Five Must Haves for Your Child’s Birthday

Children Birthday MagicianBirthdays are the best day of the year for most children. Watching your child celebrating with friends, receiving gifts and blowing out birthday cake candles are highlights of every good party.

But how can parents best plan birthday parties for their kids? It takes a fair amount of planning ahead to make a birthday memorable for your child. And there are definite areas that you must pay attention to – here are the top five must haves for your child’s favorite day!

Choose a Fun Venue

Throwing your child’s party at home might seem like the most convenient, But it may be the most stressful for you. Having to clean, prepare and place fragile items up on high shelves can be a bother. If you have the budget, why not host the party at a fun and educational venue, like a bouncy center, or a museum, aquarium or the zoo? Get creative and plan accordingly with your theme. If you are throwing a ballerina party for you daughter, take her and the other girls to a dance studio. If your little boy wants a hero party, ask the local fire department if you can bring the guests in for a safety demonstration.

Decorations

After choosing your venue, knowing what type and how many decorations you’ll need will become much easier. From streamers and balloons to piñatas and personalized banners, kids birthday supplies are colorful, come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can be used at most birthday parties. Check with any venue to see if decorations are allowed, as not all public places allow for birthday decorations.

How Much Food?

For most kids’ parties, you may not need to provide a whole meal, but depending on what time of day the party is held, finger foods should be available for the kids to snack on. Bite-sized crackers, vegetables and fruits are easy to prepare and pack, and will keep kids satisfied without loading them with sugar. If the occasion calls for a bigger meal, try pizza, tacos or other easy-to-handle foods. Don’t forget the cake, either. But depending on your child, you may want to consider cupcakes instead. Depending on your theme, cupcakes can allow for a variety of likes in flavor and decoration.

Colorful plastic serving bowls for snacks are pretty and practical for children’s parties. Buy plates, napkins and utensils to match the other decorations.

Entertainment

Decide early on if you’ll have entertainment at your party. Popular magicians, clowns, costume artists, singers and other party professionals are usually booked weeks in advance.

If you’re using games as the entertainment, make a list of games your child enjoyed playing at other kids’ birthday parties, and use this as a guide in what to buy or plan. Set up the games ahead of time if they involve more than a minute or two of preparation.

If you’re looking to keep your entertainment costs low, consider asking a friend to dress up as a clown or princess, depending on the party.

Games and Goodies

The piñata doesn’t have to be for decoration exclusively! Buy a variety of small, age-appropriate candies and fill it. The birthday boy or girl will love swinging at the piñata and breaking it open. The other kids will quickly scramble to collect the loot. Some piñata come with strings that the child pulls, which might be easier for preschoolers. Put birthday candy treats in goody bags with each guest’s name on them. Top them off with little toys or stickers that fit the party’s theme.

Do your best to prepare for the party, but when the time arrives just try to have fun. Your child and other guests will pick up on and follow your lead, so if you have a positive attitude the birthday boy or girl is bound to have a delightful day.
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Michigan Magician Presents Sleight of Hand Saturday

Below is a brief video clip of your favorite Michigan Magician performing some sleight of hand on a Saturday afternoon!  After all, magicians have to keep practicing!

Sleight of Hand magic is one of the purest form of magic as there are no camera tricks or sneaky stuff.  Well, ok there are some shenanigans but that’s what us magician-folk call prestidigitation.   Sleight of hand takes years of practice to make the impossible look possible.

(This Michigan Magician prefers sleight of hand over other forms of Magic since it is a more up-close and personal type of Magic)

I’m a fan of stage magic as well but there is something about the simplicity of a coin vanishing 2 feet in front of you versus watching a big box trick from the stage.

Sleight of hand magic is excellent form of entertainment if you are planning a corporate mixer, wedding reception or private party where you want unique entertainment for your audience to enjoy while they mingle and socialize with your guests.  You may have heard this form of entertainment called “Mingle Magic” or “Walk Around Entertainment”.

If you are interested in learning sleight of hand magic, be sure to check out one of our local Metro Detroit magic shops.  The Wundeground is my favorite magic shop in the local Detroit area.  It has been around for years (previously Romig’s Magic Shop in Ferndale) and its where I learned my first few effects in sleight of hand magic.

Every Michigan Magician needs to start some where

Hire a Michigan Magician for your next event

I’m a Rochester Michigan based Magician although I entertain throughout Macomb and Oakland county.  If you’re looking for some unique and memorable entertainment for your next event, complete the Booking Information form or give us a call.  The Magic Fun Man show provides magical entertainment through out all of Metro Detroit Michigan!

By the way, here are some other famous Michigan Magicians

 

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5 Tips on Magic For Kids To Learn

Magician New Baltimore Michigan

The Wand Trick

In my magic courses and magic shows, I’m often asked how parents can foster their child’s interest in magic. Below are 5 useful tips  to help to your kids learn how to do magic tricks and explore the Art of Magic.

 

 

1.   Encourage your children to learn how to do magic tricks through the local library.

You don’t need to buy the latest magic set or stacks of DVDs on sleight of hand to learn how to do magic. Libraries have a ton of resources on magic, magic history, juggling, and magic specifically for kids. It doesn’t hurt that all this knowledge is FREE! A good beginner’s book in magic will provide the initial foundation for your child to learn several magic tricks and help assess their interest in learning more about the Art of Magic.

2.   Remind them to practice both the “moves” and the “story” when learning the magic trick.

Magicians refer to their “story” as patter. Patter is the words used in the presentation of the magic trick. Kids (and adults) new to magic often focus purely on the “moves” rather than the presentation. Reminding the performer to focus on the story as well as the moves will only help your son or daughter become more proficient in their performance. Plus their magic trick will be more entertaining!

3. Visit your local magic shop

The library has a lot of resources, but a magic shop is often the defacto hot spot for any budding performer. Reputable magic shops are staffed with experienced prestidigitators that can help your child learn how to do magic. Watch out for any magic dealer who will sell an expensive magic prop without considering the skill of the performer. When purchasing magic, my recommendation is to invest in books before DVDs. Books have a lot of material that can be referred to time and time again. DVDs are good too however, the latest trend in magic is to release one trick per DVD. You want to ensure you get the most magic for your investment. The DVD will also show how the effect will be presented as well as the “secret”. Both books and DVDs are useful learning tools. I prefer these to the standard tricks you find in the glass booths…but those are fun too! Magic shops will sometime host magic nights where local magicians get together and have a “jam session” demonstrating their latest magical pursuit.

For aspiring Michigan based magicians, I recommend The Wunderground in Royal Oak, Michigan as your main stop for all things “magic”

4. Join a local magic assembly, ring, or group.

International Brotherhood of MagiciansSociety of American Magicans

 

 

 

 

 

If you search http://www.magicsam.com or http://www.magician.org, you can find a local Assembly or Ring comprised of local magicians in your metropolitan area. Magic meetings are a fun place to network with other hobbyists, professionals, and newbies interested in the Art of Magic. Most magic organizations are welcoming of new members and are willing to share the secrets of their trade. However, the student must be willing to learn and practice rather than expect all the secrets to be revealed.

5. Attend a magic convention

Magic conventions are another excellent way to meet other magicians, see different magic acts, meet different magic vendors, and purchase new magic. Most conventions are held in a hotel where magicians provide lectures, advice, perform parlor sized shows, and even perform full scale theater shows. Every night magicians gather in the lobby and session with each other. It is another easy way to make new friends and learn a few new tricks of the trade

I hope you found these tips helpful in your child’s pursuit of learning how to do magic.  Ofcourse, if you want to see the real Michigan Magician magic show in person, simply give us a call!

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Seven Birthday Party Tips for Parents

As a father of 3 boys, I know how challenging planning and managing a birthday party can be. It can get stressful juggling invitations, food, gift bags, birthday presents not to mentioned you need to ENTERTAIN everyone…and that’s with both my wife and I help host the party!  Below are 7 easy tips to successfully plan for an AWESOME birthday party that your guests will remember.

birthday party tips

Photo Credit Will Clayton

Birthday Party Tip #1 PLANNING is the secret to a successful party

Keep the child’s age in mind when planning the length of the party.

2.5-3 hours is long enough for most 4-10 year olds.

Plan on fewer hours for the children under 4 years old.

Most weekend parties start between 1:00 and 3:00.

Birthday Party Tip #2 INVITATIONS should be delivered three to four weeks before the party

Call your child’s special friends first to confirm the date before
inviting the other guests. This gives you the chance to pick a
different date if your child’s special friend can’t attend.

Sending the invitations out early will ensure everyone will attend and
there won’t be any conflict between your party and the date of another
friend’s birthday party.

Birthday Party Tip #3 ORGANIZE your plan on paper

Remember to double-check your supplies a day before the party.

Call the entertainment a few days before the event to confirm final guest count and start time.

Birthday Party Tip #4 ACTIVITIES should be plentiful and fun!

Play the first activity early to keep your guests busy while you wait for any late arrivals.

Birthday Party Tip #5 REFRESHMENTS are easy

– ice cream…cake…hot dogs…cheese pizza…

The kids’choice every time!Plan on offering birthday cake and ice cream AFTER the entertainment.

Birthday Party Tip #6 ENTERTAINMENT is the KEY to any successful party

Be sure it’s done well or the whole party suffers!

When evaluating entertainers, ask for testimonials and
make sure the show offers a 100% Money Back GUARANTEE!

Book your entertainment EARLY to avoid disappointment.

Birthday Party Tip #7 PRIZES should be simple and plentiful

No one should go home empty handed!

Hand out the goodie bags at the door so everyone gets one and nothing
gets lost.

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Metro Detroit Michigan Magic Clubs

michigan magic club

Monday Night Mystics - Camp Ticonderoga Restaurant, Troy, Michigan

I’m often asked by students, parents, and aspiring hobbyists on where they can learn more about the Art of Magic. The majority of beginner magic books will tell you to visit the library, your local magic shop, or visit a variety of websites to learn more about the Art of Magic. These resources are useful but nothing beats finding a real-live person who can demonstrate a magic trick and provide the inside information on how to perform it correctly. If you are a student of magic and want to learn more, I encourage you to visit the Monday Mystics – Metro Detroit’s informal gathering of hobbyists, amateur and professional magicians who all enjoy discussing, teaching, and sharing the Art of Magic.

As a lifelong inhabitant of Metro Detroit, I’ve been a member of several magic associations and informal magic clubs. Some associations suffer from too much organization and parliamentary procedure that they forget the main reason for a magic club – the MAGIC! At the Monday Mystics, the main focus is Magic. You’ll always find a willing group of performers ready to show you their latest magic trick! There are no officers or rules. We enjoy applauding any performer’s efforts and respect the right to voice an opinion. The goal is to help each other entertain (or at least amuse) the public, and if someone doesn’t fool a magician, it doesn’t matter! Although, due to an unfortunate incident that (ahem) whose fault remains nameless, we’ve been asked to keep the tigers, rabbits, and doves at home!

At the Monday Mystics, newcomers and experienced professionals are welcome to join the cast of characters who show up at 7 p.m. every Monday night at the Camp Ticonderoga restaurant at 5725 Rochester Rd, Troy Michigan. Each week, our members bring a trick to share or a story from a recent performance. There isn’t a set agenda and the magicians casually share an excellent meal over card tricks, mind reading, sleight of hand, and practical jokes. Did I mention the $11.95 prime rib special or the 35-cent wings?

The History of Metro Detroit’s Monday Mystics Magic Club

The Monday Night Mystics was organized over 17 years ago by the late “Doc” Condon who originally dubbed it the “Clare Cummings Roundtable”. For those of you who remember Twin Pines, Milky the Clown was Detroit’s own Clare Cummings. It was an active group of magicians who packed the dining rooms of several establishments.

A few years after Clare’s passing, the “Underground Legend”, Ron Bauer began to bring Milt Kort to the meetings. In the magic community, both Ron and Milt’s contributions to the Art of Magic are well known. Many aspiring magicians learned their first coin tricks from Milt’s contributions to Bobo’s Coin Magic – a legendary text in the Art of Magic.

The name changed January 9th, 2006 to the Monday Mystic when during a volunteer performance for the Lake Orion Lions Club, the group needed a name to identify the magicians who were strolling around entertaining the non-magician crowd. The “Clare Cummings Roundtable” would not make any sense to a non-magician audience so the Monday Mystics was created. The performance was well received as the Monday Mystics entertained their audiences with the name badges created by Ron Bauer and Sandra Kort.

If you’re a newcomer to magic or an experienced professional looking for some camaraderie and laughs sandwiched between a card trick or two, then visit the Monday Mystics each Monday night. The real benefits of the group are the willing mentors and colleagues who can help you learn and grow in the Art of Magic. Also, if you’re a fan of magic but not an actual performer, please feel free to attend! We always enjoy a captive crowd eager for more magic tricks!

Chuck Stroud is the unofficial organizer of each week’s meeting and you can keep up to date with the Monday Mystics by contacting him at stroudchuck@gmail.com. If you’re attending a meeting, send me an email at andy@magicfunman.com and I’ll look forward to seeing you there!

NoteI originally wrote this article for the Detroit Examiner.  You can read the original at http://www.examiner.com/magic-in-detroit/learn-magic-tricks-with-the-monday-mystics
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