Why Children Should Try Card Magic Besides their obvious use for card games, one of the things that playing cards are most commonly used for is for magic. In recent years I've enjoyed doing some volunteer work that included teaching kids how to perform some simple card tricks and card flourishes. It's been inspiring and rewarding to see their enthusiasm and the impact it's had on their lives. If you're an adult that already enjoys exploring and performing card magic, you won't need any convincing that doing card magic is a good thing, and you'll be well aware of some of its benefits for yourself. But how about kids? How might it be good for them to learn some basic card tricks? Here are sixteen reasons to consider introducing the performing art of card magic into the lives of the children around you. 1. Card magic requires minimal equipment Many hobbies and sports can be very demanding on parents and on the family budget. Perhaps you need to join a special society or sporting club, or you need to drive your kids on a weekly basis to their practice sessions, or you need to purchase expensive clothes or sporting gear. Card magic has virtually none of that. In fact, all that you really need to begin with are a few decks of quality playing cards. You certainly can also get some DVDs and books as well if you wish, and it's worth putting some good resources into your kids' hands. But there is also a lot of good material available for free online. And when you do get a video or book, you'll often get a significant amount of mileage out of your money, because a truly solid resource will keep kids engaged for months and even years. 2. Card magic requires minimal starting skills Card magic has an easy point of entry, and can be as simple or as difficult as you want it to be. Yes there is real opportunity to progress and develop, and you can learn real skills in manipulation and presentation. But it is also possible for the complete novice to start from ground zero, with no real knowledge, and learn some basic card tricks. With the right teaching materials, even a rank beginner can quickly be having fun with some basic card tricks. 3. Card magic can be enjoyed anywhere The settings in which some hobbies can be enjoy are extremely limited - take playing the drums in a band, or ten pin bowling, for example. But with card magic you don't have such obstacles. If you have a deck of playing cards ready to go in your pocket, you can pull it out at any moment and in many settings. Many people already enjoy card games as a social activity, and a deck of cards that is already on the table makes for a natural opportunity to do some card tricks. Even if you're on your own, you can practise your routines and moves, learn new skills, or enjoy reading books and watching videos that help you with your card magic. 4. Card magic can be enjoyed life-long I started learning card tricks in my childhood, and some of the ones I learned at that time are ones that I still perform for friends and family today. In some ways magic is like learning a bike - once you have learned a good card trick and performed it multiple times, you'll remember it for life. Decades later, you'll be able to perform that same card trick to entertain your nephews and nieces, and even your grandchildren! The beauty of teaching kids how to do some good card tricks, especially if they start performing them to family and friends, is that these tricks are likely to stay with them for the rest of their lives. Even in years to come, they will be performing some of these same tricks to their children and grandchildren! 5. Card magic gets them away from screens How much time isn't being wasted today by young people who spend hours every day surfing the web, browsing social media, cruising youtube, or with apps marketed as being "time-wasters"? Many teenagers are constantly on their phones, on the internet, or watching TV. What they need isn't more screen time, but less - just ask any parent! But what is it going to take to pull them away from the addictive qualities of technology? That's where card magic can help. It gets kids doing something completely different, by engaging them with a tactile activity that involves physical cards and manual dexterity. Many parents that I have talked to have been very pleased to see their children develop a new-found interest after discovering card magic, and were super supportive of the fact that it helped their kids spend their time with something much more positive. 6. Card magic gets them interacting with people One consequence of technology is that it is very me-focused. Our iPhones, iPads, and iTunes are often about me, myself, and I. In our digital age, do we still know how to have normal and healthy human relationships with other people? Human interaction is an essential part of life, and showing card tricks forces children and teenagers to get out of their comfort zone by interacting with those around them. It is very important that kids learn this, and performing card magic is one way for this to happen very naturally. You have to pluck up the courage to say "Pick a card, any card", and engage with people. I've seen many previously shy kids really come out of their shell by doing this. 7. Card magic gets them entertaining other people There are right ways and wrong ways to perform magic, and one wrong way is to use it to make yourself look superior or to make others feel stupid. We should remember that the goal of magic is to entertain and astonish others, and to make them feel amazed and excited. So what better way to put a spark in someone's day than with a quick magic trick?! I've often used a quick trick with staff while shopping in a store, to help get them out of the drudgery of work and boredom. It puts a smile on their face, and generates warmth in their heart. With the assistance of a good card trick, even children can learn how to bring joy to others, and become more outward focused. 8. Card magic gets them involved with a rewarding hobby How many parents haven't heard their children say "Mum, I'm bored!" It's important for children to have a hobby that interests them, that they can be busy with on their own if necessary, and that they can take pride in. They can do things like collect stamps or key-chains, but that will only take them so far. Some kids enjoy reading, or drawing and painting, or doing crafts, music, or sports, but these aren't for everyone. Learning magic is a great hobby that children can actively progress in, by learning and developing new skills, and performing new tricks. It's a hobby that will be rewarding not just for them, but also promises to reward the people around them.