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 Post subject: 3 YEAR OLDS?!
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:17 pm 
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Here's the scoop. I have a job this summer as a magic specialist in a day camp teaching kids, ages 5 and up, magic. In addition, once a week I have to put on a 40-45 minute show for a bunch of 3 year olds.

Now, I have experience in doing kid shows, but the youngest I have ever done a show for were kids 5-years-old. I need you guys to tell me a little about a 3 year old's mental capacity. In Seriously Silly, Kaye says that all 3-year-olds are capable of are names of colors; not numbers or anything else.

So a few questions:
1. Will they understand a simple sponge ball routine?
2. How about a comedy chop cup with a puppet?
3. Are balloons (sculptures) a choking hazard for a 3 year old?

Any other advice is greatly appreciated.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:44 pm 
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I have never done a show for that young either but I did a show with a guy that does balloons and he wouldn't give them to kids under 5. He did have little toys for the younger ones though.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:11 pm 
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asking the questions is quite difficult. Normally i would say something like, "Here is a blue handkerchief, right?" The older kids would yell out "No, its red." 3 year olds don't yell this back, so it makes the interaction a bit more difficult.

Ben WInter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:17 pm 
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curlyclimber222 wrote:
asking the questions is quite difficult. Normally i would say something like, "Here is a blue handkerchief, right?" The older kids would yell out "No, its red." 3 year olds don't yell this back, so it makes the interaction a bit more difficult.

Ben WInter


That's what I was thinking. Although, in Seriously Silly - Kaye says that he did his change bag routine for kids as young as 2! Is that even possible?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:06 pm 
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I did a show for 4 year olds once. They loved the break away wand, loved when I dumped water on my head, and liked the fact a kid was pulling out candy bars out of my change bag when I told them to take out something healthy.
So it seems they like the "magician in trouble". They also like visual tricks like the coloring book. My guess is they would like your sponge ball routine especially if you act like your goofing up during the routine.
40-45min. will be to long for them. When I did the party for 4 year olds, it was 20 min. That seemed to me to be a perfect time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:25 pm 
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My daughter does perform for this age group quite successfully. In fact she did a party for a little girl's family a week ago with the majority being younger children with a mix of a few older kids.

She creates a show with a little bit of something for everyone. She wants to include things the little ones will get, while not boring the older ones or adults.

After her warmup she starts off with a "colorful" little routine choreographed to music that is appropriate for all ages.

She then goes into a storytelling routine. She loves storytelling magic and it works-- again-- for all ages. The younger kids love following with the story, especially if you are a good storyteller and animated, and interactive with the kids, and the older kids and adults like the magic that goes with it.

From there she does a nice rope routine, again choreographed with a custom storyline she and I created.

After that she does a routine choreographed to music using a custom Mark Wilson Alakazam hat my husband built for her. It rocks! Her reveal is quite unusual! Her production is then used for a short comedy bit that is quite cute.

It is then she brings up the special child for some spotlight attention. She puts the focus on that child and makes the show entirely theirs. They are now doing the magic. She somehow has the ability to open up even shy children; it must be her training as a camp counselor. The child performs two magic routines and then sits back down.

Her final act involves two older children or adults. The kids usually just have fun because this is kind of a "fast paced" upbeat routine that grabs their attention. She completely changes her tone & attitude for this routine, which catches their attention.

She didn't have a problem at all keeping the kids attention for a full 30 minutes.

Again, she did the job on Saturday (not this Saturday, a week ago) and by Monday the family had already called back and asked my daughter to put together another show because they wanted to invite her back to their next event.

I think the main thing for working with younger kids is your personality. You have to be warm and geniune, and not intimidating at all. You have to make yourself approachable. You also need to know 'how' to control the children. If you have a youngster that wants to get up and approach the magic, because they will, you have to be able to re-direct them in a positive and fun way to avoid meltdowns.

I would definitely NOT do balloons for this age. There is a routine I've been working on that involves balloons for the new show (Show B) that she will be putting together, but if she does this for a young age group she will hand the final balloon sculpture to the parent, not the child.

I hope this information helps. I think this is a wonderful age group to perform for so please do not get intimidated. It just takes a little more patience and understanding of young minds.

Oh, final thought-- just because they are young-- don't treat them like babies. They are smart and they are quick! Always treat them with respect like little adults.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:30 pm 
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Thanks for the ever informative posts Kristen!

But a three year old having a quick and sharp mind? Maybe 5, but 3? Can they even count to three?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:33 pm 
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Hey, you would be surprised! My daughter held up a silk with a picture on it and when my daughter asked her what it was she replied with the correct answer, "a caterpillar!"

Not bad for a 3 year old! I would have been happy with "worm"! :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:37 pm 
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kristenl wrote:
Hey, you would be surprised! My daughter held up a silk with a picture on it and when my daughter asked her what it was she replied with the correct answer, "a caterpillar!"

Not bad for a 3 year old! I would have been happy with "worm"! :lol:


All right. My first show is in two weeks, I'll tell you how "advanced" they are. Hey, I'd be very happy with little geniuses as an audience, as long as they don't reveal my TT. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:06 pm 
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Another quick question:

Do you think a 3 year old would NOT do something if you told them not to? IE: Tell a five year old NOT to stretch the silly wand, so they WILL stretch it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:13 pm 
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Personally, my daughter wouldn't bring up NOT to do something and hope for the opposite. Or, if she doesn't want them to do something she just doesn't point it out. If they do it on their own, she would just handle the situation in the appropriate manner.

A 3 year old (not in all cases) will be more apt to be curious, not rebellious--- unless you've got one still suffering from their terrible 2s!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:18 pm 
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kristenl wrote:
Personally, my daughter wouldn't bring up NOT to do something and hope for the opposite. Or, if she doesn't want them to do something she just doesn't point it out. If they do it on their own, she would just handle the situation in the appropriate manner.

A 3 year old (not in all cases) will be more apt to be curious, not rebellious--- unless you've got one still suffering from their terrible 2s!


I don't think you understand what I mean.

I want the kids to do the opposite of what I say (sometimes), it strengthens the "Magician in Trouble" aspect of the effect. So would a 3 year old listen to what I tell him to do/not to do, or play into my reverse psychology and do the opposite (like I want him to do).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:49 pm 
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Quote:
Personally, my daughter wouldn't bring up NOT to do something and hope for the opposite


I probably should have elaborated on my answer a little more. We wouldn't routine her act in such way that would rely on this age group to do this. You may have some outspoken youngsters, but the majority of them probably will be a little more quiet. Although if the majority of the children are boys they will be more rambunctious, and they 'may' do this. However, I wouldn't put my act in the hands of the kids by hoping they will respond the way you want.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:52 am 
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kristenl wrote:
Quote:
Personally, my daughter wouldn't bring up NOT to do something and hope for the opposite


I probably should have elaborated on my answer a little more. We wouldn't routine her act in such way that would rely on this age group to do this. You may have some outspoken youngsters, but the majority of them probably will be a little more quiet. Although if the majority of the children are boys they will be more rambunctious, and they 'may' do this. However, I wouldn't put my act in the hands of the kids by hoping they will respond the way you want.


Very true. Thanks for all the advice!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:00 pm 
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I came up with a little silk routine for the 3 year olds. Please base your comments on the plot not performance.

http://media.putfile.com/Potential-Silk-Routine


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