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Profile of magicbar
My nephew is a huge Chris Angel fan and wants to learn some magic. He is 7 years old and I am looking for suggestions from this wonderful and knowledgeable community. I have been a semipro for about 12 years and am pretty knowledgeable, I just don't know a good place to begin with him. Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.
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Columbus, Ohio
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Profile of MagiClyde
No doubt in my mind, Mark Wilson's Complete Course In Magic is the single best gift you can get for him. I can't possibly recommend it enough!
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
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Profile of mrunge
Yep...Mark Wilson's "Complete Course In Magic" is a no-brainer.

Good luck. Mark.
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Profile of Obviously
My first two magic books at that age were PRESTO magic with everyday objects by George Schindler, and MAGIC WITH CARDS by Frank Garcia. Both of these books were excellent for beginners, written and illustrated such that a young person could understand them. Good foundational principle stuff that I grew with for several years.
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Profile of Erdnase27
Is mark wilson also good for a 7 year old? I doubt it. maybe a nice colorful magic book?
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Profile of Father Photius
Mark's Complete Course in magic is good , provided he has an adult to read it to him and help him learn the material. Better for a seven year old would be a magic kit, available from most of the magic dealers. One with simple tricks such as cups and balls, etc. in them. He will still need an adult to help him read the directions and learn the tricks. I started at 4, but my dad put in the time to read directions and figure out the tricks and help me learn them. If he hadn't I would have quickly grown frustrated with the props and tossed them. I do recall spending quite a bit of time trying to find the hidden trap doors on the cups for the cups and balls. I was about the 3rd grade before my reading skills were developed enough to understand basic trick instructions, until that time I depended on adults who would take the time to work with me. Use simple tricks and simple sleights, cups and balls, sponge balls, various self working card tricks, ball and vase, etc. This will permit him to be exposed to some of the basic principles of magic as well as gain some simple performance and sleight skills.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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Profile of Spellbinder
Kids of that age don't do well working from a book, and you are liable to close off his interest in magic by sending him to the books too soon. Let him be the one to ask for a book when he is ready. Put the books you collect for him in YOUR library and let him earn them when he is ready, by learning some tricks from the books and showing you what he has learned. Then you can give him the book.

For now, a magic set might be good, or better still, take him with you to a brick and mortar magic store and let him select a couple of "real" magic tricks.
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Profile of Shufton
For a seven year old? Handing him an encyclopedia might be a bit overwhelming, especially if he hasn't reached that stage of interest or (reading) ability yet. Why not teach him a trick? One at a time for a while? Easy ones that he can do and feel great about...

When my younger one was 7, he did a three shell game that was masterful... Now he's 14. He likes mentalism a lot. Loves STS. He knows many tricks and performs them well, but still is not interested in books very much. He likes the video version of Royal Road by Paul Wilson...

Although I agree that the best source of magic I have yet to discover is the book, and would highly recommend the reading of several to any young enthusiast, but often being an enthusiast is preceded by knowing a trick or two, and getting good results to encourage a next step. You can't cram magic down a kids throat - you can only help with current level of interest.

What are some tricks a seven year old could learn? Simple card tricks. A rope trick. Some self-working pocket tricks, or tricks that take a minimum of skill, so concentration can be put more on performance, etc. Maybe start some very simple sleights...

Just 2 more cents!

Best to all-

Fobulous, Emergency Cash, 3D Paradox, PS-I Love You, X-Ray, The Portal, Ultimate Floating Match, Miracle Premonition... and more!
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Profile of Steven Steele
I would start him out with some of Mac King's 'Magic in a Minute' sets. These tricks are easy and designed for the child to immediately have fun in performing. If he seems to enjoy these, get a book at the library and have him learn a few 'simple' tricks or maybe even Mark Wilson's Course with some adult supervision.

I had none of these items when I was learning years ago, but I had a mother that sat down and worked with me, reading the book to me, and helping me learn. Eventually, I had enough experience that I went out and learned on my own. Having a few 'cool' tricks will help bridge the overwhelming size of a magic book.
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Profile of Ray_Mago
Yep, I am 15, and I can tell you already my attention span is exploding already from reading a little bit of classic books. but what does work well is sets, I have a cups and balls.(they are a great set, but maybe you could give him plastic ones) maybe you could give him a TT, a couple of silks and an EASY book to go along with it. Also, maybe get him spongeballs and a DVD to go along with it.
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Profile of SmagicMom
Mm... the very thing I signed up to ask. I have a five-year-old and myself and my husband are both magicians. He's not quite up to the reading level for some of the books, but I've been looking into some of the different kits out there. Some seem really... cheesy, for lack of a better word. Cheap cardboard and the like. Any input on one that would stand up to a manhandling from such a young magician, and would offer some good starting tricks for that age group?
Jay Austin
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Profile of Jay Austin
One suggestion wou be Tarr's book now you see it now you don't. It is well illistrated and shows many very useful slights.
Jay Austin
Hire a tech, not a geek.
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NJ, U.S.
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Profile of Jaz
Both magicbar and SmagicMom's posts suggest that they are into magic already so they likely have tricks.
How about putting together your own magic set?

Some bridge size cards and teach some self working card tricks. This will allow them to focus on presentation rather than worry about sleights.

IMO to learn misdirection cups & balls is a must.
A while back I saw a set of small sauce cups similar to these
at Walmart for $.99 and used one for doing Senator Crandall's "One Cup and Balls Routine" from Tarbell with small sponges and a larger one for the load.

Simple coin tricks from Bobo's or Lorayne's 'Magic Book' with quarter size coins.
Maybe signed coin to nest of boxes.

Got string? Finger ring magically goes onto string under a handkerchief, cut and restored.

A silk or handkerchief or bandana can be used for a good many tricks.
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Profile of VivaLaPatch
One of the first tricks I bought and learned was The Professors Nightmare. I think it's in Mark Wilsons book. I bought it from a magic table at the local swap meet. That was almost 35 years ago. I learned and it a performed it for friends all the time.

The other thing a 7 year old would enjoy is the multiplying bunnies. It teaches them some basic sleights and it's fun for a 7 year old. But it will take time and patience (another important lesson for a magician to learn).

Lastly, a basic cups and balls routine could work. Probably not going to make live chicks appear at the end, but they can learn the concepts.
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Profile of JardiniMagic
Mark Wilson's Course in Magic, and I bet with your help as a semi-pro, there is some things you might have forgotten! Criss Angel is good, but you need the Basics behind the effects also.
The Magical World of Jardini
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Yuma, AZ
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Profile of Ed_Millis
I like the Mac King stuff. If you've got a typical bounce-off-the-walls 7-year-old, odds are good he likes the results of a magic trick and the "coolness" of doing it, but he has very little concept of what he is going to have to put into it to get that same result. Unless he's got a real passion for magic at that young age, putting a book in front of him won't help much.

Maybe the Klutz book with props. Or, even just a change bag.

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Profile of Shakey
How about 'Marvin's Magic Box' of tricks - or something similar?
Magic In A Minute
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Profile of Magic In A Minute
Mac King's "Great Big Ol' Book-O-Magic" is perfect for a 7-year old. Comes with over 50 tricks (punch-outs, etc.) and a DVD to learn 12 more. (Note that I'm very biased because I work with Mac; it's fantastic, though.) There's a write up about it in this month's MAGIC magazine.
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Profile of jimhlou
I DON'T work with Mac King, but the advice posted above is excellent.

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Profile of NurseRob
My first magic kit was made by Adams, that and my TV magic cards made me the bomb at 8yrs old. I would want a kit FULL of magic if I was 7, and not too old for a top hat and cape I might add..let his magic be youthful and fun, he can hit the books in college.
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
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