Kids love magic tricks – doing the tricks themselves or watching them being done and trying to figure them out can keep a child entertained for hours. You might not know that learning about magic tricks is not only super fun, but it can also be really good for kids as well. Learning magic is said to improve a child’s self-confidence, public speaking, critical thinking skills, work ethic and even their school grades. With that in mind, here are some of the best magic sets, online videos, DVDs, books, apps and simple magic tricks to help your kids learn a little bit of magic.
Where to Start
If you happen to live in or near a big city, check to see if you have a magic shop that you can visit. Magic shops are fun and inspiring places to take a kid who is just getting into magic. The cool thing about going to an actual magic shop is that the people working there will demonstrate the tricks and show your kids exactly how the tricks work. They will also be able to recommend something that the child will be capable of doing without frustration. You might pay a little bit more than you would if you bought a magic kit at Toys R Us or Walmart, but having someone show your kids how a trick works will go a long way in helping keep your child interested magic.
The Best Kits for Kids
If you don’t live near a magic shop there are some very highly recommended magic kits for kids around, (there are also a lot of really bad kits, so take your time in picking the right kit). Here are some of the top rated and best reviewed sets that we could find:
- Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Set (for ages 8 and up) is a great choice if you are looking for some simple magic tricks for children to learn. Most of the tricks in this kit are made of wood and there is a nice Egyptian theme to it. The instructions are also very cool for kids with a sort of aged, burned parchment effect to the paper, and they are clear enough for kids to be able to follow. Most reviewers of this kit agreed that it was a really highly quality product for a very good price. The kit has 10 magic tricks including: Disappearing Ball, Magic Coin Box, Secret Silks, Great Escape, Magic Number Prediction, Money Maker, Egyptian Prediction, Vanishing Zone, Cylinder Squeeze and Vanishing Coin.
- Melissa & Doug Discovery Magic Set is different from the Melissa and Doug Deluxe set in that it is for a slightly younger crowd (a lot of people recommend it for 4-5 year olds) The tricks are very simple and easy for very young children to perform. The kit itself is wooden and very well made. The set includes the following 4 tricks: “Sword in the stone” trick where the child uses a secret ring to get the sword out of the stone, a trick where the child can change the color of a string from white to red by pulling it through a wooden box/gadget, an illusion box where items “disappear” when they are dropped inside, a trick with a box and a dice where the child can guess the side/color of the dice that an audience member has chosen.
- POOF-Slinky 0C4769 Ideal 100-Trick Spectacular Magic Show Suitcase with Instructional DVD (for ages 7-12) is a bit different than the Melissa and Doug sets in that it has 100 magic tricks and props so there is a lot going on with this set. The quality won’t be as good as the Melissa and Doug sets, but if you are looking for quantity at a good price, this is the set for you. This set includes a magic hat, a suitcase that doubles as a magician’s table, the “Secrets of 100 Magic Tricks” book and an instructional DVD starring magician Ryan Oakes.
Individual Magic Tricks for Kids
If you aren’t quite ready to buy a whole set for a child, have a look at these simple tricks that are suitable for kids.
- Pen Thru Dollar Magic Trick is simple trick that, with a bit of practice, is a good starting one for kids. The point of this trick is a pen is put through a spectator’s dollar bill, without wrecking the bill. Kids can ask the audience for a bill and then stick the pen straight through the middle of it with no damage done. The trick has instructions included, and is easy enough for a kid who is just getting into magic.
- Magic Makers Disappearing Dime and Penny Illusion Magic Trick is another easy to learn trick that is a good one for kids (although kids may need some help from an adult who knows a bit about coin tricks). This trick includes step-by-step instructions and bang ring. It’s is a very highly rated trick for a decent price.
Tricks for Kids Videos and Websites
There are lots of resources to help kids learn magic tricks online. The best are the online videos that break down the tricks in an easy and straight forward way.
- Neo K12 has a great list of magic tricks videos that are suitable for kids.
- Activity Village also has a really good list of online magic trick videos for kids.
- Kid Zone has a very good list of magic tricks for kids with instructions. It also has some helpful tips for kids to improve their magic skills.
- Easy magic coin trick is a video tutorial of the setup and execution of a simple coin trick that is appropriate for kids.
- Magic Tricks for Kids has some fun videos for kid’s magic tricks. Also check out their main site.
- Magic in Minutes are very well done online video tutorials on magic tricks that are suitable for kids.
- The Society of Young Magicians is a part of the Society of American Magicians that offers a membership to youth between the ages of 7 and 17, it includes a subscription to The Magic SYMbol online magazine. If children join they have to take the Membership Pledge where they agree to not to tell any of the secrets of magic to anyone (among other things), which would probably be cool for a kid.
We couldn’t find many apps with magic tricks that are specifically designed for kids. There are a few available but the reviews for them aren’t great. However, there is a pretty big selection of magic trick apps that are designed for beginners that are good for kids as well (with a lot of practice and a bit of patience).
- Magic Lesson is good for beginner performers with step-by-step guides that include photos and video instructions. It also has tips for improving performance.
- Magic – Eye is a simple card trick kids can do on a phone. There is review of this app by a kid who explains how the app works and actually reveals the trick here.
- Invisible Deck is another easy(ish) trick that you can do on an iPhone that is okay for kids to try.
- Magic 101 has tricks for beginner and intermediate levels, you can start small and advance to more complex prestidigitations, with the option to purchase more tricks through in app purchases. Each trick includes a step by step instruction and a performance by Angelo Oddo – professional magician, and a close up video tutorial where Angelo will teach you the steps to perform each trick.
- Magic Trick is a free simple card trick app.
- Learn Magic with Lyn: 11 Tricks for Kids (ages 6-12) don’t be put off by the sort of cheesy cover, because there are some really good reviews for this DVD. Professional magician Lyn Dillies teaches kids illusions that can be achieved with a little bit of practice and minimal setup. This DVD has eleven easy tricks children can learn within minutes using ordinary, everyday household items. This DVD includes instructions for the illusions: Newspaper Ball, Magic Ribbon, Mindreading Crayons, Napkin Production, Dime Go, Ice Water, Tricky Lollipops, Cups and Balls, Eye on the Coin, Wonder Wand, and Ropes Thru Body.
- Magic Tricks R4 Kids, Vol. 1 professional Las Vegas magicians Will Roya & Joan DuKore go through step by step 15 tricks that kids can do at home. You can see a preview of this DVD here.
- Kids’ Magic Secrets: Simple Magic Tricks & Why They Work by Loris Bree and Marlin Breefor ages 9-12 (although you could probably go as young as 6) Using everyday items found in most homes, kids can improve their magic skills with this guide to performing magic tricks. In the activities detailed, items disappear, water refuses to leave a container, and magicians make partners disappear (and reappear). Each activity includes step-by-step directions and illustrations followed by an explanation of how the trick works.
- Easy-to-Do Magic Tricks for Children by Karl Fuvles (for ages 9-12) is an easy-to-follow guide that gives step-by-step instructions for performing 18 simple feats of prestidigitation.
- Magic: The Complete Course by Joshua Jay isn’t written for kids but it could be useful for older kids who are looking for a good resource to help them improve their skills. It combines expertise, photographs, and step-by-step directions showing how to perform 100 tricks. Each trick is broken down into the Effect, the Secret, the Set-up, and the Performance, with lessons on what to say, how to direct the audience’s attention, where to keep your hands, and so on.
- Kids Guide to Magic Tricks has instructions for kids on how to do: The Magic Shoelace, Cut and Restored Rope, Sticking a pencil through George Washington’s eye, Cut and restored newspaper and a fantastic 4 number prediction.