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Lukas
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Regular user
Plymouth, UK
169 Posts

Profile of Lukas
In April I am doing my first kids magic show. I would like some help from people who have performed for children. What type of tricks should I use? How to control the kids, and are there any good web sites that will show you how to make balloon models? At the moment I have got five tricks that I will perform . They are:

vanishing silk with the TT
Hippity Hop Rabbits
Colour changing ball to jumbo square
NO Tear Kidz Banner
Colouring book

If anyone has got a good kids routine with the change bag and would like to share it with me, then send me a PM. Thanks.
Make the difficult look easy, and the easy beautiful.

President and Minutes Secretery of the Plymouth Magic Circle



www.topsecretmagic.co.uk
Handydandymagic
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New user
24 Posts

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If you would like some good ideas on kid show magic and routines, go to the kidabra.org. They have a lot of great ideas and routines.
Thanks and have a Magical day.
Dandy
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

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Be sure to poke around in The little darlings for other possible ideas and advice.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13385 Posts

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Kids magic does not need to be silly magic. From my experience...

They love the cups and balls.
They love sponge balls.
They love Slydini Silks especially when you use an adult and a child together.
They love Linking Rings.
They love a good rope routine.
They love paper Balls Over the Head, etc.

I try to make kids shows family shows, and encourage as many adults to participate as possible. I might do things a little differently. I might focus on different
things. I let kids come up after the show and paw the cups and fruit
as it is a good diversion while you put everything else away.

I've been told many times by parents that they've appreciated that I not do "silly kid stuff", like they were expecting. I wonder why they were expecting silly kid stuff?

If you have a good show, kids will like it and so will the adults. You DO, however, need to be more vigilant and be more controlling of the situations. With fewer pauses to keep the little darlings' attention focused. And have the ability to re-focus them quickly if necessary.

Even if you do the same effects you would for an adult show, it IS a
different show and needs to be thought about as such.

So I don't look for "kids effects". I look for effects that I love and make it work for kids. Do what you love, and use your imagination.

I need to go back and practice the Misers' Dream now. I'll be adding that one as well.

Or should I add the hippty-hop-snot-on-a-silk trick, because it's a sure way to get laughs?

Hmm...
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
David French
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357 Posts

Profile of David French
Frank,

I feel the same way you do. Depending on the age of the kids, 8 and up, I will do a formal sit-down close-up show. I will ask the host or hostess to use the kitchen or dining room table, and we all gather around for a Don Alan type show. It plays very well as the kids love to feel "grown up", and I am not doing the "silly kid" stuff.

However, this does not work for the younger kids; they just don't sit still that long, so I WILL do a silly stand-up show for them.

What ages do you gear your shows to?

Thanks.

David
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13385 Posts

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My shows work for 8 and over? Younger than that...send in the clowns, baby!

I'm sure I'm offending all the great kids magicians, but I just do what I feel is right for me.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
gandalf
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Veteran user
UK
310 Posts

Profile of gandalf
Some free instructions for some balloon modeling can be found at:
http://www.magicgeorge.co.uk/instructions.html

I find that modeling SWORDS can sometimes cause problems, as the kids start fighting one another! I like doing the dogs, parrots on perches and flowers.

I have done some PENETRATION tricks with one of "those" pens. Pens through bank notes, etc. They love that!
Kent Wong
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Inner circle
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2458 Posts

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When planning a kids' show, the first thing to consider is the age of the kids. This will determine their attention span and affect the types of effects that you can perform. Generally, with younger kids (i.e., 5-8 years old) their attention spans are very short.

So, you need to focus on fairly straight forward, visual effect. With that age category, it is not necessary to put too much "meaning" into your patter. Instead, the patter must relate to things they understand, and it must keep them actively involved as much as possible. Lots of audience participation and volunteers is key. Here is a routine that I have used to great effect:

1. Silk to appearing cane (Audience Participation - Magic Word Intro)
2. Coloring Book (Audience Participation)
3. Silk Vanish and reproduction via Crystal Casket - Chameleon Silks - Change Bag
to Jumbo Silk (Volunteer)
4. Jumbo Silk to Oranges via Crystal Silk Cylinder
5. Needle Through Balloon (Volunteer)
6. Die Box or Hip Hop Rabbits (Audience Participation)
7. Milk Pitcher (Volunteer)
8. Dove Pan production of candies (Volunteer)

Depending on your presentation style and audience involvement, this type of show will run anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. The Dove Pan at the end will distract the kids enough to allow you time to pack up. Hope that helps.
"Believing is Seeing"
<BR>______________________
<BR>
<BR>www.kentwongmagic.com
Decomposed
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Eternal Order
High Desert
11989 Posts

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Problem is sometimes the shows will be for K thru 12-year olds. Granted, one can turn the show down, but I'm not in the position to do so. Some will feel left out or bored.
Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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Guys, this is another one of those guys who not only knows nothing about entertaining kids but has taken a paying kids job without an act. I'm ashamed to say he actually lives in Plymouth. (No, I don't know him personally.)
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.
Rupert Bair
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Inner circle
?
2112 Posts

Profile of Rupert Bair
It's Billy, Clive. He's got another alias now he's so busy. lol.

Matt
Ron Reid
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Inner circle
Phoenix, Arizona
2731 Posts

Profile of Ron Reid
Hi Lukas:

The five effects/routines you listed can all play very well for kids; I think you've selected good, visual magic. Concerning the coloring book, there are a number of routines out there, but I like the routine I read in Mark Strivings' book. Essentially, you bring a child up and have him/her hypnotise the audience (via waving his fingers, etc.) into thinking they're seeing colored pictures, then blank pages, etc. That's the bare bones of the routine, but I think you get the idea.

There are quite a few good books and videos on performing for children - but I would say this forum and the Kidabra forum and the best sources of information via the internet. Go to the very first topic in this "Little Darlings" section and you'll see that Brian Lehr has indexed all the different topics (and has provided links). This will be very helpful to you.

Try going to http://www.balloonhq.com for balloon twisting information. There is a nice video/DVD by Joe Lefler you can buy for about $10.00 (US dollars) that's excellent for someone beginning to work with balloons. There is also the Captain Visual book which is superb - again, just fine for a someone starting out.

I hope this helps you. Good luck in April.

Ron
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Quote:
On 2005-01-15 01:34, Candini wrote:
Problem is sometimes the shows will be for K thru 12 year olds. Granted, one can turn the show down but I'm not in the position to do so. Some will feel left out or bored.


Although I do put together slightly different shows for different age groups, this is where another great tool for magicians can be a lifesaver... learn to layer your shows. In other words, design routines that have elements that appeal to many levels of intellect.

While the younger kids have more fun with silly situations, the older kids have a greater appreciation for magic on a cerebral level. With proper thought put into it, you can even have a routine that hooks them all, but on different levels.

I do the same thing with parties that have young kids and parents in the back. Because I don't want the parents left to their own devices (they can get unthinkingly loud and distracting), I throw them an occasional bone to keep them involved as part of the audience.

With various ages of kids all mixed together, often I will even "notice" that fact, and make the comment that because of this, "I will make sure to include something for everyone.", as if this is the first time I have ever done this. Of course, it's the same show I have planned for this event... a family show. It keeps them watching because even if I'm at a part of the show that directs to one specific group, the rest know that something will be coming their way in a second. I stay vigilant so as not to ignore any group for long. Call it that over-worked buzz word: multi-tasking.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Chrystal
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Inner circle
Canada/France
1552 Posts

Profile of Chrystal
Hi Lukas,

You've received some really good advice, and the items you've said you have already should work out fine. You just need now to make it a show and not just a series of "tricks". You could depending on what persona you are going to pursue entertain the kids with a bit of comedy (jokes or silly props) and develop patter which kids would find entertaining with each effect you do. As many have stated previously, this really depends on the ages of the kids.

Go through it in your mind and again. Once you know what persona you are trying to achieve then you can gear your patter to that effect. You've got a couple months to work this out and feel free to ask our opinions on something you've come up with.

For myself, I only keep the balloon modeling to three different ones. I pre-blow up my balloons too and give them a choice of which animal they would like - bunny, dog or parrot on a swing. It's different at festivals where I can do a lot of different ones but find at kids parties you'll be there forever and kids can't seem to make up their mind as to which one to choose.

I pull out the balloons and make the three animals in front of the kids (now they have a visual), and then say which would you like? I then make that animal for the child. As I limit it to only three choices and the balloons are pre-blown (you can do this if you know ahead of time which animals you are doing), the kids still have a choice as to which one they liked. As a bit of customer service I always leave a few extra balloons with the host/hostess in case someone pops after I have left.

The really fancy balloon sculptures take a bit of time, so I also do that ahead of time and make a special one for the birthday child. It is kept with the pre-blown balloons which I ask the hostess to put away temporarily while I'm doing the show.

Good Luck and let us know how it's going.

Chrystal
NJJ
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Inner circle
6439 Posts

Profile of NJJ
Quote:
On 2005-01-14 16:52, Frank Starsini wrote:
My shows work for 8 and over? Younger than that... Send in the clowns, baby!!!

I'm sure I'm offending all the great kids magicians but I just do what I feel is right for me.





I'm offended. Smile

Just kidding.

I prefer 5-8 as my key demographic.
Tom Stevens
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Veteran user
Australia
361 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-01-14 08:55, Lukas wrote:

vanishing silk with the TT
Hippity Hop Rabbits
Colour changing ball to jumbo square
NO Tear Kidz Banner
colouring book





Interesting to see yet another person wanting to do the colouring book. I've seen it a number of times and never felt like adding it to my show.
Jonty the Magician
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New user
West Yorkshire UK
73 Posts

Profile of Jonty the Magician
Tom, I felt the same way about the colouring book until I saw Dan Harlan's "Pack Small Plays Big - Kids' Birthday Show" DVD. Now I do it in every show - goes down a treat!

Quote:
On 2005-01-15 02:38, Emazdad wrote:
Guy's this is another one of those guy's who not only knows nothing about entertaining kids, but has taken a paying kids job without an act. I ashamed to say he actually lives in Plymouth. (no I don't know him personally)


Everyone has to start somewhere, you know...
Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

Profile of Emazdad
Yes, Jonty, by getting an act and working it up before they go out charging for it.

Not going of half cocked and doing a rubbish job which:-

1, will knock their confidence something rotten,

2, may put the booker off ever hiring an entertainer again, which would effect all the other entertainers in the area.

You wouldn't want the punters when asked by their friends if they know any good entertainers saying, 'I hired a guy once; he was rubbish. I'd never hire another one, total waste of money,' would you?
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.
Jonty the Magician
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New user
West Yorkshire UK
73 Posts

Profile of Jonty the Magician
True, true, I just thought you could've said it a wee bit more tactfully! SmileAfter all, we are all here to encourage! Smile
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

Profile of Al Angello
Adults are amused by tricks that make them think. Kids are amused by visual tricks. Kids take everything you say literally, so keep it simple.

With adults, you try to paint a picture with your words; with kids you must ask lots of audience response questions, like "Who's ready to have a good time?" They have a very short attention span, so you must work fast, and at the end of every trick take a bow to let them know it's time to clap.

Just my experiences.

Al Angello
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
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