Magic for Little Kids

Nov 21, 2022
57
22
I have an upcoming performance for a birthday party and most of the audience with be about 8 to 12 years old. What effects would you all recommend for that age group so that they can follow along and understand it as well as enjoy it?
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,744
4,076
New Jersey
So, 8 to 12 isn't "little kids." If you go in with that attitude, you will be tied up, put on a spit, roasted and eaten alive.

What you don't want to do is one trick after another with a "look at what I can do" presentation.

You need to entertain them with magic -- just like every other show. You need to have strong magic and strong presentations that are consistent with your character.

With that said, the answer to you question begins with a question for you. What effects do you like to perform? Start with what you know.
 
Nov 21, 2022
57
22
So, 8 to 12 isn't "little kids." If you go in with that attitude, you will be tied up, put on a spit, roasted and eaten alive.

What you don't want to do is one trick after another with a "look at what I can do" presentation.

You need to entertain them with magic -- just like every other show. You need to have strong magic and strong presentations that are consistent with your character.

With that said, the answer to you question begins with a question for you. What effects do you like to perform? Start with what you know.

Whoops yeah, not little kids. My bad. Thanks for the advice.
 
Nov 21, 2022
57
22
I guess what I was wondering if I should do more sponge balls and cups and balls which might work better with them rather than card tricks. Or does it not matter?
 

fdavidn

Elite Member
Aug 29, 2015
9
2
Do a mis-made flag routine with a Change bag. the kids all know what the American flag looks like and you’ll have them screaming when the flag is “wrong”. Drop the blue silk on the ground and play dumb… really milk it. There are five or six “mistakes” that will have the kids going crazy.
 
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RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,744
4,076
New Jersey
I guess what I was wondering if I should do more sponge balls and cups and balls which might work better with them rather than card tricks. Or does it not matter?

I think that variety matters. Different props and different plots. You are better doing tricks with cards rather than card tricks that is, tricks where something happens to the card (torn and restored, vanish and reappearance, etc.).

You also need "something more" that gives the effect sufficient substance and allows for a good presentation. For example, I do an Invisible Deck routine that uses a beach ball and some music. The music starts and I toss the ball to someone who throws it to someone else. When the music stops, whoever is holding the ball names the color (red or black). The music starts again, the ball gets tossed around and when the music stops, someone names the suite. Repeat for whether it is a face card or a number card and then for the value. That keeps you from doing 25 one minute effects in a half hour show. Each effect should be 3 to 5 minutes or longer (my average is 6 minutes for 10 in an hour show).

Remember, that these parties are typically parlor style magic and not close up. Pick effects that work for that type of show.

Do a mis-made flag routine with a Change bag

No. The 8 year olds might laugh, but the 11 and 12 year olds will think you are lame.

Feel free to post your set list and I'm glad to give you ideas.
 
Nov 21, 2022
57
22
So far I’m thinking about doing a sponge ball routine based around them “doing the magic” and a bit of Roy Bensons sponge balls with a bowl. I also thought something like Out of This World would be fun because, again, it seems to be the kids doing it. Then maybe throw in some tricks such as Card From Phone or Card To Orange. What else should I add or subtract?
 

RealityOne

Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
3,744
4,076
New Jersey
The Benson Bowl routine sounds good. Make sue to get a bunch of smaller balls fora a finale. If you do Out of this World, don't use playing cards. If you can find Star Wars cards with the characters' pictures, they can separate the good from the bad. You can use Chris Philpot's idea of postcards (his French Postcards is not suitable for kids). Sites like Dazzle have postcards with a variety of themes where the backs all can look the same. You can also use pictures from the internet pasted to blank index cards (healthy foods vs. fun foods). Use your imagination. I'd do a bill to orange (a good version of a bill to lemon is in Mark Wilson's Complete Course) -- that draws parents in because they will loan you the bill. Cups and Balls is always good (and you could produce three lemons at the end that are used for the bill to lemon).

Some ideas to consider:
~Invisible Deck with Beach Ball (see above)
~20th Century Silks
~Tic Tac Toe Prediction (from Mark Wilson's Complete Course on Magic)
~Scotch and Soda with the vanished coin appearing in one of their pockets
~Spellbinding Boxes - A bit expensive, but worth it.

If you have a Genii subscription, look at Jim Steinmeyer's Conjuring columns (you get access to all the back issues). There are a lot of great parlor effects in there.
 

fdavidn

Elite Member
Aug 29, 2015
9
2
I think that variety matters. Different props and different plots. You are better doing tricks with cards rather than card tricks that is, tricks where something happens to the card (torn and restored, vanish and reappearance, etc.).

You also need "something more" that gives the effect sufficient substance and allows for a good presentation. For example, I do an Invisible Deck routine that uses a beach ball and some music. The music starts and I toss the ball to someone who throws it to someone else. When the music stops, whoever is holding the ball names the color (red or black). The music starts again, the ball gets tossed around and when the music stops, someone names the suite. Repeat for whether it is a face card or a number card and then for the value. That keeps you from doing 25 one minute effects in a half hour show. Each effect should be 3 to 5 minutes or longer (my average is 6 minutes for 10 in an hour show).

Remember, that these parties are typically parlor style magic and not close up. Pick effects that work for that type of show.



No. The 8 year olds might laugh, but the 11 and 12 year olds will think you are lame.

Feel free to post your set list and I'm glad to give you ideas.
I respectfully disagree. If Mis-Made Flag is performed with the right patter you’ll have both sub-teens and teenagers interacting as you go through the steps. I know this from personal experience. It is both fun and and funny.
You have plenty of other suggestions though. If you do the Cups and Balls I suggest you have a comedy ending. My favorite ending is with a turnip, a baseball, and an orange with a borrowed dollar bill from a previous trick. But those are more “adult” endings.
Another thought might be a squeak/no squeak trick (probably sub-teen only). Or some do-as-I-do trick for teens. A good paper tear might be good too especially if you customized the restoration to the event.
 
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Sep 16, 2019
3
0
I consider 8 years old to be the point where different tricks should be performed instead of the kiddie tricks. But you shouldn't expect a table available unless you ask for one or bring one. However, a table can cause visibility issues if the audience is seated on the floor, which is common. (I just wrote a blog article about birthday tricks today. BobMillerMagic.biz)
 
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