If you want help with a kids show, go buy Chris Capehart's dvd "kidding around". It's a 2 disk set, and this man gets so much mileage out of so few props that it will blow your mind. I constantly go back to this material for my kids shows and it never fails me. The core effects for a kids show that I personally use from that dvd are the following:
Shrinking and Growing head illusion (my opener, never fails)
Hopping Spots (perfect follow up trick)
Linking Rings (Capehart has a dvd on this, and it is a must buy)
Misers Dream (Capehart also has a dvd on this routine, and this is a true money maker, a mainstay)
Coloring Book (if you don't have one of these for your kids show, then you're missing out)
Fraidy Cat Rabbit (this NEVER fails to wow them, another mainstay)
The Thing (this is Bill Abbott's, and is a HUGE crowed pleaser)
Chico the Mind Reader (another Bill Abbott creation, and this is SO GOOD, that it's my closer)
This whole show here will last approx. 1 hour in length. Chico, Fraidy Cat Rabbit, and Misers Dream can last 30 minutes with just those 3 tricks alone. Now the price for this act is NOT cheap, but worth every single penny:
Shrinking and Growing head: This will cost around $40 for the prop. You will also need a cordless screwdriver to spin the wheel, and that will run around $30. So $70 total for this routine.
Hopping Spots: You can get this awesome routine for $20, packs small but plays HUGE.
Linking Rings: You can get a good set of nice chrome, stage size rings for around $50 if you get the Difatta set which are the ones I use and recommend highly. His stainless steel set will cost around $85. I recommend you buy Capeharts "linking rings" dvd as well.
Misers Dream: One of the few cheap routines you can buy. Just buy a wine cooler or some type of stainless steel jar at your local Walmart for around $15 and get around 12 half dollars and you can do this entire routine for around $20 max. Chris gets so much mileage out of these simple, cheap props that it's incredible. I again recommend you buy his "misers dream" dvd as well.
Coloring Book: Another cheap prop, you can get the large one (which I use) for around $6. Again so much mileage out of such a cheap prop.
Fraidy Cat Rabbit: This prop will run you about $150, but for a trick that is a mainstay and is always a fooler and never fails you when you use it, it's worth every cent.
The Thing: Bill Abbott sells this package for around $200, and you get everything you need (dvd's, gimmick, matching non-gimmick, clear box, ect.) to perform this miracle.
Chico the Mind Reader: Bill Abbott's pet routine is the most expensive routine in this entire act. It will last 15 minutes by itself and the package comes with almost everything you need to perform this. The only thing you will need to buy is a briefcase table to put all the props in which will run you around $180 for a good one. The Chico Package itself will run you around $550, yes I said $550. The total cost for this routine will cost a whopping $720, but you only have to do this once. The table should last a lifetime, and the Chico props (puppet, cards, hat, all the plastic accessories, ect.) should last you years upon years. If one of the props break, it can cheaply be replaced. You can get everything you need prop wise a lot cheaper, but without the dvd's you get, you won't get the updated routine with all the bits and business.
Bill does sell a "light package" that has all the dvd's, cd's, and pdf files for around $100, which if you bought all the props cheaply, you can get the rest for only $100 more which will save you a lot of money upfront. If you want to skip all the running around, just get the complete package and be done with it. Now is this routine worth the HUGE price tag? Since you're adding 15 minutes of laughter, comedy, and magic to your show that is pure entertainment at it's core, plus the fact that it can be your closer (it's been my closer for years) that I'd say yes, it's worth every penny.
Total cost of act = $1,236 + Shipping fees
For that price you get the best 1 hour of kid show magic you can possibly perform IMO. Obviously the biggest expense is the Chico routine, and if you were to decide not to do that, then it will only cost you around $516, and with that price you're still getting around a 45 minute show. The routine is not vital to your success as Chris Capehart doesn't use it (he closes with Fraidy Cat Rabbit). However, the Chico routine is a money maker as the parents will book you again because of Chico, so Chico alone is making you money. It all depends on what that value means to you.
If you're working a few restaurants, combined with your birthday parties/kid shows on the weekends, you can make up that $1,236 in a month easy. From then on, it's pure profit for you the rest of the way, and you've got a kid's show that you can perform for the rest of your life. Hope this helps.