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Northern Indiana
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Profile of klf1964
Hi everyone,

I was sitting here this morning thinking about the upcoming start of a new year in AWANA and had some thoughts that seemed to me like good conversation starters for this forum.

Maybe I should say just a little about myself to give you and idea where I'm coming from. I'm 44 and began to rediscover my interest in magic two years ago as a teaching aid for our church's SPARKS club which my wife and I direct.

I am a long way from being a professional, but, as my wife will tell you, I seem to lack the ability to "just dabble" in things. As a result I have really thrown myself into the magic. I have a strong commitment to seeing just how far I can take my magic.

I say that as a form of introduction. I would never want to give anyone the impression that I believe myself to be an expert on the subject. I'm at the learning, growing and looking for mentors and inspiration stage.

Here are the topics I would like to throw out for brainstorming and discussion:

1) How would YOU illustrate the SPARKS code? I'm looking at doing one point at a time and having about 10 minutes each week. There is also the chance that I would use the same points as the "primary teaching" part of a half hour show at a parents night in the Spring (Just what are we teaching your kids?), so multiple ways to illustrate each point, both longer and quicker might be helpful.

If you are unfamiliar with the SPARKS code it's as follows:

S if for Savior - 1 John 4:14

P is for Power - Rom 1:16

A is for According to the Scriptures - 1 Cor 15:3

R is for Rose Again - 1 Cor 15:4

K is for Keep - James 2:10

S is for Saved - Acts 16:31

I had thought to use Duane Laflin's silk routine with the skull and crossbones and Jesus silk for either Savior or Saved and Professors Nightmare for Keep. I am still thinking about the other points and I am not even set on my suggestions. If I find something better, I will use it. What do you think?


2) I have just recently purchased Jim Gerrish's plans for "Forgetful Whomever" with the goal of building a "Forgetful Sparky" (for those of you unfamiliar with the AWANA program, Sparky is the cartoon firefly mascot of the SPARKS club).

My lesson idea deals with the idea of obeying and how failure to do as you're told by your parents is just as much a sin doing something they told you not to do.

My experience is that, for many kids, the dreaded words "I forgot" means that disobedience isn't sin. The point I want them to walk away with is that, "If your parents ask you to do something you need to do it promptly so you don't "forget" and if it was important enough for them to ask you to do it, it's important enough to remember to do it."

I would start by explaining that Sparky is a pretty good firefly, but he still had a problem with telling parents "I forgot" when they asked him to do chores, in fact he got so bad that he even forgot to put his head away...

This is a pretty familiar trick, so I won't explain it. I plan on getting the kids involved with having them say "I forgot" as a group as often as possible.

My problem is that I kind of loose the thread of where the patter should go at that point and how to wrap up the lesson at the end. At this point it's only about half a lesson.

Do you have any suggestion for "Forgetful Sparky", either fine tuning my idea or an idea of a different lesson?


3) How often is too often? What I am learning over the last couple of years is that the kids would like a magical object lesson every week and I know the tricks really help the younger kids (The Sparks club covers K-2) stay focused on the lesson, but I am worried about it becoming old hat for them and loosing it's specialness (Is that even a word). I am also worried about burning too much material. MY feeling is that I should have three years worth of tricks to get the kids through the program and that's a lot no matter how you slice it. Am I wrong in thinking I shouldn't repeat the tricks from one year to the next?

Right now I am thinking one magic lesson a month to keep it special. What do you think?

Well, there is some food for though. Hopefully it will inspire some fun discussion, help me in my ministry and help others who might have similar questions.

My apologies, if I got too long winded.

Thanks for the help, the fascinating discussions and the good fellowship.

Wes Holly
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Special user
Baltimore, MD
639 Posts

Profile of Wes Holly
Greetings, Kent. Your post has lots of questions and discussion points.

3)Once a month for a magic lesson is good. You are correct that you can over-do it and lose the impact/specialness. However, if you can bring other talents, such as puppets, science experiments, then you can make "special time" a weekly event.

2)How does forgetting your head = dis-obedience? Answer that and you should be well on your way to completing your routine.

1) idea - instead of illustrating the meaning of the acronym, devise unique ways of having the letters magically appear. An alphabet deck might be useful. There are many ways to make cards appear, although you may not want to use the sets that match the letters with animals. Use different skills such as balloon sculpting, puppets, chalk draw, etc.

Oh well, my car is ready to be picked up. I'll talk at ya later. Good Luck!

-Wes Holly-
Happily Yours,
Wes Holly
Baltimore, MD, USA
Mark Boody Illusionist
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Inner circle
1314 Posts

Profile of Mark Boody Illusionist
I was the AWANA game director at our church for 9 years & like you, I got back into magic around this time, just to have something to show the kids.

There is so much that can be discussed. How I started out was doing some gospel illusions during council time (approx. 30 mins.), hitting on a particular theme (for example: power of prayer).

Now what am doing is getting with the commander & the pastor to do an hour show on our AWANA night (Fridays). I do this early in the year (end of Sept./ early Oct.) I use this as an outreach to the community.

1. Our regular attendees can bring their friends to see what AWANAs about.
2. Friends come with their parents, so they also learn about AWANA.
3. It helps build up the club/church.

I think once or twice a year to perform is the way to go, becasuse it makes it more special that way & it doesn't become old hat.

I hope this helps.


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1944 Posts

Profile of tbaer
Kent, I have been involved in AWANA for over 15 years. I help with the T & T age groups. I don't have enough effects to perform a trick each week with my kids. It would be too costly for me because I have the same kids for 2 years and I think it would be overkill anyway. But once a month I will perform an effect for them in handbook time. They seem to look forward to it.
John Long
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New Jersey
2735 Posts

Profile of John Long
I've been thinking about using some effects to motivate the kids to do their memory work.

One thought was to introduce the memory verse by showing 3 cards (index, or business card) to be blank on both sides, then place one of them on the kid's hand; Have him place his other hand over that; turn his hands over once, twice, three times. When he opens his hands, he see's his verse printed on the card.

This is explained in Wilson's Complete Course: Magic business card printing.
Breathtaking Magic;
Not Breath Taking
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Loyal user
206 Posts

Profile of jnrussell
I love your idea Kent! Most of our AWANA kids are from outside our church, and that is about all the church they get. We have had such a hard time reaching into the homes of the kids... a magic show at the beginning of the season may be just the ticket!
John Russell
Mastering Magician
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Harris Deutsch
8694 Posts

Profile of harris
I was blessed to share a program for an AWANA group last Sunday. Bev Dowling was kind enough to ask me to join her that evening. We used songs, skits and vent routines.

Hat's incredible was used by me to illustrate putting on the armor of God.
An empty hand became an Adam puppet who after disobeying God, became Ashamed.

After talking with "Adam", I turned to the kids and said, but you Are Not Ashamed to share about Jesus...
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
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