Bouncing Putty

by JIMMY FLOWERS

Get a box of modelling clay from a toyshop, discard one roll and substitute your Bouncing Putty, shaping the same as the others, then wrap the box in several pieces of different coloured tissue paper. Tell the children this story.

Do you know Johnny Green? You don't? Well, he's the little boy who lives next door to me. The other day was his birthday and his father gave him a little present, just like this one. (Pick up the box). Can you guess what it was? (Start taking the wrappers off}. Well I never! It was a box of modelling clay! Johnny was a little disappointed, for he really wanted a new ball. His father had taken his old ball away, and said that he must not have one because he had broken so many windows.

As Johnny was playing with his new present, he suddenly felt drowsy, and he went to sleep under the apple tree. While he was asleep he had a rather strange dream. He heard a voice say 'You wanted a balf, didn't you?' and Johnny said 'Yes'. 'Well' said the voice, 'just roll up one of your lumps of clay', and Johnny did this. (Take your special piece and roll it into a ball).

'There', said the voice, 'now you have a ball, so why not have a game?' Johnny was delighted, for he found that he could actually bounce the ball, just like a real one? He then got his little bat (a biff bat) and had a game of bat and ball (bounce the putty on the bat a few times). Then, to spoil it all, JOHNNY WOKE UP, (put the bat down) and it was then that he knew that it had only been a dream, for it wasn't a real ball at all, but JUST MODELLING CLAY!

(Flatten out the ball and then pull into strips, continuing), Welf girls and boys, that is the story Johnny told me, so it must be true.

(The bouncing of the 'clay' causes much amazement—the children just cannot make it out. Just watch their faces).

"COMPETITION TIME'.' (2) COMPETITION TIME.

Get two children up and hand each a piece of modelling clay, you keeping the special piece. Explain that you are going to have a little competition, the winner of each phase to be judged by the applause received, and the performer will try to beat them.

(A) See who can make the longest snake without the clay breaking.

(B^ Hand the children a board each, on which is partly painted a boy's head on one side, and part of a donkey's head on the other. Performer also has a similar board. Clay must be rolled out, then shaped on the board to complete the faces, the funniest face to win. Complete the boy's face first, then the donkey's. Let one of the children win.

(C) Make the clay long again, then on the word Go, see who can make it into a ball first.

(D) Hand out biff-bats, keeping one yourself. Ball to be bounced once into the air from the bat, then three time on the floor. This, of course, is where the children fail. Their's wont bounce but yours will. They will think you have changed yours for a real ball. If they don't say so, make out that you heard some remark to that effect. Then you say, 'Honestly, it isn't a ball', (bounce 't again), then flatten it out, make it into strips, twining it round your fingers and pretending that you cannot get the stuff off. Finally, manage to get it off the fingers, rofl it up and place it down. Collect the clay from the children and present them with a small stick of rock, or some small present and dismiss them with thanks for helping.

The above takes quite a few minutes, makes a break from magic and gives the children a chance to join in with the fun it causes.

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