Last week my son, Ron, went to his friend Keith's tenth birthday party. Ron came home full of stories from the party.
Keith's mother called me a few weeks before the birthday and said that for the party all of the boys needed to learn a simple magic trick that each could perform in front of the other guests and then teach to them. She said to be sure to get enough props for every boy if the trick required them. Ron decided he wanted to learn a card trick.
We went to a magic shop and looked around for a book on card tricks. We were about to purchase one when the owner struck up a conversation with Ron. The man said his grandson is Ronald's age and also liked card tricks. He took Ronald aside and taught him not one, but three card tricks.
Ronald practiced and practiced. He got very good. He did the tricks for me and his father. His younger sister was so in awe she kept begging him to teach her. He said, "A good magician never reveals his secrets."
On the day of the party tables and chairs were set up on our lawn to face the deck, which would be used as a stage. The party began with a few of the regular party games and activities like Twister and Blind Man's Bluff. After the cake and ice cream Keith opened his presents.
After that the party really became fun. Each boy went up on stage and performed his
magic trick. Ron told me he thought they were all good. Ron picked his favourite card trick, of the three he knew, and performed it. All of the kids were amazed. They boys not only enjoyed performing for their friends, but they loved to learn from each other. Keith's mother commented to me later that Ron seemed like a natural. Maybe Keith and Ron would become stage magicians and perform together as a team. A photographer took pictures of each boy on the stage. A week later, when I saw the picture of Ron doing his trick, I realised Keith's mother wasn't exaggerating; he IS a natural!
A professional magician had also been hired as a surprise and did some more elaborate tricks for his young audience. He was all Ron talked about him for weeks.
The boys took home a bag of props for all of the magic tricks they had learned that day, including some the professional did for them. That night, Ron performed all of the tricks, putting on his own show in the living room. He really has a knack for it.Ronald and the other boys had a wonderful day that will last in their memories for a long time. The party was easy to organise and inexpensive, yet so special. It sparked the kid's creativity, their desire to learn and to teach and work together.