When shopping for your kid’s first magic trick or magic kit consider these six things:
1. Don’t buy above beginner’s level (no matter how cool the trick is)!
One day a got a call from a parent who found me in the phone book under magicians, she called me because she needed help with a magic trick she bought (not from me) online for her 8 year old child.
The trick was one that a magician had done on TV, where he floats about a foot off the ground. This magician was selling a DVD that teaches you how to make the secret thing you need to do this trick. Now the DVD with the secret sold for over $100!
She explained that her son could not get the trick to work. I asked her if it was her son’s first trick and she replied, “Yes”. Well, the floating person trick she got her son was NOT appropriate for her 8 year old son…especially for a first trick.
2. Be realistic about your child’s limitations
A good example of this is if you are buying a card trick for your kid, first make sure your child can shuffle a deck of card. That’s the minimum skill requirement to do card tricks.
If you absolutely must get your child a card trick, teach them to shuffle before you get them the trick deck of card. It can take a kid weeks or longer to learn to shuffle, and usually if they can’t do their new magic trick, they will be frustrated!
3. Try to see it in person, or at least a video sample
When picking out a magic trick it’s best to see it in person, or a short video clip of the magic trick. Sometimes the written description of a magic trick is exaggerated, or leaves out something important, like you have to be wearing a certain kind of shoe or shirt.
Actually seeing the trick in person or in a video clip on the internet will let you get an idea of how big, or small it is. The size of the magic trick is especially important if your child is planning on doing a magic show for their schools talent show.
4. Don’t over load them with too many tricks.
Be careful about getting a budding magician too many magic tricks at one time. It’s ideal for a kid to master a couple tricks at a time. When shopping for a magic kit an ideal number of tricks in the magic kit for a kid are under 25 magic tricks. This is enough to hold their attention. Getting a kids magic kit that has over 75 or 100 magic tricks can be a bit overwhelming for a kid.
5. Are there a lot of parts to lose?
Let’s face it, kids lose stuff all the time. Be careful of getting tricks that have tons of pieces that can be lost. The exception to this is a deck of trick cards. Most trick decks of cards will still work if a card is lost, and since decks of trick cards come with a box, it’s not too hard for a kid to remember to at least put them back into the box.
6. How much practice?
Just because a trick is easy, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t take practice. For example the classic Chinese Linking Ring trick is something that is deceptively hard to do. When a professional does the Linking Ring magic trick, they make it look easy, but don’t be fooled, it will take months to really learn to do it.
So be sure to ask if a particular magic trick is something that your child will be able to learn quickly.
If you remember these six guidelines the next time you are shopping for a magic trick or kit for your kid you will come out a winner!
copyright © 2006 by Louie Foxx