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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Association of Family and Kidshow Performers » » Do's & Don'ts of Kids Magic Shows (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of MichaelMason
Although I am most interested in illusions, street magic, and some mentalism (some of which may be considered 'graveyard magic'), I feel it is important as a magician to be able to perform some tricks for children also.

Are they any particular tricks, props, and effects you feel are essential to hosting a magic show to remember? In retrospect, are there any tricks and effects that you suggest a magician NOT do during a show for kids?

I would like to engage the adults as well which is why I think it is important to perform some tricks that only they will understand thus enjoy but I would hate to do anything that might scare, or influence, a child, such as Sick, Saw, breathing fire, etc.

I am interested in seeing replies but from everybody but children's magicians especially.
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Profile of krowboom
Don't do anything with knives and fire. Kids love to imitate what they see.
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Profile of jimhlou
Multiplying sponge bunnies - get a good set. Kids love them, as do adults (women)

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Profile of JoshRyan
I find that kids under the age of 9 yrs old enjoy magic that involves them or is an experience for them. For instance, I leaned Oz Pearlman's version of colour changing deck, 'Blindsided'. One card changes to the selected card then the deck changes colour.

I tell the kids there is a 'colour bug' in the deck of cards and only they can find it. Then I force a blank card with a white cartoon bug drawn on it, put it back in the deck to ' go find some colour', then force a second blank card with a blue cartoon bug. Then I do a shake change to the card with the white cartoon bug - giving the appearance that the bug just shed it's blue colour, and then reveal that the whole deck turned from red to blue.

Kids like the experience and parents still get to see some good magic.

An easy and cheap trick is the 'magic stop light cards':

I tell the kids that it's a test to see if they have magic powers. I force the colour and tell them to move it with their mind. It gets big smiles and leaves the child spectator thinking s/he has magical powers.
Sam Sandler
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Profile of Sam Sandler
I know I am resurrecting an old thread but this is my first time posting in this section.

i keep seeing a running theme here- every one wants to know what is the best kids trick or what should they perform for kids.

well as one that has performed close to 10,000 shows in 40+ states (that's a lot of kids)
i thought I would offer some thoughts

first and foremost - kid magic shows are not about the magic but rather the journey we take with them.

example- coloring book is in itself a boring trick. but my presentation allows me about 7 solid minutes of hilarious fun. the book is the end of the ride but the ride is all the fun stuff that comes before. break away wand, pip pop wand, break away chair and a few other funny bits all while trying to perform the coloring book.

second- kids magic is not always about the tricks themselves but the magician and his reactions and antics on stage.

example- how we react to pulling out a silk from our bag of silks but it is a dirty sock. the kids laugh when they see the sock and then laugh even more when YOU see the sock and maybe sniff it too. your reactions will either generate more laughs or kill the mood. and if I am blunt here and I am - not all magicians have the gift to really be funny or react well. any magician can give some reactions but there are some that can milk it for all its worth. some time you can learn how to be more funny some are natural at it.

third- kids magic is about fun funny and colorful surprises.

while my show is high energy and funny through out I always close with my original snow storm illusion and the kids go crazy and jump up and want to reach for the snow. snow storm is the ultimate pack small play HUGE trick that can work for an adult audience or a kid audience or a mix family audience.

point here I am trying to make is that asking what the best trick is - well that's subjective and possibly irrelivent as I mentioned its not really about the tricks but rather the presentations.

now if you want to know some classics and current tricks that work well for kids with the right routines here are a few I can reccomend.

hippity hop rabbits
fraidy cat rabbit
sam sandler's - Have a banana (soon to be released to the magic community)
snow storm
come back bee - by tommy james
whats next or dynamo (i prefer dynamo its better made and handles better too.)
multiplying sponge balls or hot dogs or bananas
funny bits with animal balloons - but this is for those that can really ham it up as it is all the magicians bit the balloon does nothing but what you command it to do!

so end result is have fun what ever you do and one last tip - watch other SUCCESSFUL kid show performers (keeping in mind what age group they are entertaining)
feel free to check out my new videos at

magically yours
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
Charles Gaff
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Profile of Charles Gaff
I've performed coloring book without chair, and h h rabbits at my aunts daycare in the past. Also Xeroxed deck. They love tricks they can participate in, and think they've got you, then another big surprise happens.
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Profile of Fazzio
The material from Silly Billy, dvds and the book are awesome. If you want to know what to do, this is one of the best things that you can watch or read.
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Profile of MrJay
I couldn't agree with you more Sam- Most people don't do card tricks with kids but I have one that works wonders for the 5 and under. I mastered it from Julian Mather's BUILD YOUR MAGIC SHOW strolling section. Its called Meet the Animals, it perfect for that age group. If your not yet a member of that group its worth every dime. N J Jaybo Thanks for reading...
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Profile of Russo
A lot of our effects are story magic- that is---3 pigs/20th century silks---Die box/Alice in wonderland --- my lunch/egg bag---Pirates escape/rope tie-- My grandpa taught me/6 card repeat(sharing)-etc. --thus, NOT just TRICKS. some of our patter can be found if you want to wade through(L-O-L) "SEARCH"- 'russo' user name. feel free to use anything- Ralph(russo)Rousseau
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Profile of Kleberdexter
Thanks. I will watch a lot of videos about this theme and will try to do this the best way.

Thanks I will learn about story.
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