Using your left hand, stretch the elastic band towards you. While the band is in this position, bend all four fingers of your right hand towards you so that they fit into the band. Release the band with your left hand. One side of the band should now be running across the back of your fingers, near the bottom of your nails.

Finally, straighten all four fingers. The band will now be over your third and fourth fingers - furthest from your thumb. For anyone watching the back of your hand, the band will appear to have magically jumped from two fingers onto the other two.

After you have practiced this trick - it is really quite simple - you can try it with two bands (of different colours). Place Band 1 over your first two fingers, as before, and Band 2 over your third and fourth fingers. Repeat the stretching and bending procedure, as before (ensure both bands run across all four fingers) - and this time the bands will have magically changed places!

8. Miracles.

Here is a simple illustration to demonstrate that with God "All things are possible."

Preparation. Take a piece of cardboard ( about 40x40cm. ) and cut out a round disc (about 15cm. diameter) from the centre. Retain both pieces. Find a solid disc (an ordinary plate is ideal) a little larger than your cardboard disc e.g. about 20cm. diameter.

Presentation. "Sometimes we find that we just cannot do certain things. But we need to remember that God can do absolutely anything. With Him nothing is impossible." Hold up your cardboard sheet and disc. Explain that the disc is just small enough to pass through the hole. Pass the disc through the hole a few times in different ways e.g. face on and side on.

State that if the disc were any larger, it would be "impossible" to pass it through the hole. Your friends should agree. Produce your larger disc and pretend to attempt to pass it through the hole in different ways as before. Remind your friends that what is impossible for us is possible for God, and state that you are now going to demonstrate that by passing the larger disc through the small hole.

Fold your sheet in half, and place your larger disc inside so that the top protrudes through the hole. Grasp this part of the disc with one hand, and with the other pull down on the side of your sheet - this actually stretches the hole - A gentle tug on your disc will ensure that it passes through the hole without tearing it in any way.

9. Making the right choice.

A well known "Magician's" trick is to force a volunteer to choose the "right card" from a number of different cards. This technique can be used to ensure a person makes the "right choice" from a number of options represented by different cards.

This trick is very versatile. For example you can pose questions such as "How can we get to heaven?" or "How can we find peace with God?" The right answer is, of course, Jesus. Now, choose seven alternative answers, which some people may give e.g. Prayer, Reading the Bible, Going to church. Keeping the ten commandments, Doing good, Not doing anything bad, Being Baptised, Believe in God, etc. (Other questions you can ask are "Who is the best role model you can follow?" - it is a good idea to choose a mixture of well known "good" and "bad" role models. – or, "Who or what should be the most important thing in your life?").

Take eight pieces of paper and write "Jesus" on one, and the seven alternative answers the others. Put the cards into eight identical envelopes. On the front of each envelope, draw a question mark. However, on the envelope containing the "Jesus" paper, make the question mark slightly different from the others - e.g. have the "dot" slightly nearer the main symbol, or have the "curl" slightly more enhanced.

Choose a volunteer to come and stick each envelope (e.g. with blue tac) - question mark to the outside - on a board. They have complete freedom to stick each envelope wherever they like, provided that they end up with two columns of four cards each. By looking at the question marks, you will know which contains the "Jesus" paper.

Get a second volunteer to come and make what you say you hope will be the right choice. Force him/her to make the right choice as described below. This is a very simple technique, but still seems to baffle the vast majority of people.

Suppose, for example, that the "Jesus" envelope is in the first column. Ask your volunteer to point to either the first or the second column. If they point to the first, say "Fine, that is your choice, so let us now look at the four envelopes you have rejected in the second column." As you open each of these four envelopes, explain why they are wrong choices. If your volunteer points to the second column, say "Fine, you have rejected these four envelopes in the second column", and proceed as before.

You are now left with the four envelopes in the first column. Ask your volunteer to point to any two of the envelopes. If the "Jesus" envelope is one of those chosen, say. "These are the envelopes you have chosen, let's look at the two you have rejected." Obviously, if they don't point to the "Jesus" card, say " The two you have pointed to are the ones you have rejected --------. " I think you will have got the idea by now, ensuring that your volunteer ends by choosing "Jesus."

10. Amazing memory feat.

Adam was created perfect with a wonderful mind and memory. He had to name all the many different animals that God brought before him, and then would have had to remember all their names. To illustrate this you can then amaze your family and friends by doing your own memory feat.

Have fifty cards, blank on one side and numbered from 1 to 50 on the other. On the same side write , apparently random, six-digit numbers across their centres. State that you are going to memorise all fifty of these six-digit numbers. Flick through the cards as you pretend to memorise them, give them a good shuffle, turn the blank sides upwards and offer the pack to up to about six volunteers who will each choose a card. One at a time, ask your volunteers to tell you the number of their card (i.e. between 1 and 50), and as they do so write on the board the six-digit number associated with that card! You will achieve a 100 percent success rate!

You will have probably realised by now that you don't really memorise the numbers, rather you calculate them from the card number you are given. This is how you do it :-

To the number you are given (i.e. between 1 and 50), add eleven. Reverse this two-digit number. This will be the first two numbers you write on the board. Add these two numbers together to give your third number. However, if this is a two-digit number, ignore the first digit (i.e. "1") and write down the second. Proceed in this way, adding your last two digits together, until you have written down all six digits. Ask your volunteer to confirm this is the number they have on their card. A few of examples will make this clear :-

Card No. 15. Six-digit No. will be 628088.
Card No. 16 Six-digit No. will be 729101.
Card No. 17 Six-digit No. will be 820224.

As can be seen, even card numbers that are close to each other will produce completely different six-digit numbers.

11. Instant calculations.

Here are two 'instant addition' illustrations that will amaze your friends. They just require a little practice beforehand.

A. Get a volunteer to write any two four-digit numbers on a piece of paper or a board. You then write out the third four-digit number, ensuring that the product of the second and third numbers is 9999. For example, if the second number is 3785, the third number (which you write) will be 6214. Get your volunteer to write out the fourth four-digit number. You then write out the fifth number, ensuring that the product of the fourth and fifth numbers is again 9999. You are now ready to amaze your class by adding up all five numbers instantly. Your answer will be 2, followed by the first number minus 2. i.e. If the first number is 4567, your answer will be 24565. Here is an example :-

Volunteer 4567
Volunteer 4291
Self 5708
Volunteer 6235
Self 3764

Total = 24565

Get your friends to confirm your answer - with their calculators if these are available.

B. Prepare four cards (A,B,C,D), each with a five-digit number on them written from top to bottom as shown.


9 6 1 8
1 4 5 7
5 2 4 1
4 7 7 7
2 5 8 4

Get a volunteer to come and stick the cards on the board, in any order they choose, to thus form five four-digit numbers - as per the example above. Remind your friends that there are twenty four different ways in which your volunteer could have arranged the cards.

As soon as the cards are in place, write down the product of the five numbers. You could get your friends to be adding up the numbers with their calculators at the same time - but you will have the correct answer long before them! To get your instant answer, write down 2, followed by two plus each number in your second four-digit number (1457 in above example), except for the last number (7) which remains unaltered. Thus the answer is 23677.

You may wish to get a second volunteer to come and rearrange the cards, and repeat the procedure. If the cards were rearranged C.B.D,A for example, your answer will be 27691.

12. Restoring a cut rope.

All that is needed for this illustration is a piece of string or rope at least 1 meter long, and a pair of scissors.

Hold the top of the rope in one hand, and grasp the centre of it with the other. Bring the centre portion of the rope to the top, but as your bottom hand reaches your top, swap the centre for a piece of rope about 10 to 15 cm. from the top. This will take place behind your top hand, so will not be noticed. With a little practice you will soon become proficient. It will appear to your watchers that you are now showing the top and the centre of the rope in your top hand, whereas you will actually be showing the top and a section 10 to 15 cm. below the top.
Cut the rope where it is looped. You have actually cut off just a small top portion, but have appeared to cut it in equal halves. While still concealing the top of the rope behind your hand, tie the small section of rope around the centre, and release for all to see. What your watchers will appear to see are two halves of rope tied together in the middle. What you actually have is one long piece of rope (just slightly shorter than your original one) and a small piece tied round its centre.

Tell your watchers that you are now going to restore the original rope. Hold one end of the rope in your right hand, and begin to wrap the rest of the rope around it with your left hand. As you reach the knot - and while still continuing the wrapping - slide off the knot, and keep concealed in your left hand. Unwrap the rope, showing that it has been completely restored! No one will notice that it is now slightly shorter than at first.

13. Blowing a paper into a bottle.

Find an empty narrow-necked bottle (e.g. a soft drink bottle). Take a small piece of paper and screw it up into a small ball. Hold your bottle in a horizontal position, and place the paper into it's neck. Get your friends to try and blow the paper into the bottle.

You will find that your friends will be unable to blow the paper from the neck into the main body of the bottle! In fact the opposite will happen, and the paper will be propelled backwards right out of the bottle. The harder someone blows, the faster and further the paper will be propelled away from the bottle.

Explanation. There is already air in your 'empty' bottle, and when someone blows more air into the bottle (whilst attempting to blow the paper in), this will result in the air pressure inside the bottle now becoming higher than that outside - with the result that the paper is forced away from the bottle rather than into it.

14. Needle through a balloon.

Punctuating an inflated balloon with a pin or needle, without it bursting, will always fascinate your friends. There are two ways you can achieve this :- 1. Place a small piece if clear sticking tape on the inflated balloon. You can then pierce this without the balloon bursting. 2. Pierce the balloon where the rubber is thickest i.e. near the hole and at the opposite end. In fact, by using these two locations, you should be able to pass your needle right through the balloon. Hints. Don't inflate the balloon too much. Use a sharp needle. Smear a little grease on the end of your needle.

15. Predicting the future.

Write out the number "1089 " on a piece of paper, and seal it in an envelope. Ask a volunteer to look after it for you, and to be ready to open it when asked.

Ask for a second volunteer to come and do a maths calculation on a piece of paper (or a blackboard) for you. State that although the numbers will be chosen by your volunteer, you have already placed the answer to their calculation in the envelope which your first volunteer is holding.

Ask your volunteer to - 1. Write any three digit number on the paper or board. 2. Write the same number reversed under the first number. 3. Subtract the lesser number from the greater. 4.Reverse the answer obtained. 5. Add the last two numbers. Your final answer will always be 1089. Get your first volunteer to open the envelope - confirming your correct prediction.

Here is an example : -

Here is a second example :-

Try a few calculations yourself, just to be completely convinced !

Note. If you have a question that you would like answered, email it to me on

Grown ups. Check out my web site for Children's ministers at , or to find out more about my ministry, go to :

16,. Making objects appear and disappear with a thumb tip.

Probably nearly every person who performs Gospel illusions has used a thumb tip. These are plastic thumbs that are hollow on the inside, and are ideal for making small items (such as a small coloured cloth) appear and disappear.

Basically, you conceal your fake thumb in (say) your left hand, hold the cloth in your right hand, push it into the fake thumb, insert your right thumb into the fake one, then open up both hands to show that the cloth has "disappeared". If you keep both hands moving at this stage, it is very difficult to for anyone to notice that your one of your thumbs is actually fake. To make the cloth reappear, you simply reverse the process.

There are many ways in which you could use a thumb tip to demonstrate a Christian truth. I usually use mine in one of two ways. 1. To illustrate Creation (God spoke and things were created out of nothing). 2. To illustrate Jesus coming into our lives - Jesus (represented by the visible cloth) enters your life. Can we see Him? No. (Both hands 'empty'). People notice a change in you for the good. Reply "It's Jesus who is changing me." (Cloth visible again). Another use could be in illustrating the resurrection.

Craft 3 - Making a paper thumb tip.

Although plastic thumb tips will last indefinitely, it is very easy to make paper ones that will be just as effective for your illustration.These are quite easy to make.

All you need is a piece of brown paper, about 10 cm. wide and 6 cm. high. Fold the paper sideways, and stick together with a strip of clear tape. Next, fold the top of the paper down and stick with the tape. Your thump should now easily fit into your thumb tip. You can adjust the size, depending on the size of your thumb or those of the children. Remember, however, to leave enough space for the cloth at the top of the thumb tip.