Posted on 4th Dec 2019 15:15:00
Christmas is creeping upon us yet again, and the plethora of adverts on TV for children’s toys every year baffles me even more. I even saw in a store the other day a game where the aim is to pick up dog poop! I mean seriously? Every other shop I pop in seems to always carry a multitude of merchandise from one specific film... That film is, if you haven't realised, Harry Potter. It seems the enthusiasm for the Boy Wizard will never die! It would be nice to think this world of make-believe world of spells and magic wands would encourage children to take up my sort of magic. The telegraph even writes that the number four toy this year is, of course, Harry Potter related!
Well, why not introduce your children into, so to speak, real magic! They can perform amazing tricks that will make people think they are real wizards. And yes, people ask me at gigs if I went to Hogwarts!
This is where children’s magic sets come into their own. You can buy many great value kits that include everything for a kid this Christmas to put on their own magic show, and hopefully get hooked into the great hobby it is, whether they want to take it up professionally one day or not.
A magic kit has can help with a child’s development–It allows them to develop fine motor skills, increases confidence if performing to other people and self-esteem when they amaze their audiences with what they have achieved. Even science agrees, as reported in the Guardian "Teach magic lessons in school," - Guardian 12/09/08
Depending on age, there are various ways to start. For young children, the brand leader is Marvin’s Magic, created by respected magician Marvin Berglas way back in 1987. These sets are ubiquitous in all good toy shops and online retailers. Most of these magic sets contain variations of the same trick, constructed in plastic. These are a mix of close-up items and mini illusions, an example being the famous cups and ball trick (with people suggesting they even performed it in ancient Egypt!). An example of Marvin’s set is Marvin’s Magic 225 Amazing Tricks, which, as the title states, contains 225 effects! That is a huge amount, a lot more than I perform that is for sure..
For a Marvin's set then this one has hundreds of tricks, enough to occupy through the winter months...
Another set, by the delightfully named brand Hanky Panky (ooh err), is a set in a top hat with of course a rabbit. This set includes links to video instructions, which can be of great aid as instructions can be notably difficult to follow. Even professional magic has seen a move away from books to video, which is a shame as there is nothing like a real paper book! The box even has a mention of FISM, the International Federation of Magic Societies, who every few 4 years, host the world magic championships. An event I attended when hosted in less than sunny Blackpool in 2012... I caught a cold..
For those too cool for this though, there is even a street magic set out, for the budding David Blaine or of course, Dynamo - including magic baseball cap!
For a better-quality children’s set, this one from Melissa & Doug, who creates wooden toys. This set includes 10 tricks constructed from wood, going for quality over quantity. This would last a lot longer than a plastic set with millions of small pieces. Us “real” performing magicians use bigger versions of these props!
“The magic isn’t in the trick, it’s in the [audience’s] eyes.” - David Blaine
For those a little older, a good start could be an actual DVD or book (are DVDs still a thing among the young?!). I have mentioned in a previous post my top 5 beginner books, found here in a post from March 2016. You can go wild and spend a fortune on gimmicks and tricks, but it is best to start with the basics and work your way up. Besides the classic books mentioned there, I would also recommend Joshua Jay. An excellent modern magician who has produced a great beginners book with DVD
For all other beginner magic visit a good magic shop, either a bricks and mortar shop or online - a good place is the beginner's section of a magic shop such as Merchant of Magic - Beginners Tricks
Anyway, hope you all have a magical Christmas and hope some people start their journey in the world of magic!
"A lot of unconfident kids do tricks because it’s the quickest route to impressing people” - Derren Brown
ps: I am not being paid to promot ethese items or gain anything from teh links! Just trying to make life easier!
pps: Edited December 2019 - original December 2017