I thought this might be an interesting thread. How do all of you control the kids at a birthday show? Kids always want get up, go towards the magician, and make a grab for that bit of magic here and there.
My daughter currently uses a great "method" that has worked perfectly for her. She would love to take credit for it, but it originated through a client. For the party, the client placed a large blanket on the floor where my daughter was performing. (I don't think she wanted her carpet dirty) My daughter, however, used this to her benefit -- being the quick thinker she is! She told all the kids that it was a "magic carpet". In order for all the magic to happen, all the kids needed to do their part and stay on the carpet to keep the magic alive! If someone starts to get off, she gets a little animated and tells them the magic is running away and to hurry back and see if they can catch it by getting back on the magic carpet. Works every time! They quickly return to the carpet, and she goes back to the magic!
So, she doesn't lug around a blanket, what she does have is a nice big piece of compact felt that you can get at a fabric store. Its cheap so once it gets dirty, just replace it.
Now that I've shared our secret to keeping the kids under control, how do you handle it?