Magic Tricks for Kids
7 Effective Principles to Turn Your Kids Show Into a Magical Experience For Everyone
As Children’s Magicians, we not only need to learn tons of magic tricks for kids, but we also have 2 main objectives:
- Amaze the children in an effective manner.
- Amaze the parents with our “Children management show.”
While performing magic tricks for kids, we need to capture the imagination of the children, but also impress the parents with how well we execute our show. Juggling our attention can be daunting, however this can become easily manageable by understanding the motivations behind the two different groups: Children want to experience and share exciting moments with their friends, while the parents want their kids to have fun… without any disasters.
Here, we’ll share our tips for performing magic tricks for kids. You’ll discover the 7 key concepts you can use to become a children’s performer everyone wants to call back!
Kids Magic Tip # 1: Parents are your best allies!
Always arrive early. Getting acquainted with the environment beforehand is great, but establishing trust and rapport with the parents is a must. They know the kids inside-out, which makes them your best on-site resource to identify the birthday girl or boy, helpful volunteers and the potential trouble makers.
It’s not hard! Just strike up a friendly conversation with the parents. Let them know you’re excited to be there and you ‘have their back’ when it comes to making the party a success.
Note: Do NOT worry about impressing the parents with your magic. Nothing will be more magical for the parents than the enjoyment we can provide the children at the party.
Kids Magic Tip # 2: Develop trust with the kids before the show ever starts!
Kids are always curious. When they see a stranger (that’s us) crashing their party, they will notice. If you project nervousness, or seem inaccessible, the children will pick up on it…and they’ll respond negatively.
Now imagine the children seeing you accepted by the adults and enjoying yourself before the show. If the people the child trusts the most (their parents) accept us, then we are ‘pre-qualified’ and we’ll have a much easier time winning the kids over during the show.
Kids Magic Tip # 3: Encourage the kids…to be kids!
Kids love to express their joy and have fun and they receive constant discouragement when they’re ‘loud’. As children’s entertainers, it’s important to lead our audiences through a magical experience…and maintain control over the room at the same time.
However, no one like the image of a performer ‘demanding silence and attention’ during a magic show. This can become a serious issue, unless we have a plan to handle it going in.
Specificity is the key. Let the kids know when it’s time to make some noise, but also, when it’s time for more focused, quiet attention.
Most importantly, strive to create a safe space for their attention and excitement. Children are the most expressive audiences you’ll ever meet. All we need to do is make sure they know when, and how, to be themselves.
Kids Magic Tip # 4: Start with a bang!!
How do we set a tone of encouragement in our children’s show? The best way is establish the idea that, “We’re going to have fun the most fun EVER….as long as we follow the magicians direction.”
First, try giving specific tasks to the children at the front of the show that allow them to express themselves in a controlled way.
For example, I begin my show by having the children thank their parents for an amazing day by going nuts – clap, drum roll, animal noises…anything they want! Then, I introduce myself and challenge the kids with a game. I have everyone call out their name one-by-one under a time limit.
This accomplishes two things. First, we create an environment that kids are being loud on our lead, and everyone prefers a leader who encourages fun! Second, the name challenge allows the kids to work together toward a common goal.
These two opening gambits create the feeling in the children that ‘we’ll experience amazing magic as long as we work together as a team.’
Kids Magic Tip # 5: Make simple and specific commands throughout
“Now, everyone move in closer!”, I said, thinking I just gave the best simple command ever.
Before I knew it, my show felt like Walmart on Black Friday. “Move in closer” can mean many things to different children. It can mean move one inch closer, or “up to the magicians knee” or “let’s go search through his magic case!”
Take this one from me: Simple commands are great, but they need to be specific. I should have instead asked these children to move “exactly 3 steps closer.” Try it, and watch the kids not only follow your directions, but actually count the steps!
Kids Magic Tip # 6: Sell the next effect as the bigger and better thing!
As a child, remember how much fun it was to watch your favorite movie over and over again? That’s how kids tend to react to a magician: by asking to see a magic trick over and over again. We can gracefully get around this common issue by acknowledging their excitement, and then expressing our own excitement for the next trick! “That was really great, right? Who enjoyed it? Perfect! Well…the next one is even better than that!”
Essentially, we redirect the kid’s attention without shutting down their enthusiasm.
Kids Magic Tip # 7: Be the person having the most fun!
In the end, we can only control our own actions and behaviors. We set the tone for our shows, and lead our audiences through a magical experience. If we want the kids to have a lot of fun, we need have the most fun! It’s amazing how our actions can influence the entire room.
My personal rule is to emulate an adventure tour-guide. I strive to be at 10% higher energy than the kids, but also relaxed and inclusive as possible. Who in your life made you feel welcomed and free to express yourself? What qualities did they have, and which of those can you emulate genuinely? Find the answers to those questions, and you’ll be well on your way for finding the right energy to work with!
Bringing it all together
Each tactic I’ve shared here has helped me create more joyous experiences for my audiences and happier parents with a well-managed performance.
By testing ideas, getting feedback, seeing the results and testing again, our shows become ever more effective and our clients become ever more willing and eager to recommend us to their friends and re-hire us for new events.
Now it’s your turn! Take a moment and share this post to other magicians.