Childrens Magic vs Kids Entertainment – The Difference

A parent emailed me recently and was very clear that their child (in her words) “loved magic.” This is quite a common thing actually but this time the client mentioned she was not interested in an entertainer who would talk down to their child. I assured her that as a children’s magician I would never do that, but it’s an interesting point.

Kids’ entertainment sometimes has a bad rap. Many people without any experience decide that running a “kids birthday party” is well… child’s play. In fact, there is a great deal of skill in working with children. As children are still developing their understanding of the world, and because any party can have a range of ages present, children are perhaps an even more complex audience than adults.

Unfortunately, many people jump headfirst into children’s entertainment without considering these skills. It disappoints me when an entertainer tells a group of children they are a magician and then proceeds to get everything wrong “for comedy!”

While making a mistake can be a useful technique and can be funny, like anything it is one tool among many. Too often this one technique is used over and over again as a substitute for quality magic. The character of the magician becomes an idiot, that just gawks about throughout the show. Now some people might say that if something works, then why change it? However, I think that this is a lazy way of thinking. As a professional performer, I know that when I create something unique, not only does the performance result in more enjoyment for me, but that joy is translated across to the children too.

Why should you book a children’s entertainer instead of a general entertainer?

The entertainment industry offers a wide variety of options for those planning events, from multi-faceted entertainers who juggle, sing, and perform magic tricks, to specialised performers who dedicate themselves to mastering a single craft. When it comes to children’s parties or family events, you might find yourself torn between hiring a general entertainer or a dedicated children’s magician. The choice can significantly impact the quality and value of the entertainment provided, and here’s why.

A general entertainer might dabble in a bit of magic among other things. While they might offer a broad range of activities, they likely haven’t dedicated the time required to hone the intricacies of magic. The tricks they perform may be simple and predictable, often pulled from a basic magician’s handbook, with limited engagement and interaction with the audience.

Now, imagine a children’s magician, a performer who has dedicated themselves to the art of magic. They have spent countless hours perfecting their craft, studying not only the tricks themselves but the psychology behind them. They understand the power of anticipation, the crucial timing of the reveal, the engagement of the audience, and the narrative that holds the show together.

A skilled magician knows that magic is not merely about the trick itself, but the entire experience surrounding it. The storytelling, the buildup, the misdirection, the dramatic pause before the climax, these are all elements that take a magic trick from a simple “how did they do that?” to an immersive, awe-inspiring experience. This depth, this richness of performance is something a general entertainer often cannot provide.

Moreover, a children’s magician, like myself, has a special set of skills to cater to their young audience. They understand children’s developmental stages, their attention spans, and what engages and delights them. They can tailor their performance to suit the audience’s age and interests, making each show unique and impactful.

This mastery of craft and specialised skillset of a children’s magician undeniably translates into better value. When hiring a dedicated magician, you’re not just paying for the magic tricks; you’re investing in a comprehensive entertainment package. You’re paying for a captivating performance that will engage your young guests, spark their imagination, and create lasting memories. You’re getting an expert who can deliver a seamless show, respond to unexpected situations, and keep your event running smoothly.

While a general entertainer might come with a lower price tag, remember the old saying: “you get what you pay for.” A less expensive entertainer may save you money in the short term, but the value delivered could be significantly less than what a dedicated children’s magician provides.

Is That Really a Magic Show?

The parent in the scenario mentioned previously, who did go on to book my show told me she appreciated that my magic show was a 100% magic show. Perhaps that sounds strange to you, but I know of many “magicians” who sell a magic show and then spend 30 minutes performing with a puppet on their arm. That can be entertaining, and there is a place for that, but in my mind it is not a magic show. I honestly believe that magic is one the most effective ways to engage children. As my skills lie in performing magic, I would not feel comfortable to compromise the mystery of magic by watering down the show part of the party.

Stage Magic Show Children

To help the magic along, she had selected a venue with a small stage. That gave the magic a real focus, and along with my skills made the show a really magical experience for her child that I am sure will be a happy memory for a long time.

I also suggested ways to incorporate magic throughout the party with magical invitations using invisible ink and magic relighting candles.

At this party, I performed only my magic show, but if you’re looking for something more than magic, then I can also add in balloon modelling or provide a secondary performer to provide party games after the magic show.

Of course, having read all of this, there may still be those who want to hire an all-round entertainer. That’s totally fine, but my dedication to quality magic is what makes me Ready Steady Magic. The clue is in the name really!

Want me to perform an incredible children’s magic show at your next event? click here to email me.