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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Toddler awareness. (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

davidpaul$
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I perform in several restaurants weekly and am surprised by the awareness of the really young.
I'm talking 2,3 years old. Quick example: I do a David Roth "coin flurry" routine with appearences vanishes, transpos etc. When I do the put and take vanish of a coin they automatically look to the dirty hand. Hey, if is not in the hand I put the coin in it's still in the other hand. I'm amazed at that age they are picking up on the fact that the coin really didn't disappear.

I'm also surprised that the really young can follow routines we think may be too advanced. Of course there are exceptions and it depends on the child, but in general the really young are pretty observant I find.

On another note; I pay close attention to the spectator's body language and in particular the eye gaze. After many years of performing, I'm still learning to tweak my sleight of hand routines. A hesitation or gesture, addressing someone at the table to execute a top change to name a few, have made a big difference. That is confirmed by the positive reactions. All this is to say, pay attention to your spectators and experiment with your sleights. Don't settle on the techniques you've been doing. Experiment and see if you get even better reactions.
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Dannydoyle
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This is true and always has been.

Children make very few assumptions about the world. Their knowledge is not yet complete so they question everything. I found this 30 years ago doing a chop cup for kids that young. While simply turning a cup upside down is enough to prove to an adult that it is empty the child that age needs more. This is because of an adults knowledge of gravity and how it works. You do not need to be a scientist to know how it works, life experience is enough. Children do not have much life experience and learn so much every day.

Children simply think differently.

There are countless examples of this and it is fascinating and often helpful to ponder. As well as children it can happen if there is a language barrier, or even cultural differences. WONDERFUL topic!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Scott Horn
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I appreciate your second point. But, as to the first point, it's my understanding that a toddlers cognitive ability is not fully developed. A lot of sleight of hand impact is based on the fact that "mature" human brains are always several steps ahead of the current status. Moving a coin from one hand to the other is so mundane that the mature human brain pre-concludes the transfer and moves on to other things. You don't cross a street based on where the cars "are," you cross based on where they will be and where you will be. The fact that a toddler follows the dirty hand in a vanish is less them "not being fooled" and more about how they see the world. Toddlers don't have a great sense of time passing or duration's. For example, a kid is playing with a toy. They look up and there's mom, the look down then up again and mom is gone. They look down, play, look up.. and mom is back! Vanishes don't have the "impact" because their world is full of vanishes and appearances.
Dannydoyle
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The time passing thing is a fantastic point. Time misdirection is lost on them.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
David French
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I too enjoy working for toddlers. They can and do like magic! I think we tend to think in terms of talking down to them and doing "kid show tricks" I have done Card to Ceiling, Chop cup and many other things that the 3-4 year olds love. It is not what you do but how you connect to the age of the kids. Having said that, doing a good mouth coil routine or silly "look don't see" trick still works great for this age...it is that you don't HAVE to do that type of material to connect. My experience only.
MeetMagicMike
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Entertaining toddlers isn't about fooling them. They see a dozen things a day that they don't understand. Part of the reason adults enjoy magic is because it makes them feel like a kid again.

Toddlers respond to broad comedy. Making faces. Seeing something that the magician doesn't seem to see.

Toddlers ARE amazed when the magic happens in their hands. Sponge bunnies for instance.
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Firestorm60
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I am lucky enough to have 5 Grandchildren the oldest two are both four years old. They are boy , girl . The little girl aged 4 knows all her cards and can name them instantly she also started to do a cup routine for me in her own way even tapping the cups as she works.
I did a card trick for more for me to practice for her and thought it would fly over her head but she asked a question as to how they all went back in order except the one in her hand.She then placed it back in the pack in the right number order. Something you would normally expect an adult to ask she then told me how she thought it had happened.
It was wrong but but her reasoning was not bad.
The grandson who is the same age has grown up in the Middle East and has no concept of magic because he does not come into contact with it at all and the tricks I have shown him before brings about look of puzzlement So this leaves me with a problem
I am going over there in a few weeks and have been asked by his school to do something for his class to celebrate his 5 birthday . I have to find something that will click with the class of under 4, where English is not their first language and they have big cultural differences. I normally only do adult parlour magic so cards and mentalist are out
I am thinking about doing a basic sponge ball routine perhaps some sort of production of sweets or small toys and maybe something using alphabet cards or simple picture cards I am also limited by what I can carry on the plane.Any ideas gratefully received.
MeetMagicMike
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Sponges Definitely. Sponge bunnies add the cute factor. Mouth coils get laughter and wonder from young kids. Run Rabbit Run is a great trick for little ones. So is the Magic Coloring Book. When I do rope tricks I have the kids "cut" the rope with their fingers and they love it.
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J Burke Whittaker
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There is another factor that may come in as well and that is what is known as Mirror Memory. Very young children have very little mirror memory developed as they have not had experience with enough to conclude what the end of any given action is. Mirror memory is what allows us to know that a ball will drop if we let it go; this is the basic principal of how a vanish works.

when we act as if we drop the ball into our hand an adults Mirror memory mimics the action of it happening in the brain by firing every neuron that it would take to do so. Then it draws its assumptions based on what the feeling tells them should happen. This is how people get worked up over watching football; their brain starts to act out the actions of what they are seeing and almost makes them feel as if they are in the action themselves.

We often say that misdirection is what we use to fool people but you could argue that mirror memory is every bit as important.


.
Dannydoyle
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I would actually call it directed attention but I digress. Very good point.

Just another reason I don't work for children.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
D. Yoder
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Quote:
On Sep 16, 2019, Firestorm60 wrote:

I am going over there in a few weeks and have been asked by his school to do something for his class to celebrate his 5 birthday . I have to find something that will click with the class of under 4, where English is not their first language and they have big cultural differences. I normally only do adult parlour magic so cards and mentalist are out
I am thinking about doing a basic sponge ball routine perhaps some sort of production of sweets or small toys and maybe something using alphabet cards or simple picture cards I am also limited by what I can carry on the plane.Any ideas gratefully received.


Anything with a puppet that is supposed to help with the magic but is is shy/stubborn/too smart, etc.
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