Classic Magic Examples

It's hard to find good examples of "Classic Magic" in practice.  But I'll try...



The next video plops Thursday

Classic Magic...Age Group

How's your week going?  Last week I briefly introduced an idea of 2 camps as it relates to magic shows, classic magic vs cool kid magic.  And yes entertainment is subjective, but I hope that sharing with you thoughts from this side of the stage, I arm you with critical information for any entertainer you hire.  This week I want to focus on the age of the audience.  

I typed "magician" into Google Image search, and got this...

Even the two non stock photos in there aren't doing themselves a favor. Look, magic isn't as cool as juggling, but we're WAY better than mimes.  Take THAT into your invisible box. 

If you think of kid shows (I know you don't), you'd think of the rabbit from the hat, etc. It's a weekend afternoon, you don't care if "the blocks changed colors". But if you haven't seen your friend in a few weeks, you want to catch up.  I get it. 

Check it, all I'm saying is..before you watch any entertainment (or book an entertainer), watch some of their videos.  See if you find them entertaining and engaging (with the skill..juggling, magic should be top notch as well). If not move on, and if so..find out more.



Classic Magic Series

Oh hey there,

Over the next month and some change I'll be sharing my take on magic as an art form, but more importantly how it relates to any show you experience.  For the sake of clarification we're going to pare it down to classic magic (think a magician with a top hat and cane, linking rings, etc), and a more contemporary approach (think Penn and Teller, etc).

This won't be theory, but actually a guide to help you appreciate, and discern magic.  I'm a huge advocate of contemporary "cool kids magic".  As no one should ever have to endure a show, at the end of this series I hope to arm you with ways to avoid doing so. But first...


Complete with terrible quality video. "Classic"


See ya next week!


12 Days of Christmas


Additonal Last Minute Party Planning Ideas



Expect the Unexpected

The hardest thing to plan for at any birthday party is the unexpected. Here's what you can do to keep chaos at bay:

  • Be prepared for meltdowns. An adult helper can take a distraught child aside while the rest of the group continues celebrating.
  • Stock band-aids, ice and tissue.
  • If parents are dropping off children, be sure you know about any food allergies or relevant medical conditions.
  • If you have pets, it's best to keep them separate from the guests. Include them in your family celebration — but know that some children are allergic to or afraid of even the gentlest animals. Similarly, many pets are afraid of small children who may not know that it's a bad idea to pull tails or step on paws.


Finally, remember that following guidelines is all well and good, but as every parent knows, sometimes the rules simply have to go out the window. Just as long as they don't all go out at once.


As an added thank you for trusting me to help you plan your party, please download some additional free gifts here.  But if you are like me, and would like something to hold in your hand instead, shoot me an email here and I'll send you a copy of my birthday party planning guide in the mail. 




Party Planning Tips...Thank You Cards and Last Minute Hints




The Party’s over, now what?

You got through the party, there were no melt downs, the kids have been picked up, and your house isn't in shambles (overflowing recycling bin aside). 

Thank You Cards

They're a gracious touch, and learning this early is a nice idea. Young kids can draw a picture of the present, then you fill in the words yourself. An older child can sign his name and, by age 6, should be able to write his own note. Don't worry about the spelling.

Lost track of who gave what? Don't mention the gift specifically—thank your guest for coming and being part of your child's special day.



Last Minute Preparation Hints 

The planning process becomes the most overwhelming the week leading up to the party. Have a checklist to remind yourself of all of the last-minute details: from the setup to food deliveries to getting your family there. No detail is too small! Confirm with your various vendors. If you have time, set up a mock table with how you want the paper goods and table décor arranged and take a photo. This will save you a ton of time on party day.

The day before the party, grab a shoebox or bag and put your camera, batteries, candles, the cake knife, matches, a permanent marker, pen and paper, and scotch tape in it.

Put children’s names on cups with a permanent marker. This will save on paper supplies.

Have a list of all the attendees so the helper mom can write down the name of the gift when your child opens it up.

Be prepared for your child or another child to become overwhelmed with all the activity and need some quiet time. If you see a child that seems to be withdrawing, pull them aside and check in with them. Have a quiet area for anyone who needs it.

Planning and thinking through the different components of a birthday party can help you and your child enjoy their day.

  • Involve kids in set-up and clean-up! One party started cleaning up after my show.The birthday girl helped clean up her party, too. That's important to teach your kids!
  • Keep the Length 90 minutes to 2 hours

Relax—it’s a party. Although it should be obvious, when you're in the thick of it, it’s hard to remember that parents are supposed to be having fun, too. Some parents feel like their child's party needs to be the BEST, but if you celebrate your child in a fun environment, it will be!


Next week I'll be sharing a planning checklist to print out and implement during the planning stages.  Later in December will be some fun decorating ideas.



Party Planning Tips...Goodie Bags and Presents


The Party is over, and we're waiting for parents to come pick up their children. Let's tie up some loose ends.

Goodie Bags

You don't need to spend a lot of money to have a successful party. This is a party for your child and her friends — not for other parents. Save the fireworks display for your next adult gala. The kids just want to play. Controlling expenses also means that you should not feel obligated to send home goody bags full of expensive toys. While some stickers or a craft make nice souvenirs, most parents agree that it's time to start saying no to elaborate party favors.

Kazoos, bracelets, and plastic puzzles may be junk to us, but they're treasure to a 4-year-old. Stick to your guns and a budget, though. Any more than $5 per goody bag is ridiculous.

Think outside the bag as well. How about sending everyone home with a packet of seeds to plant in the garden, or some colored modeling clay? One mom I know simply handed out a small box of colored sidewalk chalk to everyone at the end of the party. Most kids sat right down to draw on the patio. Cost for all this bliss: 90 cents each.


Q. Should my child open presents at the party?

A. It's a split, with some parents enthusiastically for it and others strongly against it. Those in the "no" camp believe that opening gifts can send already excited kids over the edge, resulting in a frenzy of torn paper and discarded cards and hurt feelings about slighted gifts.

Opening presents after the party means you get to avoid all of the above. It also extends the celebration for the birthday child and allows him to wind down a bit before tackling a pile of gifts (and you get to keep track of who gave him what!).

However, most kids will tell you that opening presents is one of the best parts of a party (next to the cake that is). In the end, it's up to you to decide. Take into account the size of the gathering, the kids' ages (children under 4 are less likely to be able to sit through opening a slew of gifts), your own child's personality, and the current level of chaos.

Next week we'll go over a list of last minute tips.  The week after that we will close out this series with some extra bonuses.


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