However, I have heard of many magicians using the same canned material and same lines in both parties for 3 year olds and 10 years. When I say the same, I mean ‘THE SAME’. This obviously cannot and will not work as a 10 year old laughs at different things, is often more intelligent and has more of a rounded view on the world and is able to easily differentiate between what is magic and what is not magic.
As kids’ magicians, one thing I hear from kids’ at my parties every now and then is – “I know that one”, or “I’ve seen this one”. Maybe all I have done is pull a wand out of my magic box. There is no way they could know what is coming next. But somehow, ‘they know’
Or do they?
If you are at a party for children between 3-6 years old, usually this ‘shout out’ is a genuine sign of recognition. They become excited because they are familiar with the prop or the object you have just shown them. In a world where everything is unfurling around them, children love the fact that despite, the sea of new faces, strange church hall, lots of cakes ready to be eaten and more unusual surroundings, they empathise with the familiarity of a ‘magician with a wand’ or a ‘sponge ball in the hand’. It puts them at ease. Play along….have fun!
If you move past the age of 6 years old, children who start shouting out “I’ve seen that one before”(often repetitively) but in theory rarely, genuinely have. They are looking for approval from you and their peers. They want to be seen as smart, and not a ‘5 year old’ who has never seen a wand before. Looking at this from a psychological standpoint, one would suggest an element of insecurity. Instead they shout it out, to look cool, and be perceived as clever and smart, thus hopefully securing more acceptance, recognition and friendship in the fickle world of playground banter and fun.
For 3 to 6 year olds then. They love to play. They love to laugh. They love to giggle. For them, giggling and interaction is contagious. More so than any other age group! Get one or a few laughing, then the whole room will erupt. This age group will understand basic words, spoken slowly with funny faces and funny magical words thrown in. They don’t compete for attention and often they are less unruly.
For me, performing to 4, 5 and 6 year olds is my favourite age range!
To add comedy, I often verge on the side of silliness. Blowing raspberries, pulling out big wands, small wands, rubber chickens, big hats, or anything else, which makes me (the performer) look silly.
I stress that point too…often younger children can get shy quickly so I always like to make me look the fool, and make me look silly and NEVER the child. They are there to have fun….you are there to make them have fun. More so than any other age range, it is the entertainment ride that these kids have and that far outweighs the magical prestige at the end of the trick….
This age group is great for those performers who are truly funny, have a great connection with kids, but perhaps are not the greatest magicians in the world. That does not say you should perform poorly executed tricks – because as I said before – 5 and 6 year olds can turn from being a great crowd to a bad crowd if the balance between silliness and professionalism is not kept.
The younger the age group, the slower the magic, the sillier it should be and the less intimidating too. Ensure they are not craning their necks to look up at your towering height. Get in amongst the children and make them part of the show. Keep things bright. Keep things visual. Keep things colourful. Keep things silly and most of all, keep things FUN!!!!
To see one of my magic shows for kids, check out my show-reel on my home page www.williamthewizard.co.uk.