Leadership Inspirations Activities

Black Magic

In this activity participants are trying to determine the secret behind a ‘magic trick’


10 minutes

Team Stage


Type Of Activity

Icebreaker, Energizer, Game





In this activity participants are trying to determine the secret behind a ‘magic trick’. Use ‘Black Magic’ as a fun way to break the ice and get people thinking creatively.



  • Two “Magicians” lead this activity for the group. The objective is for the group to figure out how they do their magic. Both Magicians must know the trick behind the activity in order to make magic happen.


  • Introduce the activity by name – Black Magic, and explain that Magician #1 will guess a secret object in the room selected by the group.
  • Magician #1 leaves the room. While that person is out of the room, the group selects an object in site and points it out to the Magician #2, who has remained in the room.
  • When Magician #1 reenters the room, Magician #2 will ask them a series of questions about objects in the room- “Is the object the candle on the table?” Is the object the chair?” Is the object the cat?”
  • At some point, Magician number two will name an object black in color.
  • The selected object is always the object directly following the named black object.
  • If a participant thinks that they know the pattern ask him or her to give an example rather than stating the answer so that other participants can continue to play.


  • Going On a Camping Trip: In this game, ask for a volunteer to start. This person gets to make up a rule about what items people can bring on a camping trip (example: all items must have double letters or all items must start with the last letter of whatever item came before). This rule determines who can and cannot come on this ‘camping trip’. Keep this rule a secret, it is up to the group to figure out the pattern. The first person starts by saying ‘I’m going on a camping trip and I’m bringing…” and they say an item that follows their rule. The next person will say “I’m going on a camping trip and I’m bringing…” and they will say an item. If the item follows the rule then the 1st person says, “Come along”, if the item doesn’t follow the rule then the 1st person says, “Sorry, we don’t need – (whatever the item is).” Play continues until somebody guesses the rule or you run out of time.
  • Captain, O Captain: In this version, ask for a volunteer to be the ‘Captain’. Block off a boundary or space to be the ‘ship’. Everybody else must find out how to get onto the ship by asking the Captain. The Captain will have knowledge of a secret rule that players must abide by to be let onto the ship. For example: The rule might be that players must say ‘please’ in order to make it onboard. If a player says ‘May I come aboard please?’, the Captain will welcome them aboard, if a player says ‘Let me on the boat’ they will be turned away. Play continues until everyone is aboard the ship.


  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?


  • Are we the only ones that define our purpose? What or who influences our purpose?
  • How do we communicate our purpose to new members or people outside of our group?
  • Why is it important that we all understand the purpose of our group/activity/etc.?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?