Monday, August 1, 2016

It's Magic!







































Oh, the magic! It's everywhere when home is a haven for grandchildren! Here, kids sparkle and shine - they're the center of the universe, and boy, do they know it! It's where they come to be shamelessly hovered over, doted upon, mindlessly spoiled, showered with kisses and compliments, and adored and indulged to excess! And I'm not apologizing either! Loving parents have taken care of the good behavior building that makes it possible for me to sweep them all away into a space of unlimited, unconditional magic that every child deserves to experience - grandma's house!

Annual Grandma Camp week is the most magical one on my calendar. And planning for it extends the fun well before and beyond the actual experience. I am challenged to arrange a mix of activities that will keep the kids engaged for the entire string of days they'll spend with me. This year, I ventured into "real" magic! Would the kids enjoy learning tricks? Would they want to practice them until they performed flawlessly? Would they want to showcase their new skills at a show for parents, siblings, and aunts and uncles? I was surprised and delighted with their response. Yes! Yes! and Yes! To all of the above!

Ideally, we'd use "organic" tricks - those that amaze with manipulation of ordinary household items or ones that we construct by ourselves. That day is coming, I'm certain, but for now we learned from a purchased kit* that adequately served our elementary needs.

I gave a demo to the kids. I made items disappear, reappear, and multiply! I expertly guessed a secret number they chose from a set of cards! They were impressed and very eager to duplicate each trick. We divided them up evenly and the mini-magicians were on their own to practice until perfect! Just wait until that audience shows up! We're gonna "wow 'em outta their seats!"

Finally! Show Time! There's always a wrap-up extravaganza at the conclusion of Grandma Camp. Maybe an art show - or a bake sale. We like to share what we accomplished during our camp time. This year called for a two-part display of talent; "big kids" presented first on the magic stage!

I constructed a frame from pvc tubes. It's seven feet tall, lightweight, and portable. Silky red fabric was a bargain purchase at $2 per yard - seven required. The best part is how interchangeable headers accommodate different productions. When the magic was over, a quick intermission gave me a moment to morph the venue into a puppet theater for the little girls' show that followed.

We opened with introductions - and an amazing feat of "now you see it, now you don't!" The kids flourished their top hats, demonstrating that they contained nothing but empty space. Or so we thought! But the wave of a wand, a shout of "abracadabra!" and a deeper dig into the depths produced a trio of cute stuffed rabbits!** These were distributed to three little girl cousins sitting front row center - and they were delighted!










Kids performing in front of an adoring audience gain confidence in themselves.

Here's Sae, proving that the two silk scarves he put inside a velvet bag are no longer there!










Nick carefully demonstrates how only he can make part of a wand disappear inside a wooden box! Bree effortlessly made a red rubber ball disappear and reappear. She turned a single quarter into a handful of change! Ten illusions completed our repertoire, all to the wild applause of an enthusiastic and delighted audience!
















"That's all folks!"

The kids clamored to keep their props; they've since entertained other grandparents and cousins with such enthusiasm that I know my "grandma bag of tricks" is going to continue to fill with more and more of them - and they won't disappear with the flick of a wand, either!










*The magic set we used is made of quality wood, packed inside a box suitable for stage use. This is not a sponsored post, but the Melissa and Doug toy is here, on page 13, of my Amazon shop.

**Do you think those hats might have been hiding rabbits beneath a piece of black foam cut to match the shape of the opening? Hmmm.......it's possible!

Here's another resource for magical entertainment for kids. Ken Kelly hosts a delightful website that offers free tutorials and YouTube links for cool tricks and instructions for the home made props you'll need. We'll use his ideas next summer, when the kids are a bit older.

My next post will show what happened when our stage magically became a theater for.........




But now, with a final flourish.....

POOF! I've vanished!

10 comments:

  1. Another magical day with the grandchildren J, you make it all sound so easy. Who ones one of them could become a famous magician one day!

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  2. Another amazing production at grandma's house. Your grandkids will have the most incredible memories of their time with you.

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  3. Hello, I think Grandma's house is the place to be. You always have something fun planned for your grandchildren. Love the magic show! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

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  4. What adorable grandchildren, no wonder you hug and kiss them. It's a blessing to have grandkids,enjoy them often because they become 'teens' too soon and have other things they love to do but we are blessed when they still find time for us Grandmothers.

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  5. Oh wow! Another amazing accomplishment. You can tell by the smiles on their faces how much fun it is. I can only imagine what their friends think and how they all must wish you were their grandma too. Besides all of the time you spend creating these props and everything that goes with them...how do you do this???????? I am always excited to see what happens next.

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  6. Oh I hope you haven't vanished for good - maybe we can get those sweet grandkids to bring you back. What a lovely and fun event for all of the kiddos - they are especially lucky little kids and will have wonderful memories. As always - you've outdone yourself once again.

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  7. HA I imagine that you vanished to the COUCH after another fun Grandma Camp ...the kids look so happy and proud of themselves! :)

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  8. Love Deb's comment! I am pretty sure when you vanished to the couch you had a glass of wine in your hand -- well deserved! Another amazing Grandma Camp. Your little magicians are so cute and I can't get over how much everyone is growing!!!!!!!! Must be the summer heat!

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  9. Oh my goodness, what fun the audience of loved ones must have had watching the show. I can only imagine how excited the magicians must have been when they pulled their tricks off to everyone's delight. And, to all of your creative ideas you now add the title of Head Magician. Well, I guess that's really not a stretch for you with all of your previous out-of-this world adventures. I'm guessing your storage area must be getting quite full, but don't get rid of anything because you have years of future magicians coming along. They look like they were having a blast so mark that one on the calendar as a big success. Grandma Joyce, you do rock the Grandma world, and the rest of us gladly take our hat off to you and your creative bag of tricks. You are an inspiration like no other.

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