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RoyHolidayMagic
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New York
85 Posts

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I see that many magicians here do "games" with children at parties. I recently purchased Mark Leveridge's video (on which there are games as well). It seems to me that most party games are a bit childish for many kids. For what age groups do you find that the games work? Are the games effective (do they keep the children well-entertained)? Since the games on Leveridge's videos seem very young, what kinds of games would you use for older crowds (that would never start jumping up and down in that manner) ie 7+?

Thank you in advance,
Roy Holiday
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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I do games for the kids, but no elimination games. my games are full participation games, the games last about 35 minutes at a birthday party, longer for if necessary, I give out lots of prizes 20-30 a party.

One game I play is corners, when the music stops the kids have to go to a corner, the ones in the corner I pick aren't out as in the normal way of playing but get a chance to to answer a question. who ever gets it right wins a prize. The questions are easy & funny IE What colours the purple telly tubby? How many tins of coke do you get in a 6 pack? What fruit grows on an apple tree?

I also use the normal UK party dances Superman, musicman etc and give out prizes to whoevers doing it the best.

By never having kids out, I don't have the problem what to do with them while the others are still in the game.

I've found that by giving out lots of small prizes rather than 2-3 bigger ones it keeps the kids more interested, especially the boys who'd normally prefer to run round wildly. I'm in full contol all the time of who wins what so all the kids generally go home with something.
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.
NJJ
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I play Grandmother's Footsteps for a couple of minutes at the end if I have the time.

The children have to sneak up behind you a tap you on the shoulder without you seeing them move.

You keep turning around and they have to freeze. The reason I play this game is

a) it requires no props or music etc.
b) there are no losers, people caught moving just have to start again.
c) There are ALOT of gags you can do where you trick the kids into moving. E.g. "Put up your hand if your moving" "Did you move"
MiNiM
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New Zealand
111 Posts

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I'm currently doing "Touch It" from the Leveridge video, quite a bit - it's a 'when the music stops, do as I say' type of game. I just play some funky dance music on a mouth organ for the music, rather than carry a cassette/CD machine. (I'm a musician - why on earth would I want to waste my time carrying a machine to do what I can do myself, better!)

We've found, for years, in our school shows, that if you want to keep the kids attention for 50 - 60 minutes, you're going to need an 'ad break' about 2/3rds of the way through. Typically, we get everyone up (sometimes as many as 250 at a time) and do a dance with them - we play for loads of barn dances, so that's not a problem) It means we can then sit them down again to pay attention for another span of time.
Games fill the same function. Anything to shake the fidgets out of them. In one show, we just get them to stand up,
do a bunch of silly stretch/exercises, and then sit down again - it still works.

Cheers,

Bill
He asked me if I liked card tricks. I said "No." He did three. (W. Somerset Maugham)
keeblem
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Essex, UK
1166 Posts

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Hello!
I use "touch it" a lot as well. It always goes down very well - even for 7 and 8 year olds. Another Leveridge game I use for nearly every show is "musical numbers". Ray, I think you may be quite surprised with what games you can use for older children. I often use pass-the-parcel for older children with no problems at all. They always love it! I'm always on the hunt for new games and variations so thanks for the ideas above!
Mark
Chrystal
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Canada/France
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Hi Emazdad,

I love the questions you ask of the kids! Very creative! Well done.

C
kenscott
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Emazdad

i too like that very cool.

i play a game, the game freeze game. After the show is over I have done the balloon all the children line up behind the BD child and we tip toe into the kitchen or where ever the cake. When i say freeze the kids all have to be frozen and NO one can talk until the game is over. At the end evryone gets a prize.

This games does several things.
1. the kids love it
2. the parents are amazed at how I have control over their kids.
3. ANd this is selling point for me. I tell the mother on the phone that I will play a game with them that will take us to from the magic show area to the BD cake area without destroying their house. They love this.
4. It gets the kids out of there so I can pack up fast and say my good byes.

Enjoy,
Ken
RoyHolidayMagic
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New York
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Thank you very much for the replies and advice. Those are great questions, Emazdad (I love jokes like that. It doesn't get much better than Groucho Marx).
I also like Ken's ideas.....I've often had some trouble getting the kids out of the way so that I can pack up in peace.

Thanks again,
Roy
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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When I get an older kid complain that the questions are easy, I deliberatly pick his corner and ask the question, What's Einstein's theory of relativity? one kid will always say "I don't know" I show them the answer on the card which say's I DON'T KNOW" and go "Correct! I don't know either" and give them a prize. It always gets laugh.

Other questions
What colours an orange?
What is the name of Sabrina's cat Salem?
What do cows drink? They always get it wrong and say milk.
If a red house is made of red bricks, a yellow house is made of yellow bricks, and a blue house is made of blue bricks, what's a greenhouse made of? It's Sunday so to stop Phillip having to think the answers Glass Smile
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.
MiNiM
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New Zealand
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Most of the really good games that I've found, curiously, are in English books, especially a lot of Supremes publications.

Mark Leveridge mentions a book called 'Profit at the Party' by David Hallett, and it is truly excellent! Oh, and he also grades the games by age, too!

Other ones to watch out for include: 'Magic in a Game' by John Palfreyman, 'The Games Master' by Bill Lainsbury, which are nothing but games.

One of the earliest books on magic for kids, 'Open Sesame', by Eric Lewis and Wilf Tyler has an excellent games section.
Other books that include sections of games/competitions are: 'Audience Tested Originalities' by Graham Reed, 'Magic Fun and Games' by Arthur Setterington, 'Clowning Around for Children' by Jack Collins and 'Billy Benbows Best' by Bill Lainsbury. They all have something to offer, but the Hallett book would definitely be my first choice.

The only US magicians book that I have that mentions games is Bob Markwoods 'Poof you're a Frog', but I really don't like his games at all.

H & R may have some of these, but Magic Books by Post are the most likely source.

Cheers,

Bill

Hi Ken,

I do a similar sort of freeze game, which I call MiNiM's Marvellous Marching Band - I pass out home-made percussion instruments to the kids, then I lead them in a parade all over the place while playing mouth organ and bones, and doing silly walks/jumps/hops, which they have to mimic. When the music stops they have to freeze. (It's pretty vigorous, so I finish with this - for my sake, not theirs!)

The thing I've found that you've got to watch out for is the kid(s) who stay behind and grab the opportunity to prowl through your unattended gear. Shut your case first!

Cheers,

Bill
He asked me if I liked card tricks. I said "No." He did three. (W. Somerset Maugham)
kenscott
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Bill you are right.LOL

That is why mom or dad is in the front of the line with the BD child and i am near my gear.

Ken
NJJ
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I always feel like playing too many games is a bit of a waste of the client's money.

They are paying a far bit of money for what is a short visit so I like to make that time as special as possible. Not just fun.

Don't get me wrong, a game is a great way to let the kids move around so they don't get fidgety!

I guess I have seen too many dodgy kid's clowns playing games to fill up the hour.
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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My games are only played as part of the 2-hour party 35 mins games, 25 min food break, (I set up the show and then balloon model) 1, hour magic show.
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.
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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It's Sunday so to stop Phillip having to think the answers Glass

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi,
Thanks Emazdad, I was clubbing Smile till 3am but I did not have too many smirnoff ice because of my shows I think I might have managed to answer with some thought Smile

Phillip
Andy Wonder
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Auckland, New Zealand
744 Posts

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I do a version of pass the parcel with older children. We pass around my hat with the rabbit inside. Kids love it.
Smile
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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My passs the parcel is a bag with 10 badges in it. 2 say you win a prize, 8 have forfiets on them that they have to do to win a prize, IE make 10 different animal noises, sing a nurseryu ryhme etc. The kids never get to read the badge which means if it's a young or shy child I can make up something simple to suit them.

As I get them to stand up if they've drawn a forfiet for a very young child the forfiet is usually that they have to beat the world sitting down record, I go 123 they sit down as fast as they can. They always beat it and win.

As my music is controled by my remote control I'm in full control of who the bag stops on all the time, which means that 1, it stops on people I know havn't won anything in any of the games yet, 2, It wont stop on anyone who's not behaving. IE holding onto the bag, throwing the bag 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.
Chubby Harris
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The Mummy Game is another howler, especially if you can get 2 adults as the Mummies. Split the kids into 2 teams and give them a roll of white toilet paper each, and it is the first team to cover the adult from head to toe, to look like a mummy... Of course, the faster they go, the more the paper will tear, and they have to start all over again....
Another great game is to buy a limbo set and have the kids do the limbo to some funky, upbeat music.
"Believe in the Magic of your dreams"
ralphdean
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Northern Ca
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I LIKE the mummy game. I bet it gets them very excited. Is that one ply or two?
paradize
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Singapore
398 Posts

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Greetings,

I play these games and have got great response so far:

1.Comedy Musical Chair
2.Mummy
3.Treasure Hunt
4.Balloon Bursting

Can someone add more games to this list
Magic is the residue of pre-design fantasies.
Come into my Fantasy www.chandranmagic.com
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
3058 Posts

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Hide behind- Place three chairs with different colored balloons e.g. yellow, red and blue. Kids go around while the music is playing and when the music stops, they all hide behind any balloon they want. You then turn your back against them to make sure you don't see them and you choose a balloon. For example you choose red then the kids behind the red balllon are out of the game. You continue the routine until only 1 or two are left. You also make sure that the kids get something even if they are already out of the game but the longer they stay in the game, the bigger price they get.

Neighbors- Form two teams, make a boundary or a line in the center of these teams pretending that the line is the fence. You put trash on the floor (Crumpled newspaper) and you tell them that they have 30 seconds to keep their side clean by throwing the trash to the other side...after 30 seconds, you count how many nespaper they have in their side and the team with the less number of paper wins. Of course you explain not to actually to this to your neighbor Smile

Signature Game- You give a mom and child team a pen and a marker...maybe 4-5 mom/child teams. The object of the game is to get the most number of signatures from the audience in 1 minute. You also announce to the audienc that they CAN ONLY SIGN ONCE! Smile After 1 minute get the teams back and count how many signatures they got.

Bunny Hop- The kids hop like bunnies while the music is playing and when the music stops, the kids don't move, they freeze. The kids caight moving are out of the game. You play the music and they hop again...til you get a winner. Again, just make sure the kids get prizes even if they are out already.


Wanlu Smile
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