Confession: No one has ever asked me for an autograph (except when I need to write checks to pay bills). What I do get asked many times by parents is how can their child get involve in magic. Magic is a great hobby, and if your children are interested in learning how to do magic, it’s a great hobby to encourage. Magic tricks don’t require a lot of materials (if you have a deck of cards and a few coins, your kids can get started today), and it can be practiced anywhere, (NYC subways, long car trips, doctor’s waiting rooms, etc.). Research has even shown that kids who are interested in magic see an increase in self-esteem and learn to be less shy. If your child has expressed interest to learn magic, here are 4 resources that will get him/her off to a running start.
1) Buy a Magic Set
30 years ago, when my older brother asked for a bag of Gummi Bears, I asked for a magic set. Within 5 minutes my brother had eaten all of his candy, where as I practiced many hours each day and began to learn. Magic sets are a great way to introduce a child to magic. The instructions are usually well written, the tricks look colorful and kid-friendly, and most have a variety of tricks that are usually very easy for a child to learn. Some magic sets contain only 4 tricks and others contain over 100. Regardless of the size of the magic set, your child will love learning and performing them for you. Sets such as the Spectacular Magic Show and Melissa and Doug’s Deluxe Magic Sets are a good place to start. Click here to see my review of these two magic sets.
2) Read Books on Magic
After mastering the tricks in the magic set, I remember going to the library and taking out books on magic. I began by reading very basic beginner books that involved everyday objects like salt shakers, rubber bands, coins, etc. As I got better with my sleight of hand, I would read more complicated books on magic (Bobo Modern Coin Magic book, Tarbell Course of Magic). There are many card and coin magic books that don’t require you to have anything other than a deck of cards or some quarters. The price of the book can essentially buy you hundreds of magic tricks that you can take with you anywhere. In high school, I also began reading books on how to make simple balloon animals, and today I continue to read similar books but with much more complicated balloon sculptures. My mom didn’t always appreciate it when I shoved a deck of cards in her face and asked her to “pick a card”. However, she did love that I was constantly reading without having to be asked!
3) TV, Movies, and YouTube
There is never a shortage of magic being shown in the media. Whether it’s a David Blaine, Chris Angel, or a David Copperfield TV special, America’s Got Talent, or the thousands of YouTube videos, your child can easily watch magicians entertaining people. Similarly, YouTube also makes it very easy for anyone to learn magic. If you child wants to learn some card tricks, just type in, “beginner card magic tricks”. If you substitute “coin” or “rope” or “everyday objects” with card, you will get hundreds of hits. You would also get a comparable number of results by substituting “beginner” with “intermediate” or “advanced” or “self-working”. Watching magic acts instead of learning how to do the tricks will also be very beneficial for anyone learning how to perform magic. When I started out learning magic, I loved watching Penn and Teller and Doug Henning. These magicians didn’t just show the audience a magic trick. They incorporated story-telling, comedy, and they had great stage presence which collective created an amazing show and a memorable experience. Magic is as much or more about the presentation and performance as it is about the actual trick. You must also be a great performer and entertain your audience and watch other magicians will help your child understand that.
4) Magic Camp
When I was 11, I first went to Tannen’s Magic Camp. Located in Long Island, NY, these 8 days were basically magic 24/8. There were lessons, performances, more lessons, more performances and all of it was with a hundred other kids who wanted to continue to learn magic. It was at this camp where I began to make the jump from magic as a hobby to magic as a profession. Not only did I continue to learn more magic tricks, I was surrounded by other kids who also loved magic. I am still in touch with many of my former campmates, many of whom are famous full-time magicians and others who continue it as a hobby. There are many other magic camps for kids, and it is a great way to encourage any child who wants to learn magic.
Contact NYC Magician, Magical Dave today for more information regarding his children’s birthday party magic shows and how he can make it unforgettable!
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