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Topic: Creating a magic workshop for children
Message: Posted by: setsuna83 (Jan 10, 2016 11:38PM)
Hi I've been asked to create a workshop for some children to teach them some magic tricks. I'm thinking of having them to construct their own props using basic arts and crafts and at the end of the day to perform in front of the class. I'm thinking of somethig like constructing a square circle or torn and restored rope tricks. does anyone have conducted such workshops before and able to advise? Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Daniel Ulzen (Jan 11, 2016 01:28AM)
Hello setsuna83,

the book "Mark Wilson's Complete Course in Magic" is a great ressource to find good tricks for such a workshop and show.

Sometimes it is better to let the kids perform the tricks to music because they are no professional speakers.

Maybe have one or two kids who are the masters of ceremonies.

Make sure not only to practice the tricks but also to rehearse the whole show. Maybe even do a final rehearsal.

Maybe have a list with all the tricks and the kids so the kids can have a look when to perform their tricks during the show.

Make 100 % sure the audience is friendly (the parents of the children are always friendly). Otherwise problems during the performance and negative reactions of some spectators could hurt the feelings of some children.

Tell the children before the show that things can go wrong. Even the best magicians in the world sometimes make a mistake. That is normal.

Usually it takes more time to teach and rehearse magic tricks to beginners than magicians think. You will have to tell your kids a lot of things. And they will not do everything right from the beginnning. So do not plan too much tricks otherwise your plan will not work.

It is much easier to do a workshop/show with older children than with younger children. So if you have influence try to get older children.

It is also much easier to handle a smaller group than a bigger group.

Often it helps a lot if there are one or more other juveniles/adults who help you with the workshop/show. They do not have to be magicians.

Good luck for the day! The kids and spectators will LOVE it.

Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jan 11, 2016 05:45AM)
I taught a simple workshop consisting of three tricks to a group of first graders, and the tricks I taught were:
Afghan Bands
Vanishing Coin (the trick with two small plastic rings and a cardboard square)
21 Card Trick

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: RealityOne (Jan 11, 2016 07:55AM)
A lot depends on the age of the kids. I'll second Daniel's recommendation of Mark Wilson's book. There is a whole section on make it yourself magic.

There are a lot of simple card tricks (which are easier than the 21 Card Trick).

1. Set the deck up for OOTH, Give the top half to one child and the bottom half to another. Have two adults pick cards from each half and insert them in the other half. The child can guess the card.

2. Reverse the bottom card of the deck. Have a card selected from the face down (except bottom card) deck. Turn deck over. Have card reinserted.Turn over again and reveal selected card is reversed. (I'm sure that one is in Mark Wilson's book as well as Scarne on Card Tricks.

3. A simple key card locator effect.

4. Mark Wilson's Bigger Card.

5. Poker Player's Picnic from Royal Road

6. Do as I Do

You could also teach simple forces like the cross cut force, double turnover force or the 10 to 20 force. Heck, anything from Scarne on Card Tricks or Fulves' books on self working card tricks would work. Also, check out Minch's By Forces Unseen (just kidding). For rope magic, get Fulves Self Working Rope Magic ( I love the Popcorn Knot). You could do a simple cups and balls routine like Ammar's 4 Minutes of Fame. I like using the old fashion props like ball vase, drawer box, pen through coins etc. There are lots of good rubber band and simple tricks in Mark Wilson. I love teaching the Through The Leg coin vanish in Bobo's Modern Coin Magic.

You also may what to check out Joshua Jay's Big Magic for Little Hands, The Cub Scout Magic Book


and, for older kids, Kauffman's Knack Magic Tricks.

Rather than have them perform in front of the class, why not invite the parents back for the show? The other kids won't enjoy it if they know the secret and it is really fun to fool your parents.
Message: Posted by: setsuna83 (Jan 11, 2016 11:06PM)
Thanks everyone for the advice! The age range for the kids will be quite wide ranging from the smaller kids from 4 plus till probably 12. Think I may split it into 2 sessions, one for the younger and one for the older kids. Will definitely check out the resources mentioned here and update back again how it went. thanks a lot guys!
Message: Posted by: arthur stead (Jan 12, 2016 01:14PM)
Here's what I used to present in my magic workshops for ages 8 - 12 at birthday parties and libraries:

Afghan Bands
Appearing Knot
Linking Paper Clips
Mind Reading Crayons
Coin Vanish
Coin from Dollar Bill
A Mind Reading Routine
Two Card Monte
A Card Location
Vanishing Glass

I also taught them the Finger Palm, French Drop, how to create a story-line, and a basic understanding of Misdirection. Each kid took home a set of instructions and a bag filled with props needed to do the above tricks, plus a deck of cards and a magic wand (which is utilized in making the coin vanish).

Every once in a while, a library would sneak in a 7-year-old. Which I invariably found held back the class, because of their underdeveloped motor skills and mental grasp of things. Even some of the 8 year-olds had trouble tying a knot and comprehending the paper clips effect!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jan 13, 2016 03:13AM)
I pass out "Clipped Card" to the children at the end of my gigs. It makes a quick workout effect, plus it helps brand your name as it it is given out to the children.