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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Running a Magic Workshop - Help Needed (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magicmondo
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Dallas, TX (English by birth)
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I have been retained by a local community center to run a series of 6 magic workshops, two sessions every Wednesday, 3-6 year olds followed by a workshop for 7 to 9 year olds.

Looking for some ideas that are age appropriate. Clearly I am not intending to teach the inner secrets of our art, just trying to drum up enthusiasm and teach them some of the simple ideas.

I was intending to get them to make some magic from everyday objects and to teach simple vanishes and appearances and stuff like that. For the older group I was thinking that a workshop about misdirection would be a good theme.

The end result of the 6 week workshop series is a magic show for parents and guardians to attend with each kiddy performing an effect. Clearly the workshops will be geared towards this grand finale, but I need some more filler ideas.

Any thoughts from my esteemed colleagues?
Smile
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"If there was no such thing as magic, I would look pretty foolish standing up here"
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Have you seen Martin Gardner's Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic?

How about Brodine's simple magic tricks. Can each student purchase a magic kit? $5-20 per kit. There are some nice starter kits out there.

Don't forget to break out your Tarbell set!
Dennis Michael
SloMo150
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Speedway, Indiana
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I had a cd called The Secret Of Magic By Dikki Ellis. If you can find it, it had tons of tricks geared for your older group. I use some of the effects in my show. The best thing about that cd was that all props were made from items around the house. Very low maintenence.
http://www.cdaccess.com/html/pc/611magic
this link has it for $12.95 excellent deal.
Smile SloMo
Hey wanna see me pull a rabbit from my hat, (lion appears). I gotta get a new Hat.
amagician
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Hobart Tasmania Australia
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Three year olds sound a bit young to learn magic, to me.
I suggest the Mark Wilson Course for enough ideas to fill your roster, and have a look at some of Bill Severn's books to see how you might adapt basic magic principles for routines with ordinary objects.
You might want to make up a magic kit to sell if your employer approves.
You could show them the 2 paper bags, one inside the other during the first session and the children could put their own bags together, then use the bag to hold the bits and pieces they accumulate through the sessions.
Not a great idea but maybe a way of looking at things which might prompt some better ideas from you and other members of the Cafe.
Good Luck.
Have a Magic day
John Williams
http://www.ezymagic.com/
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Peter Marucci
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The youngsters' section of your local library should have a number of magic books that show simple tricks that would fit the second age group.

I agree with John, above, however: The three-year-old bracket is too young to be taught magic.

You might better enthrall them with magic stories, illustrated by magic tricks. (Just a thought.)

cheers,
Peter Marucci
magicmondo
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Dallas, TX (English by birth)
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Thanks guy's, your advice is appreciated. I agree that 3 is too young to appreciate magic. For the very young ones in the group, I was going to concentrate on magic stories as Peter suggested. I will also let them have some fun with Rocky Raccoon I think.
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"If there was no such thing as magic, I would look pretty foolish standing up here"
Sir T
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Here is my two pennies worth

I agree with the 3-5 year old comments. I like Sammy Smith's stuff for the younger crowd, but I know others may disagree. His book on magic for preschoolers is good, IMHO.

for the older childern, I would break it up into, say a few tricks each in the following areas,

everyday objects, was addressed a post or so back.

Coins: Self-Working Coin Magic: 92 Foolproof Tricks

cards: Self-Working Close-Up Card Magic

Mentalism, yes, there are a few tricks you can do. I remember doing a contact mind reading trick, in school, pick a number type deal. Maybe say, math A-Magic: Number Tricks for Magicians or self working mental magic for a few more items.

I remember growing up and loving a book called; Boy scout magic or cub scout magic, it was a pretty nice book.

Around the House Magic By Blackstone, I seem to remember was a nice book

There is also a hand out I have seen, titled, 101 magic tricks you can do, it is a few pages long, worth getting something along those lines, for sale or hand out.

Hope that helps,

Kevin Smile
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Work with common items, Paper (Paper Tree), Coins, Penny to dime is a good one. Runbber Bands, String, Table items Fork, Knife, etc.
Dennis Michael
Peter Marucci
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Sir T,
I don't think we're talking about the performing of magic for this age group, so much as the teaching of it.

I agree with you on Sammy Smith's stuff for pre-schoolers, but he's talking about performing.

In teaching magic -- even the simple stuff -- it's important to keep in mind that the student must understand what you are doing.

That age group may be amazed at what happens, but only because they have never seen it before; they don't realize that it should be impossible!

After all, most of what they see every day is pretty amazing and, to them, just some more adult stuff that they can't do yet (i.e., driving a car, television, computers, etc.).

So the understanding (by the audience) of what can and can't be done is necessary for the teaching of magic, although not necessarily for the enjoyment of a performance of magic.

cheers,
Peter Marucci
Sir T
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Hello Peter,

I guess, I was not clear in my posting. I understood what he was looking for, I just failed to express myself properly.

I agree with everyone who thinks, that teaching magic to preschoolers is not a good idea. Instead, do a little magic show. I recommend Sammy Smiths book on this subject, if you need some ideas for this age group.

For the older childern, I would break it up into, say "teaching," a few tricks each in the following areas:

everyday objects, was addressed a post or so back.

Coins: Self-Working Coin Magic: 92 Foolproof Tricks

cards: Self-Working Close-Up Card Magic

Mentalism, yes, there are a few tricks you can do. I remember doing a contact mind reading trick, in school, pick a number type deal. Maybe say, math A-Magic: Number Tricks for Magicians or self working mental magic for a few more items.

I listed a few books, that I think are a good source for simple, nice tricks to learn and teach.

Anyway, I hope that this is a bit clearer.

:kitty:
DarryltheWizard
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I've taught many magic workshops and courses for teenagers and younger children. You might like to use what I call a telescoping wand- really one of those extendable devices with a magnet on the end to pick up screws, etc. in tight places. I simply painted the ends in white (or black) like a wand. I use it to show the principles of magic. I give each child a wooden homemade wand while I am demonstrating.
I do the rubber wand effect to illustrate the optical illusion.
I do the water from wand to show misdirection.Wet cotton behind ear)
I put my hands in prayer position and lower them to waist level , the wand lying horizantally in the crotch of my thumbs, and with a twist of my hands the wand moves to the bottom , my thumbs closest to the floor.
To show gimmick , I do the magnetic wand that adheres to your hand, the gimmick being the forefinger of your other hand.
A small white mark is placed in the middle of my extendable wand. No matter where my hands support the wand, they always move to the point of equilibrium, even with spectators holding my wrists. After you demonstrate the basic principles, the kids imitate you with their wands. This has been a superb method of introducing the basic principles of magic.
Darryl the Wizard Smile
DarryltheWizard
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with a snuffed out flame." Albert Einstein
RonCalhoun
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Independence, KY USA
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Does anyone know where you can find visualized instructions for a magic class?

I'm looking for something I would be allowed to reprint.

Ron Calhoun
Belleque
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Hi Ron,

David Ginn had a set of notes or a short booklet that had effects to be used in a magic class(ginnmagic.com, I believe). When I first started teaching magic classes that is what I used a lot. I also like the effects that David Copperfield used in his project magic program. We used them in several classes we taught at a children's hospital in Portland, Oregon. I think they might still be available through his website.

Mondo,

I have used many of the same ideas shared here, but one of the best resources I ever had for teaching a magic class was a cassette tape by the late Brian Flora called "Teaching a Magic Class for children". It is a great resource, but I don't know if it is still available. It covered everything from what effects to use, and how to book classes to how to deal with disruptive students and send home an inexpensive magic kit for each child. If you can find it, it would be a great resource!

The most important thing I learned from the tape was that we need to teach a magic principle with each effect as well as the effect itself. I have used this principle throughout the last 20 years of teaching classes, and I have seen a lot of students not only remain interested in magic outside the class but also learn to enjoy the process of creating their own effects and patter. This is even happening in the class I teach for kid's with special needs (which is my favorite hour of my week)!

I hope this helps!

Brett
Misty Lee
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Hi, Ron!

There's a local fella here that does a nice job teaching both kids and adults, and he may just be able to help you. His name is Andy Makar, and he can be contacted via his site:

http://www.magicfunman.com

Best of luck to you - please let us know how it turns out!

Misty
http://www.mistylee.com

Whoever said the hand is quicker than the eye never tried rolling the two down a ramp.
Creative Coach
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Anderson, SC
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In the past I have done magic workshops in daycares. Teaching 3 yr olds magic is like trying to herd cats! See if you can't lay down better perimeters like 6-12 yr olds. This group grasps magic concepts somewhat. Kids below 6 don't have much dexterity and they don't grasp magical concepts well. Turning on a lightswitch is magical to a 3 yr old!
Starrpower
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I have done a lot of this. I have single-sheet instructions. In addition to one-shot events, I also was on the staff of 2 different theatre groups and one college extension, and I always followed the same format.

I have illustrated instruction sheets for each trick. They are very clearly drawn ad explained, which allows me to pick-and-choose depending on the age of the group. I ALWAYS perform magic; they want to see some! I will try to not only perform the trick they are learning, but also some more advanced stuff that LOOKS like what they are learning. For example, I'll do the linking rings, but teach them the linking paper clips.

Some tricks I teach are the Magnetic Wand (while holding your wrist with the other hand), jumping rubber band, the aforementioned linking clips, 2-card monte, instant knot in rope, and vanishing knot (slip not.) This alone will last longr than you probably need. In addition, if fees allow, I can provide the vanishing coin drawer, a magic wand, finger chopper, or other small trick.

BTW, I recently discovered $1 magic kits at Target. Target now has a dollar section (competing with the dollar stores, I guess) and they have really nice little kits packaged in tubes about 2" diameter X 5" tall. Each kit has 4 tricks. I bought out the entire stock of the store where I was!
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