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Andy Wonder
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Does anyone use this line for 5 years olds? I have always used this for children of all ages but I think I am going to drop it for children aged 5 and below. They rarely understand it. Also every other 5 year old in the audience proudly announces that they are also 5. If I acknowledge them then I start hearing all other kids announce their age as well.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
kenscott
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Andy,

I do use that line. Often the lines are for the parents.

One that I use often is as I am introducing a routine, say the egg bag. I say, "When I was 8, four years ago." They laugh then I say, "Ok, it was 5 years ago." I don't know, but the parents love the line.

Does anyone do the shaking the arm bit? You know, when they shake their hand and put their arm by their side and then you make it come up to shake your hand again and you do this several times with the last time they hit you in the chest.

I must say, it is very interesting to see what works here in the states and what works in other parts of the world. For the most part, it seems that most of the gags, bits, routines, work everywhere.

ken
Andy Wonder
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Ken,

Yeah, I like to use that line for the parents. For them it is even funnier when the children don't understand it. I just don't feel it is successful when it ends in every child announcing their age. It only seems to be 5-year-olds that do it. Perhaps if I speed up and speak faster they won't have time to think about announcing their age before we are on to the next thing.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
p.b.jones
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Hi Andy,

Yes, I use that line and alternatively I use the following: Ask age. 5. Ask name. Billy. Then say, "Oh that's a great name. How long have you been called Billy?"

Phillip
Andy Wonder
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Hi Phillip,

Yes, I think that is a better one for 5 year olds. I will try it next time.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Emazdad
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I use it occassionally, along with lots of others. what I find is good is when they have name badges on. You can then say to your help, "Hello Billy. What's your name?"

Another good one is, "How old do you want to be when you grow up?"
Or "5. Wow! How long did it take you to get to 5?"
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
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"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.
Cheshire Cat
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Good set, standard lines, why dump them? Another one the kids always latch onto, but not always the one you ask: "And what's your name Charlotte?" I also tell them about things, "When I was a little girl." This one works well, or at the start of the party, "Hello boys and girls. Welcome to Charlotte's wedding." This one starts things off nicely with a mini riot of laughter and shouting at me! I could go on forever - but you'll have to pay me for any more!!!!! Smile
Tim Zager
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Quote:
On 2003-03-04 21:38, kenscott wrote:
Does anyone do the shaking the arm bit?

I use it and it seems to work better with girls, rather than boys. Seems funnier to the adults in the room. Haven't figured that one out.

Andy, interesting you get other kids yelling their ages. I have not had that happen when using the line.

Tim
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Andy Wonder
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It must be the way I say it, but it only seems to happen with 5 year olds. Right after I say, "Oh really, I was 5 when I was your age!" Every other 5 year old bursts out, "I"M FIVE!! I'M FIVE!!" It is as predictable as clockwork. The next thing that happens is the older boys start boasting that they are older, under the assumption that it somehow makes them better. If I don't nip it in the bud, it carries on to them asking my age. Of course they make all sorts of wild predictions, usually starting at 100 and gradually going up in infinity billion million trillion zillion. Exactly the same thing has happened so often it feels like Groundhog Day. I can set my clock by what they will say and I am surprised children of the same age don’t go down the exact same track when you guys use that line.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
flourish dude
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I use the shake hands bit.
I found that a lot of 5 year olds will hold up their hands showing you how old they are. I, of course, "give them 5" then ask again, "So old are you?" This is done 3 or so times, then you figure out that they are 5 years old, not giving you 5. It might help if, as you ask, "How old are you?" you hold up 3 fingers as if your asking them to show you with their hand how old they are.
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Jerry Hornak
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I had the same problem at first, but it fixed itself when I added this bit of business at the start:

I ask their age and, if they don't do it on their own, I say, "How many fingers is that?"

I count one, two, three, four, six. They yell and I say let me do that again. I repeat with one, two, three, four, seven. They yell again.

Then (third time's the charm) I count: "One, two, three, four, twelve...TWELVE?!" I give a big smile to show I'm fooling around and say, seriously, "You're five. I was five when I was your age."

I then look straight at the adults, roll my eyes, and make a hand gesture to signify, "Whatever that means!" The kids laugh at this as well, without responding with their own ages. It doesn't seem to occur to them at this point.

Four laughs from the kids, one good laugh from the grown-ups, and we can now move right into the routine without interruption.
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Emazdad
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If they all start shouting their ages just say, "Right hands up who's 5! Hands up who's 6! Hands up who's 4! Hands up who's 100!" That way they all get to show you their age, they get a laugh, and when a kid puts her hand up to say she's 100 you can be shocked as she's older than you. Then you can carry on with the show.

I use the same basic method for all the interruptions where they want to share info with you. "I've got a rabbit. My sister's called Susan," etc. It's quicker and funnnier than trying to stop them all shouting individually.

When they tell you their ages or hold up their fingers, etc., there are a lot of gags you can throw in but with shy children who mumble or I can't understand what they're saying when I ask their age, I just say, "Wow, that's nearly as old as grandad," and carry on. I feel it does their confidence a world of good to just pretend I understood them rather than keep asking. Then same with their names.
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.
Donald Dunphy
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I'm going to post on this old thread (it's been more than a year since someone posted on it, so it's pretty stale).

I'm going to agree that the "hands up" idea will make a difference in most cases (when I do it for younger ages, I specify "quietly put your hands up").

Andy, no one has really answered your question as to WHY kids that age do this. This is what I think you were really asking.

Remember I have had some training in Early Childhood Education, as well as I worked with school aged children for 10+ years in afterschool programs (done shows for 25 years). So this is where my understanding comes from.

With children in the 3-6 years range, they are just starting to discover their own independence. If you were to sit down and read a story to them, often they want to share "their own story". If you talk about age, they want to share "their own age." If you share your name, they want to tell you "their name", and a long biographical background! Smile

They are trying to tell others around them that they are unique and special and independent. They are trying to tell you that they have their own mind. Now, I know some are wondering, how can they be independent? I am not saying they are totally independent. The children have a sense of independency, and can and will do some things without the parents there. (This is just after their Terrible Two's, where their favorite word is "No!") Children 3-6 years are starting to be aware of their independence, and that is why things like boasting about age, etc. will especially come out at that age.

I also encounter this problem with 3-6 year olds, when I ask for magic words. All of their hands shoot up, and I may get one or two real answers, and then one child will all of the sudden tell me a story about their brother's pet hampster, and how he disappeared by magic. It has nothing to do with magic words, they just want a turn to share, and feel empowered.

So, don't take it personally. And you have recognized the key, that this is a behaviour specific to this age group.

When I took my ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care) Training, they told us to allow the child to share, and not to cut them off, in most cases. However, they also taught us to explain to the child that maybe they can tell you their story after this story is over, because they need to learn the appropriate times to share. This is a great way to do it during the show. Simply say something along the lines of, "Why don't you tell me all about that after the show is over?" It works well, and helps to teach them about taking turns, and being a polite audience.

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
magic4u02
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Great information Donald.

I do several things regarding this in the show. I first always tell the kids to raise their hands before I actually even give the question out to them. For example I might say, "ok, please raise your hand up high if you think I was holding onto the bottle when I turned the bag upside down." I then count the hands as this shows that I do care that they raised their hands. It also gets them into the habit of raising their hands before speaking.

If a child does want to start talking or share a story, I also handle it similar to the way Donald mentioned. I will tell them that I would love to hear their story but that it might be better after the show.

Kyle
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Brian Lehr
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Quote:
On 2003-03-05 09:47, aceparties wrote:

I also tell them about things, "When I was a little girl." This one works well...


Gotta be careful when using this line. These days, the parents may think it's true! Smile

Brian
Cheshire Cat
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magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2004-06-29 11:24, Brian Lehr wrote:
Quote:
On 2003-03-05 09:47, aceparties wrote:

I also tell them about things, "When I was a little girl." This one works well...


Gotta be careful when using this line. These days, the parents may think it's true! Smile

Brian



I used to do that too, also
"What's your name"
"Emily"
"What a coincidence, Emily was my name when I was a girl"

Then one little girl asked very seriously whether I had had a sex change, so I dropped that bit since it isn't the little bit of nonsense it once was. Too much reality TV, methinks.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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After asking a child who holds up fingers, I tell them

1. I am 5 and hold up 4 fingers.

2. I am this many and do it by 5's.(hold up my out stretched hand -fingers stretched wide to show 5 fingers - 10 times.) Then I quip boy is my hand tired.

3. For a kid that is 4, I use to hands to do the roman numeral IV (four)

Then I do the old gag(for the parents) Ceaser before he tees off(golf) he shouts IV, IV.

4. Sometimes I say I am only 5 years old and hold up 6 fingers. Later in the show I say, I am ONLY 4 years old, and hold up 3 fingers.

Just bits of business that can add icing to a cake....

Harris
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Rupert Bair
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The arm shake bit is brillant it gets great laughs all the time, the adults love it! I use dressing doll so I ask a girl what is your name? emily that was name to when I was alittle girl! how old are you? 5 I was that old when I was your age do you have a dolly? yes, me to when I was called emily and was 5 I got a dolly for christmas, etc.
Matt
Andini
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I do the arm shake gag as well. A lot of times, I use it OUTSIDE of the show! Kids think that it's absolutely hilarious when you keep putting their hand back up to shake. It gets people laughing all the time!
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