A birthday party magic show can be the most important part of a child’s birthday. Making sure that the show goes off without a hitch can seem quite difficult, but in reality, sticking to a list of simple tricks will allow for a much better possibility of this happening.
What You Need
The first thing to keep in mind is that a party magic show may be limited in both space and equipment. Plan for tricks that require minimal props. Never rely upon the party host to provide items for your magic show. Basic props should include cards, a can, a hat, a cape, a screen, and whatever else you feel like using at that point in time.
Once this has been established, the tricks can begin to be planned. Having a solid rotation of tricks as well as some extras can make for a more enjoyable time for all involved. Bring props that support these tricks and don’t be afraid to interact with the audience.
Using Your Ear
One of the oldest tricks is pulling something from behind the ear of the birthday child. Traditionally this is a coin of some form. However, if the parents wish, a small gift can be produced in the same way. Any item produced in this way must be able to be secreted up the sleeve and flipped through the fingers quickly.
The Scarf Trick
The next simple trick is the scarf that just keeps coming. These are often sold at magic stores and come in a tube or something similar. Holding this tube in your hand, you can pull the scarf out in a comic manner making it appear as if the normal, small scarf initially shown has magically grown.
Card tricks are always a hit. Guessing a child’s card, turning all the cards into something else, and trick shuffles all garner large amounts of attention and generally require low amounts of skill to perform.
Escape tricks are often the biggest interest to children and adults alike. A simple pair of handcuffs that seem to be impossible to unlock sans a key can soak up several minutes of a show.
Be sure to pretend to struggle for quite some time before getting out of the cuffs. Having a child say a magic word and blow upon the cuffs can increase audience participation and excitement.
Taking any small, completely flat, item from the audience, you can hide it within a balloon making it seem like the balloon has swallowed the item.
This is done by inflating the balloon, placing it above the item with the neck pinched, and then applying downward pressure on the balloon with upward pressure on the item. As the balloon deflates it will wrap around the item appearing to swallow the item whole.
The Knotted Rope Trick
The knotted rope trick is a classic, but almost always seems to be a hit with younger children. Take a piece of rope with a small knot on one end and hold the knot in your hand. Show off the rope, making sure the audience does not see the knot. Fold the entire rope up into the hand and give it a shake, mumble some magic words, or tap with a wand. When the hand is released and the rope is dropped it looks like the knot was tied by magic.
For a more modern take, feng shui balls can be used to make it seem like items are levitating on the magician. With enough practice these balls appear to move on their own giving the illusion both of floating and complete control. Understanding the roll of the ball also allows for tricks such as passing the ball to a child, stalling on an elbow, or having enough momentum to circle a hat.
The Cup Trick
The classic cup with something under it that then disappears can also be fun for children. There are many ways to accomplish this trick and finding your own personal best way is highly recommended.
With a slight of hand, the magnetic balls stick to the cups and then moves the item off the table. The shock of having the item disappear in front of the eyes is almost always a showstopper. A more interactive experience often includes having the item re-appear behind the ear of, or in the possession of another guest.
With this list of tricks, even the least skilled of magicians should be able to begin developing a children’s magic show. Remember to keep it simple, keep the audience involved, practice until everything looks perfect, and be prepared for any situation will make for a master magic show within no time at all.
These tricks can also be performed by non-magicians to simply impress friends, family, and people you have just met.