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Salem, VA
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Profile of gocall911
This topic is different— well, kind of. My girlfriend and I will be teaching a magic class (free of charge) at a 4-H day camp. It will be for kids age 6-10 and each class will last about an hour. I just found out how old these kids would be and it was quite a bit younger than I had heard from some one else. Smile I have started planning everything out (see outline below) but I could still use suggestions on other tricks and what else I should focus on.

Class Outline
  • Short magic show (5-10 min)
  • Rules of Magic and Why (talk)
  • Making a magic wand
  • Wand out of card case (but I don't want to use a card case, what is something real cheap they could pull the wand out of?)
  • Anti-Gravity wand
  • The jumping rubberbands
  • 2 Card Monte (Not sure if I should put this one in there yet. What do you think?)
  • Misdirection (talk)
  • Pencil behind ear/vanishing quarter
  • How to learn more (talk)

Well that is all I have right now.

A few things to keep in mind:

It can't be a huge budget for supplies. That's why I didn't have card tricks in there aside from 2 card monte (2 decks or so would do for the whole day). There will be no more then 50 kids. I will have to do the class 4 times so there would be no more then 12 per class. My girlfriend will also be there to help me so I won't be going at it alone.

What do you think? Do I have the right tricks for this age kids? Any thing I should add? Take out? Any other strong points I need to get acrose to the kids? Smile

Thanks for the help everyone!
"Use your head." ~Dai Vernon~
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
You might want some more material. Having done something similar for some time myself, you will be amazed at how slowly the time seems to go and how much material is gobbled up by it!

There are about a zillion tricks in the juvenile section of most public libraries; you could scour the books there for ideas and you will come up with plenty, especially things that the kids can make themselves.

In fact, a whole lesson could be on using the magic section of the library!
Ron Reid
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Phoenix, Arizona
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Hi gocall911:

You have some good ideas. Starting off with a short show is excellent— do some visual things to get their attention. I'd say to keep it at about 5 minutes.

Rules of Magic— good, but keep it very short. Maybe a minute or two, or you'll start to lose the audience's attention.

Making magic wands is good, but I'd save that for the 2nd or 3rd teaching spot. And then the wand tricks after that.

For the first teaching spot, I recommend you do something very visual that all the kids can do (even the 6 year olds). Peter's advice about library books is right on; you'll be able to find a number of tricks at the juvenile part of the library.

Jumping rubberband is a tough one. It's harder than you think to get the band around those little fingers. I'd skip it.

2 card monte— I've had pretty good success with it, but the little ones might get confused.

Pencil behind the ear— I've not tried it, but my guess will be that it's too hard.

Skip the discussion on misdirection altogether.

Here's the approach I take when I teach workshops (I learned this from Brian Flora): Your main goal is to teach kids how to do some cool things that are virtually self-working that they can show their friends. Most kids won't practice, so don't try to teach them anything too hard at all. That's it— it's worked wonderfully for me.

I hope this helps you.

Ron Reid
Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
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If you are stuck on the wand thing I'd maybe make some wand shells as well and do a traveling wand effect from one envelope to another. Also the ring that slides up the wand is visual and an attention grabber. Either way you have shown the wand is a very magical thing without investing in card cases or coin purses.

I agree about keeping it simple without a lot of lecturing. These kids just want to do some cool things and not become technical wizards.

Cups and balls, the basic routine that comes in every magic set is also good. Use styrofoam coffee cups (cheap) and go to a fabric store and get a few feet of those little pon pom ball brick-a-brack. That and a scissors give you lots of ball sets for the effect and cheaply.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
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Salem, VA
246 Posts

Profile of gocall911
Thanks a lot Peter and Ron, I'll be sure to sleep on everything you guys said. I still have a lot of fine tuning to do so I will be sure to remeber what you guys said!
"Use your head." ~Dai Vernon~
Reg Rozee
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Vancouver, Canada
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One thing you might want to slip in to your talk parts are some of those "top ten" lists from Magic for Dummies (this would also be a good way to tell them about this excellent beginner's book in case they want to pursue magic after your course). I am thinking specifically of "Ten Basics of Good Magic", "Ten Things to Say When Things Go Wrong", and "Ten Ways to Get More into Magic". Also the list of good answers for "How'd you do that?"

I remember some gag magic effects I learned when I was that age that I loved, such as the Mummy's Finger in the Matchbox, or the gag levitation with the waist bend, sheet, and fake boots. Things like this may be old hat to us but when you are seven, it may be the first time you have ever seen such things!

-Reg {*}
Reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. -Phillip K. Dick

Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? -Chico Marx
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Salem, VA
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Profile of gocall911
One thing you might want to slip in to your talk parts are some of those "top ten" lists from Magic for Dummies

That's funny because something I did last night was add that stuff in!
"Use your head." ~Dai Vernon~
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