Saturday, March 04, 2006


By Christina VanGinkel

How often have you found yourself listening to your kids whine that they have nothing to do? If you suggest tasks such as cleaning their rooms or taking out the trash, all you get is a look to end all looks or them rolling their eyes as they saunter away. What they are really trying to tell you is that they wish they had a hobby, and a fun one at that. This might not have crossed your mind, because you might think they already have a hobby, maybe even a couple of them. With kids though, they always seem to be searching for something new, something different to try. If they have not been introduced to the fun world of magic, of performing tricks to amaze and mystify their family and friends with, then this might be the perfect hobby for them to give a try.

Start simple, by asking them if this sounds like something, they might be interested in. Maybe pick them up a book or two on the subject so they can have a glimpse of some of the fun things they can do with the most basic of supplies. A couple book suggestions include:

Magic for Kids by Fay Presto, for the 9 to 12 age group, it is filled with colorful step-by-step photographs, so they learn quickly, and easily the 25 included magic tricks. By the time your kids get finished with this book, they will be ready to put on a magic show of tricks and illusions for a small or large group. The magic tricks are arranged in the book in an easy to follow format too, so kids can learn how the different tricks might relate to each other, making the learning process that much easier.

For kids that might not have a lot of patience, you could get them the Kids Make Magic!:
The Complete Guide to Becoming an Amazing Magician (Quick Starts for Kids!) by Ron Burgess
. Also for the 9 to 12 age group, this book will help them learn the basics of the world of magic tricks, and how to incorporate props such as coins, cards, ropes, scarves, and more. They will get a complete list of what they need to pull off each trick with ease, and all the directions are in written in an easy to follow step-by-step format, which can be very critical when performing magic tricks. What is unique about this book too, is at the end, there is a chapter that goes over a magician's personality. It will help them to better understand how to set up and convey the magic tricks as they perform them. The book also includes a resource list for those who will most assuredly want to take what they have learned and explore the fun side of the world of magic tricks even further. From magazines and Webs sites, to clubs and supply stores, you can find it all in the included resource list.

Besides books, you could also provide them with their very own magic kit. The Deluxe 54 Piece Magic set, by Melissa and Doug, comes with such favorites as multiplying coins, secret change bag, disappearing objects, prediction tricks, and more. Kids will soon be performing old favorites and new classics. The included wooden storage box which holds all of the pieces that make up over ten complete tricks, doubles as a performance table for your budding magician to perform his or her magic on, transforming with just a few simple steps. The box also comes with its very own secret compartment, and what magician is worth their weight if they do not at least have a few secrets up their proverbial sleeve! This kit is listed as a finalist in the 2004 Family Fun Magazine Toy of the Year awards. This kit retails for $29.99, a bargain considering all the fun your child will have with the pieces in this kit.

Making magic is a fun hobby for kids of all ages, but especially youngsters who might be in search of a hobby. If you have or know of such a child, introduce them to the fun world of magic for a hobby that they could potentially have for the rest of their lives.

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