I would recommend reading the top 3 "stickies" in this section. I think you will find it packed with information that will be helpful to you and may answer a lot of your questions.
You may or may not get responses to the question what "effects" they use. The only reason I say this is because I know from our own standpoint we spend a vast amount of time researching to do something out of the ordinary so it is different from the "standard". There will always be magicians that will use the "standard" kid show effects and then there will be magicians who look outside the box to be different. There is no right or wrong with either, it is a matter of who YOU want to be as a performer.
First you need to determine what kind of magic best represents you and then go from there and find out what effects meet those needs.