Jumping Toothpicks

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“Jumping Toothpicks,” Friend, June 1996, 23

Jumping Toothpicks

This trick requires only two toothpicks and a little bit of practice. The secret is in the way you hold the toothpicks.

First, hold one toothpick near one end between your left pointer finger and thumb so that the toothpick is horizontal and pointing away from you.

Next, lightly place the tip of your middle finger against the bottom of the toothpick end (see illustration)—this is what makes the trick work.

Then, with your right hand, place the second toothpick on top of the one in your left hand and at a right angle to it (see illustration). Hold it loosely so that it can jump freely, or balance it there with just a finger, allowing the toothpick open space to jump off.

Now, as you command the toothpick to jump, rub upward and toward you on the toothpick in your left hand with the tip of your middle finger.

Once you have mastered the skill of making one toothpick jump, you might want to try making two or three more toothpicks jump at the same time. Or if your audience catches on or already knows this trick, you can have contests to see whose toothpick jumps the highest or the farthest.