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ChrisZampese
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I occasionally play games with the kids that involve prizes. Usually this is just a balloon animal. However I sometimes play pass the parcel with the kids which obviously ends with a more substantial prize.

The question I have is...who should get the prize? Do you make sure that the prize goes to the birthday kid? Or do you take a completely unbiased stance when it comes to these sort of games?

At the moment I always make sure that the birthday kid wins, but I thought it might be nice to hear some more opinions on the subject.

Thanks,
Chris.
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are
Chrystal
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Hi Chris,
Just my two cents worth but I'm of the school of thought that it's either all of the kids should get something or nothing. As I'm sure there are bound to be some hurt feelings.
Giving the b-day child a gift is a bit different as you can explain everyone brought something for the birthday child. You are giving something to that child as well.
Kids seem to understand this better than if only one child wins something.
Or perhaps give consolation prizes like inexpensive rub on tattoos or a coloring pictures to the others. Smile
SethL52
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Well, I give out grab bags to every single kid, but those who help me out do get a bit more than the others, and the birthday kid always gets the most.
Emazdad
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I play pass the parcel with a bag, the bag contains 10 badges (buttons for those across the pond). The badges have no pins on them; they just look good. Three badges say, "you win a prize." Seven have forfeits on them, like, "You have to sing 'BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP' while holding your tongue!"

This way, 10 kids get a prize instead of one kid getting a bigger one, and there is no mess or resetting. Well, almost; I have to put the badges back in after the game.

I believe that if you are going to have a special winner it is not a good idea to make it the birthday child, because the others will get the idea it's not worth bothering as "Tom's going to win anyway." At my parties, the birthday child gets a balloon model when he helps with the first trick, he magics a little present at the end and gets a bigger model and all the bribery and corruption stuff or bigger prizes go to kids I think deserve it.

After all, I'm in complete control of who wins what when anyway, so I can make sure the brat doesn't get anything good!
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.
Andy Wonder
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I often do pass the parcel but never with a traditional wrapped up gift. I don't want to have to prepare the wrapping & I don't want to leave any mess. I play pass the chicken & we pass around my rubber chicken. I can stop the game at any time when I can see they are losing interest without having to get to the end of all the wrappings. I then make a balloon animal as a prize.

If the children are more mature I will play pass the bunny. My rabbit will quite happily sit in my hat while the children pass the hat around. If the music stops when they have the hat they get to take out the rabbit to give it a hug. Being one of the first to hug the rabbit with everyone else looking and going 'aweee...", is a great prize! I like to have the children actually wanting to win an experience rather than wanting a material thing.

I give all the children a prize, although they don't always know that at the start. Just the first winners get their prize first and any impolite or rude children get theirs last.

Prizes can add a little fun or a reason to silly games; they can be a bribe to reward the behaviour you want; they can be a good vehicle to get your promo stuff taken home by all the children; they can add perceived value to your show in the eyes of the parents because they feel they are getting more for their money. Prizes, unfortunately, can also encourage greedy behaviour, which is why you do need to be careful. I have seen children in tears because they only got three prizes when they ?really wanted four.? I have been surrounded by a mob of 30 impatient children and parents, all demanding their balloon animal immediately.

Smile
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
ChrisZampese
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Emazdad and Andy,

Great idea regarding playing pass the parcel without the traditional "parcel" I will be adding this idea to my show in the future (if you don't mind!).

I like to hand out balloon animals as prizes too as all the kids get one eventually (thus avoiding some degree of conflict).

Thanks for the great advice,

Chris.
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are
Emazdad
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It's not a good idea to hand out balloons during the show. Save them until it's time to go home, or the kids might play with them (loud squeaky noise), burst them and then start crying for a replacement in the middle of the show, 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.
keeblem
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I've thought about having a no mess version of the pass-the-parcel (like the bags or use something similar to Mark Leveridge's pass the balloon) but I've alway felt that children like ripping the paper off so I've stuck with the traditional method.
I've also been thinking about the 'prize' thing recently. When I do games at a party I've been sticking with the random approach - but I'm inclined to agree with Chrystal that if you start giving out prizes then perhaps everyone should get something. But what if you have a party of 40 kids?!
As regards to the magic show and giving prizes for helpers - I've changed from giving a prize to everyone who helps to just the birthday child. My main reason for doing this is that I felt it was slowing the show down too much. But I'm still in two minds and may go back to my original format!
Mark
Andy Wonder
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Emazdad
I give out prizes during the games.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Emazdad
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My 2- Hour party starts with 35 minutes of games, I give out between 20-30 prizes a party, They're rocket balloons, and boucy balls which come packed inside a plastic egg. They work out about 7p a prize. I find it's much better to give out 30 small prizes rather than 1-2 bigger prizes.

It also encourages more kids to join in. After all, we all had a kid who always won everything when we were young, and by giving out lots of prizes it eliminates the "It's not worth playing as Jimmy always wins" syndrome.

I'm in full control of who wins at all times, that good children may win more than one, and the really obnoxious brat may not win anything until the very end, and I have a few what I call NUMPTY PRIZES for them, it's a prize so the bookers happy that he wasn't left out, but it's not exactly a good prize, i.e., instead of a bouncy ball or rocket balloon, which he could play with, he will win a small eraser.
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.
Mago Mai
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I don't like the idea of giving away prizes unless their are prizes for all of them. I work a lot with 2 to 5 years old.They don't understand most of the games. They also think that I can help them to win.

I do give them ballons at the end of my show. I also remind them that all they need to do to get a balloons is to say Please and Thanks.

Mago Mai
I invite all of you to share some of my magic on videos.Please, CLICK HERE
Emazdad
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<<<<<<<<<<I do give them ballons at the end of my show.I also remind them that all they need to do to get a ballons is to say Please and Thanks>>>>>>>>

To right, I hate bad manners and always insist on the children using please and thank you. I had one brat once who was a bout 9-10 I was working at a School Fete and after the magic show I was Balloon modeling.
All the kids were coming up asking nicly and this brat came up and the conversation went like this,
"I want a sword" in a horrible demanding tone.
"You want a sword what?"
I want a red sword"
"You want a red sword what?
"I want a big red sword"
I start making and passing balloons to the kids behind him, Adults with their kids are staring at him as if he's an alien
"You want a big red sword what?"
"I want a big red sword!"
"Try saying, Please may I have a big red sword"
"I want a big red sword"
I leave him standing there and carry on passing balloons to other kids after a while he said "Please may I have a big red sword?"
"Of course" I make the sword go tpo give it to him "and now what do you say?"
"Thank you"
"There you see a little bit of curtisy goes a long way doesn't it" Thinking I'd succeeded in teaching him the benefit of good manners
He walks out of range and turns and says "Yeah right up your bum"
He was to far away to grab the balloon back so I just said "And I bet your Mum's really proud off you."
My resraint and attempty to teach him manners gt me a lot of praise from the other parents present who couldn't believe I didn't lose my rag and belt the brat, they couldn't believe how rude and ignorant he was.
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.
Andy Wonder
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He deserved a pink poodle!

I am careful giving those sort balloon swords. They are likley to try and start World War 3 once they get a weapon in their hands.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Mago Mai
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I quit making swords because kids start to fight among them.

Believe it or not I started giving them hearts and tell them to go to to their mothers hug them and give her a kiss.

If they don't want the hearts I offer them a doggy.

I do only those 2 figures at private parties.If I make different figures all the kids will want to have more than 1 figure.

Even if yiu tell them that there is only one for kids, some might come criying with their parents asking you for a balloons.
Mago Mai
I invite all of you to share some of my magic on videos.Please, CLICK HERE
Andy Wonder
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I like you idea of giving out that heart balloon! I will try that. I usually make all different types of animals. They are all prizes & everyone wins a prize by the end. If I have a small party with 10-15 kids sometimes I can give a balloon to everyone without doing the same animal twice. It makes the twisting look more interesting for those parents that are watching me. The only child that gets more than 1 balloon is the birthday child. For all the other kids that want extra balloons just like the birthday child, well they will have to wait for their own birthday & remember to invite me so they can also get lots of balloons.

Some kids are funny they say ‘But I’ve already had my birthday?’. I then suggest that they can have another one next year if they want. In fact I have a birthday every single year! Wow!
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Emazdad
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All my balloons are made in advance for a 1-Hour show, (except the ones for the helpers they're made as part of the show, for a 2-Hour party some are made before the show, I'm making them as the kids arrive, and then I make some more during the food break. Boys only ever want swords, so I give them one, if they want to start world war three, I don't vare, they don't get them untill the parties finished so they are straight out thedoor anyway. For the girls and any boys who don't want swords I make, dogs, umbrellas, rabbits, hats, swans, jelly babes, flowers, tigers etc. They don't get a choice, I keep them in a bag,(I found a brilliant white netting laundry basket that folds up to the size of a small dinner plate and fits in my box, when I want to use it it just springs into shape.) I just give them to whoever I think deserves it, the best ones to the cutest best behaved and work down, they all get one, but the real pain in the butt waits till last. The number of children at the party dictates what I make, if there are 25-30 kids there will be a lot more quicky ones, 10-15 kids gives me the scope to be more creative. The quality and variety of my balloons is always commented on.
Everything I do is a result of listening to the comments I hear from joe public, I've never read a book on how to be a kids magician, I never had anyone to ask and my balloons are a big selling point and get me lots of re-bookings, I've had people say to me that they had a magician who just did dogs.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<For all the other kids that want extra balloons just like the birthday child, well they will have to wait for their own birthday & remember to invite me so they can also get lots of balloons.>>>>>>>>>

Hi Andy, Anything like that is sure to get them going home demanding mummy book you.
As the birthday kid helps with the first and last effect, when the kids comment that he/shes had a go, I get to say "well if you get me to your birthday party you can have 2 goes as well.
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.
BryanDreyfus
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I print up "Official Assistant's" certificates for helpers in the show and a magic booklet I wrote myself a a special gift for the birthday child...everyone is happy.


Bryan
Oh sure, I can spell "Antidisestablishmentarianism", but I can't type t-h-e.
Starrpower
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I now this is a year late, but I just came across this one:

"Believe it or not I started giving them hearts and tell them to go to to their mothers hug them and give her a kiss. "

I LOVE it! What a great way to create positive feelings (and I'll bet get a few big tips along the away, as well!) A balloon for the kid, a balloon for the mom!
The Bonnie Kids
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Quote:
On 2004-10-25 13:06, Starrpower wrote:
I now this is a year late, but I just came across this one:

"Believe it or not I started giving them hearts and tell them to go to to their mothers hug them and give her a kiss. "

I LOVE it! What a great way to create positive feelings (and I'll bet get a few big tips along the away, as well!) A balloon for the kid, a balloon for the mom!



How do you do this balloon heart?
Can you post a picture of it?
It would be interesting.

By the way: I only do ONE modelling (the dog usually) at parties.
Color cannot be choosen, unless the kid really doesn't like it.
I also give the Magician Assistant Certificates.
Sometimes gifts, but not anymore. Usually parents give me some small gifts.

FINAL QUESTION:
Where do you by balloons right now? Who is the cheapest?
They don't sell 144 ballons anymore, it seems they only sell packages of 100. Am I right?
Bye
/Andrea
Emazdad
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I use 11" hearts in a lot of models, however I don't think I would be very popular giving them to boys.
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.
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