Daily Archives: May 25, 2011

When is the best age for starting magic?

It seems to me that infants are fascinated and laugh when you play peek-a-boo with them. Now you see me, now you don’t. Sounds a lot like a the name of a magic book. When my grand daughter, 3 years old, was over a while back I did a basic sponge ball routine, placing one ball in my hand and one ball in hers and of course when I opened my hand my ball was gone and when she opened her hand she had the two of them. The squeals of delight still ring in my ears. “Do it again! Do it again!”  Then SHE wanted to do it and tried every which way. Then of course the ball came out of her ears and nose  and it kept her fascinated for a long time. My grandson is 5 and is familiar with many magic tricks, like the Appearing Flower, which he performed with bravado at age 2 accompanied by  a big Tah-dah when the flower appeared. He does Magical Block, Coin Slide, Cigarette Vanishing Case, (using things other than cigarettes of course) and the  other day I showed him the Penetration Frame, whereby a pencil passes through a solid sheet of plastic. I let him play with it and was astounded when he come over to me and said, “I figured it out.” I’ve demonstrated this trick hundreds of times and always let the spectator examine the apparatus before and after and never has anyone, adults included, figured it out. Now I know I sound like a typical grandmother bragging about her grandchildren, which is true, because they are the cutest and brightest, BUT I also want to make a point.

I believe that when children are introduced to magic at an early age and learn to do magic tricks, they also learn to think a little differently than children who are not introduced to magic tricks. You see, I really can’t fool them anymore. The are still impressed and delighted with each new thing I show them, but those little brains are working. I can see them trying to figure out the possibilities. They know there’s a trick to it. I think this helps them in school as well. They can think outside the box. A while back I wrote a blog on Dr. Joe Schwarcz, who brought his granddaughter, age  5 then, to our magic shop (Perfect Magic in Montreal). She’s an old pro at it, and figured out every trick I showed her, but said she still liked them. So its not just my grandchildren. I believe all children would benefit. And some magician’s with children don’t even think to teach their children magic. One very well known magician saw the video of our 2 year old performing the appearing flower and was amazed. He said, “Gee, my daughter is older than that. Maybe I should get a couple of things for her. I never even thought about it.” Get your kids and grandkids started on the right foot with magic! And I didn’t even talk about what it does for their self-esteem and self-confidence!

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