Kids Halloween Show

Mar 15, 2009
77
0
Minnesota
Hey guys,

I just got asked to do a Halloween show at a local park. As I have just realized, my last kids show was actually a couple of years ago! My routine is very outdated and I need some new ideas.

Also, this particular group has a huge age difference...ranging from 2 to 12; and a 12 year old is very different from a 2 year old...any ideas on how to hold the younger kids' attention?

If anybody could recommended some effects, that would be awesome! :)

Thanks in advance.
~ Reactions
 
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RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
3,638
471
44
Louisville, OH
Wow...that is big variance in age. Most of my experience with kids shows ranges from age 5 to 12. Anything under 5, good luck, they are lucky to sit still for 5 minutes. Anything visual is always good. I would stay away from the card effects. Probably go with Fiber Optics, Cups and Balls, Stratosphere, Change bag Routine, Silk Cabby, D'Lites if it is dark enough, Spongeballs, Dove pan, Linking Rings, Levitation effects or Thumb tip work. Total time for a kids show should probably not go past 30-45 minutes or you start to lose their attention. Have them up and moving and utilize them to hold props, yell words, etc.
 
Jul 5, 2010
115
0
BEHIND YOU
Hey guys,

I just got asked to do a Halloween show at a local park. As I have just realized, my last kids show was actually a couple of years ago! My routine is very outdated and I need some new ideas.

Also, this particular group has a huge age difference...ranging from 2 to 12; and a 12 year old is very different from a 2 year old...any ideas on how to hold the younger kids' attention?

If anybody could recommended some effects, that would be awesome! :)

Thanks in advance.
~ Reactions

Here is a cool trick to add to your Halloween inventory: http://www.magicgeek.com/rabbid-1986.html
 
Apr 25, 2009
459
0
38
Yorktown, VA
If I were you, I would buy Seriously Silly as quickly as possible and just start tearing through that book to the best of your ability. Trust me, it is one of the leading books on how to deal with kid's parties and what not.

Overall though, your age difference is going to be difficult to handle though, good luck.
 
get shiny stuff and throw it at the 2 year olds..


the 9-12 year olds on the other-hand can last a good while. You could get away with an erdnase change.. bittle trick.. etc. Any color changes and such will work quite well for them. If I was you, I wouldn't have accepted that gig.. too damn hard.
 
Apr 25, 2009
459
0
38
Yorktown, VA
get shiny stuff and throw it at the 2 year olds..


the 9-12 year olds on the other-hand can last a good while. You could get away with an erdnase change.. bittle trick.. etc. Any color changes and such will work quite well for them. If I was you, I wouldn't have accepted that gig.. too damn hard.


Respectifully, I am not sure I can agree with the card tricks on the 9-12 year olds. I have found that cards are best for the fifteen and up crowd. Though, you did remind me of something else... As far as shiny stuff is concerned, you could take those chocolate coins and then do tricks with those. The let the kids have them afterwards. I would let them sit in a feezer first though becuase they can melt fast in the classic palm position.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,690
4,022
New Jersey
I'm going to guess that other than Rick, none of the people responding have ever done a kids show. Although, RediSpades has good advice with Seriously Silly. But there isn't time for that. Go and watch the Wiggles on the Disney Channel. That will give you a sense of how to relate to the 2 to 5 crowd.

I would do something like come up with a Santa hat and a fake beard. Ask the kids if any of them know what your favorite holiday is. At least one kid will yell out "Christmas!" Explain, "No, its Halloween. This is a costume (as you take the beard and hat off), did you think I really was Santa Clause?" Then ask some questions "Does anybody else like to dress up in costumes for Halloween?" Of course all the kids will raise their hands. Then ask "Who likes trick or treating?" Again, the kids all will raise their hands. "Do you like the tricks better or the treats better?" Probably everyone will say treats, but maybe one or two will say tricks. If someone says tricks find out who it is and bring them up for your first trick. If nobody says tricks, say "Well, I'm a magician and I like to show people magic tricks." "Does anyone like magic tricks?" "Do you want to see some magic?" What this does is get their attention focused on you and has a little silly fun with wordplay.

As for effects, take things that you know and rework them for Halloween. I use eyeball stress balls for the final load for my cups and balls. I use orange and black sponge balls which change into a sponge Jack-O-Lantern.

Overall, your performance should be targeted towards kids in the 6 to 9 range with elements meant to appeal to the younger and older kids. The 2 to 3 year olds will enjoy your performance if you are animated (again see the Wiggles) and interactive. The 4 and 5 year olds will follow whatever the older kids do. The 9 to 12 year olds are difficult, but I would use them a volunteers for some effects (linking rings or anything with Jumbo cards).

To recommend something, I would really need to know what you have and what you know. The key is to pair effects you know with patter designed for your audience. As for new effects, I would need to know a skill level (which I can figure out based on what you have and perform) and a budget.
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
3,638
471
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Louisville, OH
I'm still brain storming for you. Eyeballs under the cups is a great final load. Try using orange and black silks maybe with a change bag routine. You could produce candy from a dove pan....perhaps have some different types of tricks pranks printed out on large paper, talk about the trick, toss it in the pan. Do like 4 or 5 and then ask the kids, "Do you guys like tricks? or....how about treats?" and then produce candy from the dovepan.

If you go to a craft store or Walmart...those are your largest magic stores in the world. Go into the decoration department and look to see what all they have Halloween wise that you could incorporate into a Halloween show.

You could even use a real pumpkin somehow to produce something...pretty easy if you cut out a little hole, place your load in and then reseal the hole (back of pumpkin or underneath)
 
Mar 15, 2009
77
0
Minnesota
Thanks for all of the tips guys! I really appreciate it.

Here is what I am thinking:
1. Open with holiday patter, lead into Stratosphere
2. 20th Century Silks (Halloween colored) utilizing volunteers & possibly change bag
3. Linking Rings, again with volunteers
4. Appearing Cane (from black/orange hanky)
5. Appearing 8-foot straw
6. Close with Dove Pan (tricks into treats)

I think I have some patter worked out for this as well. It's fairly short, but I suppose I could always have more material ready if the kids wanted to see more. Thanks for all of the help guys!

Any critique on this is very welcome. Thanks again!
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
3,638
471
44
Louisville, OH
The only thing that looks a bit odd from my point of view is you have an appearing cane, and then right after, an appearing 8 foot straw. It might be a little redundant. Also...try to think more along the lines of your transitions as well. For example, if you are going to make a cane appear from the silk, what can you do with the cane afterwards besides just tossing it aside or laying it against your table.

If I were you I might add one or two more effects for a total of 8, that way if each effect lasts about 3-4 minutes...you have your 32-35 minute show. Maybe a rope effect and something else. I'll keep thinking. You are on the right track though.
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,690
4,022
New Jersey
I agree with Rick about the Appearing Cane and the Appearing Straw. The effects are too similar. Just do the appearing cane.

Also, you can routine the Appearing Cane into the 20th Century Silks. That is, use the Appearing Cane to vanish the silk. Then, for the Dove Pan effect, use the cane as a magic wand (credit to David Ginn for that one). Like Rick said, you want to tie the effects together. That way, it looks more polished.

I looked at my notes from a kids Halloween party (ages 3 to 7) that I did last year. I did the Cups & Balls (with the eyeball final load), the orange and black sponge balls to sponge Jack-O-Lantern and the following two effects:

~Zombie Ball - The Zombie Ball is introduced as "Z". Z is covered with a black silk. The kids chant his name and he slowly rises. Z then starts "wandering" away until I drag him back. Z then "tells" me that he can't see. I then hold the silk and he floats up from behind the silk in view of the audience. I then try to make Z disappear, except he pops up over the silk into view each time I start counting to three. Finally, he actually "disappears", only to peak out from behind me (at which point the kids yell out and point). I then make him reappear under the silk and float back to the table.

~Silks to Spiders - I started talking about how spiders are scary but that I wanted to make some purple spiders appear. I told them I had a red silk, but didn't know how to make a purple. Of course, the kids all shouted you needed blue. I tell them that I lost my blue handkerchief, but one of them yells out it is in my jacket breast pocket. I then select an assistant to help me and do the break-away wand routine, eventually loaning the volunteer my wand. The red and blue silks are changed into a purple silk. I then show the change bag as being empty (unzipping and putting my hand through it). My assistant then put the purple silk in, said the magic word and changed them into 12 purple toy spiders (there was 12 kids at the party).

The Zombie Ball shows a presentation of strong magic, but made kid friendly (be warned, the kids wanted to come up afterwards and pet "Z"). Since then I've had Z take a nap afterwards so that I could put him away.

The silk to spiders illustrates what Rick is saying. You can make a really simple, but fun routine with stuff that you buy at Wal-Mart or Target and a couple of magic props.

A couple of other ideas -- how about a signed card (Jumbo if possible) to a pumpkin? Or an effect where someone picks a card (again Jumbo if possible) and you have the image disappear from the card and appear on a pumpkin?

Also, you could do a gag about eating too much Halloween candy making you sick, then pulling out a 25 foot mylar mouth coil and then making a joke about not eating the wrappers next time.
 
Mar 15, 2009
77
0
Minnesota
Hey guys!

I'm just checking back in to let you all know that it went great! Everyone had a great time, and I worked with a naturalist and another magician; swapping out crowds. That way I saw a lot of fresh faces each of my 8 (15 minute) shows and performed slight variations on a routine that I decided on because of everyone here's advice (thanks guys!) and some consultation from Larry at Eagle Magic (those of you who don't know what/where eagle is, look it up and try to stop by).

Thanks for all of your advice guys! :)
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
3,638
471
44
Louisville, OH
Great to hear it went well for you. What effect played well for the crowd? What things do you think you could have improved on?
These are things to think about after every show.
 
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