Over the last month or so I have done a number of Preschool/Daycare shows. I always enjoy them as I love entertaining younger children. It is my chance to entertain, be silly, to teach, and to just have fun with them.
There is nothing wrong with just doing a fun, entertaining show. This holds true whether it is Daycare, School Assemblies, Church entertainment, Birthday Parties, and more. But it is also true it is possible to educate in a show, even in a show at the Preschool level.
An Educational Show does not, and I repeat, does not, have to be boring. It can be as entertaining and fun as any show or program that you do. The secret is incorporating the messages into the routines and the fun.
I use a standard magician's piece of equipment called the Joker's Tube. In a secular presentation I teach the students the importance of rules and traffic safety. In a church show I will also stress how God made rules for us to live by. But while "teaching" we are being silly, having fun, and just laughing and having a good time.
We are ENTERTAINERS!!! Our job is not so much as to fool people, as it is to ENTERTAIN people. I know some magicians who have technical skills that far exceed my own, but they just don't understand how to engage people, to talk to them, to have fun and to entertain.
Here are just a few tips I have learned from entertaining at the Preschool and Nursery level:
- Have older children sit in front, not the back. This runs contrary to what teachers are inclined to do but it will make for a better show. The older ages, 4-5 will be much less likely to be scared. They will laugh and have a good time, and even if you do something the younger children don't understand, they will laugh and have a good time because they see the other children laughing.
- I always use at least one or two puppets. While I am primarily a magician, puppets are a wonderful addition to any performer's arsenal. The children just love them and there is so much you do with your puppets and the children.
- Don't be afraid to act silly. The children love this. One of my routines that I love doing at Preschools is just something I call my "Silly Hat". It keeps turning into different types of hats, the kids laugh and it is just something really fun for both the children and myself.
Thank you for listening and reading.
Michael L Reist
The Amazing Magi