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Rupert Bair
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Hi,
I've beein asked to do a 30mins show for playschool kids age 2-4 what could I do? ive never done a show for under 5's before so I don't know what to expect.
Please can you suggest some ideas.
Thankyou
Matt
Jim Snack
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It will be a quite challenge holding an audience of 2-4 year olds for 30 minutes. I wouldn't try to do so with only magic. They are really too young to get magic.

Use music, color, puppets and/or clowning (although some children that young are afraid of clowns in make-up).

Be sure to have lots of adults present to sit with the small children or else you will have a roomful of "creepers," i.e. 2 and 3 year olds creeping up to you and getting into your props.

One thing you did not mention was how large a group. If we are talking just 10-15 children, then get down on the floor and simply play with them! Bring lots of sponge balls, but be careful that no one puts them in their mouth.
Jim Snack

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Rupert Bair
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It wouldnt really be a show and they wouldnt be getting their moneys worth really if I just play with them.
matt
Peter Marucci
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Age 3 and under, virtually everything is magic anyway so it's a bit pointless.

They don't really understand why things don't happen "that way" and trying to explain it is futile.

But, if you are committed to this, then keep it colorful and simple plots. Jim Snack has an interesting idea that I hadn't thought of before: Puppets.
And sucker tricks BUT make SURE the sting is directed against YOU and NOT them. (i.e., Run, Rabbit, Run or one of the derivations; die box; etc.)
Miscall colors and get their names wrong; kids that age just love to be able to correct adults!
Good luck.
Emazdad
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I do the same 1-hour show for pre-schools as I do for other age groups, the difference is in the presentation. you have to be a lot gentler in your approach and drop any gags that will go over their heads, Replace them with more visual stuff like extra funny wands etc.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Rob Johnston
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They love things that are visual. Forget the advanced sleights and everything. I have found that even the trendy D'Lites are great for those kids. Sponge Balls are also fun (with a squeaker).
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
Rupert Bair
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Thanks for your help, I think its gonna be a little hard but hopefuly I will manage!
Jim Snack
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Peter makes an important point about "sucker tricks." Make sure that the joke is on you. The audience will not get it otherwise and you could verywell hurt some feelings. Nothing spoils a show more than a volunteer who bursts into tears because he or she thought she broke your wand.

When I say get down on the floor and play with them, I don't mean to forget that you are doing a show. I just mean to get down on their level - both psychologically and physically.

I used to bring a foot locker to birthday party shows and kneel behind it. Children could come right up to it and see the surface easily. It works well for smaller groups. If you have more than ten children, it will get out of hand.
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
Steven Steele
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Children of this age love stories. Cloak everthing in a story and make it fun. Preschoolers enjoy the journey more than the destination; so make if fun for them. Lots of interaction. Have them wiggle their fingers...say the magic word....scream and yell together. Also silks with animals on them work well when there's a story about the animal.
Darkwing
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Two year olds and under I have found don't really have a since of wonder. Three and older like a lot of color, flash, interaction, and silliness. Especially if the adult magician looks silly.
Hill
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Hmmmmmmmm sponge balls and squeakers - what a great idea!
jlibby
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I don't work that many preschools anymore, but here are a couple of thoughts:

First, sight gags are priceless! The collapsing wand, nesting wands, etc. Where preschool age is concerned, that's better than the actual trick!

If you have Axtell's SPFX Drawing Board, you can make Oscar the Grouch appear and disappear in his trash can. Anything that ties in to an appropriate book or TV show is perfect since they can immediately relate to it.

Kids love puppets! Dave Risley and Sammy Smith both have Rabbit in the hat puppet routines available. You don't need to do any tricks with the puppet. Just some silliness with the puppet will make a nice interlude in your show and the kiddos will eat it up.

My 2 cents. Have a great day!
Joe L.
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Cliff G
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It was my son's 4th birthday last week so we had a mixture of 3 - 4 year olds at the party

Here are some of the items I used that got them screaming (if you know what I mean) and laughing!

Wanderful banana trick - Terry Herbert
Snake can / magic dust - my routine with Warren Stephen's guidance / genius
Run Rabbit Run - with the rabbit appearing on my back
Mis Made Teady bear (Duane laflin's silks) with double change bag + zipper
Mouse wand - One of Warren Stephens' latest creations

I wanted visual - easy to follow magic with lots of opportunity for the kids to point and scream as I failed with style!! Smile

The kids had a great time - and so did I

Hope this helps Matt
Rupert Bair
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Hi, Thanks guys great info, Cliff G, the wonderful banana trick is that multiplying bananas, and how do you use patter to them?
Thanks
Matt
Hill
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Contact mark leveridge for some excellent routines for all ages. remember - this age group doesn't really understand magic - but they love the business that comes with it!
Cliff G
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Yes it's the multiplying bananas. My patter / routine is simple

I have my top hat with an apple, orange, sponge banana and real banana in it.
I ask the children if they know the names of any fruit - as they scream out names I pull out the apple or orange (no matter what they say) place it on the table and then the other fruit (orange or apple)and finally the sponge banana.
I get them to count aloud how many apples and oranges there are as I place them back into the hat.
I then do the multiple production of bananas putting them all into the hat too
While I am doing this the children are counting the bananas.
To end I confirm how many bananas we have - show the hat - remove the apple , orange and then the real banana (which I sometimes open and have a bite of - depends where I am / who I am performing for)

Not the most amazing routine in the world - but it plays nicely for me / has some laughs (lots of silly faces and sounds) and is quite simple to follow. Plus didacticaly you have the children talking about fruit and numbers

The other routine I use is Terry's routine as per his DVD - clear simple funny magic

Cliff
Hill
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Cliff - I realy like your touches with the banana trick, turns quick bit of business into a routine!
Rupert Bair
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I like that, just I think something could be done with the banana not sure yet what it could do, possibly I make my wand vanish so we have to use the magic banana as a wand, if they were older I would use the vanishing bandana.
Matt
Cheshire Cat
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Peter from Canada's comments on entertaining under 3s is so true.

I regularly entertain 3s and overs at such events, although do present puppets and balloons as well, plus a few little dancing breaks (maybe all holding hands in a circle type dances). With Magic PACING is the key to this age group. Use slow deliberate movements, make sure no-one has missed anything, - that duck, or moon, or cat etc. that 'pops' out of that magic trick which you pretend you can't see, - take it right up to them and make sure they have 'got it'. There may always be one or two children who's concentration or mental capacity has not yet developed enough for them to understand what they are watching at this age, but if you can get the 'bright sparks' sat on the front row to understand and shout out, then the rest should follow.
Hill
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I have to admit I have been really tempted to add a short vent routine to my act for this age group - great way to divide up the magic and balloon activities. Terry herbert has some great thoughts on this in his widely available dvds from L&L
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