“I am a great admirer of mystery and magic. Look at this life – all mystery and magic.” – Harry Houdini
That’s a quote from one of the world’s most famous magicians, Harry Houdini. Magic is not only found in movies, TV shows, video games or books. It’s all around us and can be found in everyday life if you look for it. Science has made many things explainable, but there is still much that remains a mystery, and no one appreciates that mystery and wonder more than children.
Ask children what they want to be when they grow up, and you won’t be surprised to hear that they want to be a superhero, a wizard or even a mermaid. While they can get Halloween costumes
and dress up as those characters for everyone’s favorite candy holiday, they can’t become those things when they grow up. But that doesn’t stop them from believing. If you see a little girl rocking her mermaid tail
at either the beach or pool, you cannot tell her she is not a princess of the sea. Sure, we’re in the digital age where nearly every child has a tablet
, but that doesn’t stop them from loving magic.
While mysticism does not reign in our world, there are magicians working in entertainment every day, amazing audiences with their unbelievable tricks. It may not be that mystical force that runs through the world, as many books and movies would claim, but it’s still cool. Many people, especially children, love to take those tricks home, learn them and perform them for their families and friends.
That’s why there are so many great magic kits that will teach you or your child just how to make those rings come apart or that card disappear. If this is your first time purchasing a magic kit and you want to get one for yourself or your little one, let us help you choose the right one.
The prices for magic kits vary as much as the kits themselves. There are small kits with only a few tricks (around five or so), but there are larger magic kits with well over 200 tricks, and props and all necessary materials included.
The nature of the kit also affects the price and the quality of materials. Most kits are based on illusions and will feature a wide range of illusion tricks, with multiple different props such as ropes, coins, decks and others. There are also science-based magic tricks which market themselves as a fusion of both, typically providing children with the scientific explanation behind the trick. Then there are card-based magic sets that only feature tricks using cards. Exclusive magic kits, such as card magic kits, are often more detailed than an illusion magic kit.
The price of a magic kit is determined by the quality of the materials, along with the number of tricks available. Some kits also come with costumes, which affect the price as well. You can get a good magic kit for around $20 on the low end and about $70/$80 on the high end. You’ll undoubtedly find cheap magic kits for less, but those are typically made with lesser-grade materials. They won’t hold up for long, which is important, especially since your child will be using the props repeatedly.
To ensure you get the best value for your hard-earned money, you need to get a kit that your child will enjoy and not push aside in indifference after a few hours or in frustration. You want a kit that will hold up under hours of practice, especially if you have a perfectionist on your hands. After all, your little magician will want to put on the best show possible. Here’s what you need to look for when buying a magic kit, to ensure that you’ve got the right one and get that big hug and wide smile that all parents love:
- Durability - Magic tricks are practiced and performed multiple times, and the worst thing is when a prop starts to fall apart after a few tricks. This is why durability is key when purchasing a magic kit, so your little performer can practice as much as he/she wants.
- Clear Instruction - Some tricks are easy to learn and master, and others take time. Look for kits with clear written instructions, and also visual instructions such as online videos or a DVD.
- Difficulty Level - Magic kits vary depending on age, and so does the difficulty of the tricks. You know your children's level, so get a kit that will challenge them without frustrating them.
- Cleanliness - Some kits, especially science-based magic kits, will require you to mix ingredients together. This can cause a mess, so bear that in mind when purchasing your kit.
- Costume Props - Some magic kits come with wands and hats. This isn’t a major feature, but it’s important to some kids.
Construction and Design
The build of a magic kit ultimately comes down to the quality of the props. Typically, props are made from fabric, plastic, rubber, cardboard, wood and metal.
Props such as metal rings and coins are made from metal, so you don’t have to worry there. The problem for most parents comes in when dealing with props made from fabric, cardboard, plastic, and rubber. Typically, you get what you pay for, so kits that cost more tend to have better quality props. Cheap magic kits will have lower-quality props, which easily suffer wear and tear.
Some kits, such as magic science kits, use substances such as powders to do tricks. These are limited and don’t offer as much versatility as standard magic kits, as some ingredients are not easy to get and come in small portions. However, these kits tend to be quite affordable and work very well in teaching children about certain chemical reactions. In some cases you can use household substitutes to produce similar reactions, which children find just as fascinating.
Performance and Ease of Use
The performance of your child’s magic kit will depend on the clarity of the instructions, the number and variety of the tricks, and the durability of the props.
As we mentioned before, durability is essential. Your child is going to be playing with this magic kit for hours and may want to use that same kit to put on a show. Be sure that the props won’t start to show signs of wear after a few tries.
Each kit comes with an age recommendation, but as you know, this is not a hard and fast rule when concerning a magic kit. Your child may be six years old, but still able to get the most out of a kit built for an eight-year-old. However, the difficulty of the tricks is important to note. Some kits come with a wide variety of tricks, which vary in difficulty and can be challenging for your child in a good way. Nothing beats that feeling of learning how to do a trick after not getting it the first few times. That being said, you want to ensure that the tricks in the magic kit are not too difficult for your child to grasp, or they will get frustrated and move on to something else.
Instructions play a huge part in this as well. Some kits come with written instructions. Others come with only video instructions such as a DVD or online videos, while a few kits come with both. In most cases, it’s best to go with the kit that has both. If children can’t understand something from the instruction manual, they may be able to grasp it easily from a video.
Many magic kits help to develop kids’ thinking and social skills. Some also help with motor skills and confidence, but at the end of the day, it is for fun. Try not to worry about skill development as much. Kids will get it and before you know it, they’ll be putting on show after show.
Magic kits are more than just little tricks in a box. They’re a source of wonder and a great way to help your kids entertain themselves while opening up their imaginations. Now that we’ve covered just what you need to look for when buying a magic kit, let’s look at those kits we mentioned to see how they compare.
Melissa and Doug are a married couple who started a little business together that has grown into a reputable and well-known toy company in the United States and overseas. Though they’re the parents of six lovely children, Melissa and Doug have also managed to create a toy company that delivers a wide range of top-quality toys for kids. Their mission is to bring back playtime and have kids use their imaginations, instead of being stuck in front of a screen all day. With each new toy, Melissa and Doug do a little more for kids around the globe.
In magic, music or films, there are classics that everyone knows and can appreciate. That’s what the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Kit offers. It’s a durable, compact magic kit for beginner magicians that features 10 classic magic tricks, such as the Disappearing Ball, Great Escape, Vanishing Coin, and more. The props are built from wood and a strong fabric, to ensure that they hold up after hours and hours of play. The box works as a storage case as well, making it easy to clean up after a show.
All the tricks inside are easy to learn, so that your young magician can master them without getting frustrated. This also helps to develop your child’s confidence and fine motor skills. Even though the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magic Kit does not have a lot of tricks, it’s clear that they focused on quality over quantity.
Thames & Kosmos is the brainchild of a museum director and her son, who thought more effective, relevant, engaging, and fun educational materials were needed on the market. Since its creation in 2001, Thames and Kosmos has launched over 250 science kits, from small, single-experiment kits to much more large-scale and detailed science kits. T&K’s products have also moved from being strictly STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to include other branches of education, such as arts and crafts.
Our featured T&K product is the Thames & Kosmos Magic: Gold Edition Playset. This magic kit will give your kids everything they need to perform over 150 different illusions. It’s built for young magicians ages eight and up and has 42 props necessary to perform all 150 tricks.
Your little magician will get a wand, an illusion disk, a mystery deck of cards, magic rabbit shapes and more in this Magic set. Users will be able to do ring tricks, coin tricks, and rope tricks. They’ll be able to amaze by making confetti and snow appear out of nowhere, having knots in a rope appear and disappear, and making metal rings move around, link up, and unlink again.
The Thames & Kosmos Magic: Gold Edition Playset comes complete with two full-color manuals that offer 96 pages of clear step-by-step instructions for learning and performing each trick. Each trick is also rated in terms of difficulty, so your children can start with the simpler ones and move on to more advanced tricks for even more impressive performances.
In addition to the written manual, there are also online videos made accessible with each kit, so children can have that extra help if a trick is more difficult to master than initially thought. They will also learn how to do tricks with everyday household items so the magic never stops.
The Thames & Kosmos Magic: Gold Edition Playset is built for long-lasting magic and mystery. It’s not only fun but also helps to develop your child’s thinking and social skills and provide hours of entertainment.
Ideal has been in business for over 100 years and has an extensive line of games, snow toys, and magic sets to inspire and entertain children. Ideal’s toys are not only fun, but also help children develop problem-solving, social, and logical skills. Ideal isn’t just loved by the children who play with its toys, but also by adults who remember its games and toys from their childhoods. Ideal is a family brand and for some, it has been in their family for generations and there’s something special about that.
The Ideal 100-Trick Magic Kit is a comprehensive magic kit with lots of tricks and props to keep children and their audiences entertained for hours. The Ideal 100-Trick Magic Kit is focused on illusion magic and comes with all the props needed to make this happen, such as six multiplying rabbits, crazy coin cap, mystery card deck, and more.
It comes complete with a magic hat and magic wand to complete your child’s look. The suitcase doubles as a magician’s table, so kids can travel and set up their show wherever and whenever they want. They’ll learn the tricks of the trade using the “Secrets of 100 Magic Tricks” book, and get visual help from the instructional magic trick DVD, which stars illusionist Ryan Oakes. The Ideal 100-Trick Magic Kit is one that’s sure to have your children and their audiences captivated with every trick.
Jim Stott has been a professional magician since 1976. He has entertained adults and children with his eye-catching and unbelievable magic tricks for over 35 years. Now a family man and business owner, he has moved beyond just performing to teaching other aspiring magicians how to put on a show and captivate an audience. He is also an author, his first book being Birthday Magicology, and he teaches a twelve-week course for magicians. As a member of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Jim Stott knows magic, and that’s why his magic kits are beloved by magicians of all ages and skill levels.
Card magic is one of the most popular forms of magic tricks. It's used by beginners, mid-level and advanced magicians around the world. Jim Stott's Ultimate Card Magic Kit is recommended for people ages eight and up, and it's a great way to get started on your card magical journey. This kit will give you all you need to perform 225 different card tricks. It includes three specialty decks of cards, a professional three-card monte trick, and a magic card case.
The Svengali Deck is one of the three decks in this kit. Have someone from your audience pick a card, make the selected card show up in different locations, and then finish your trick with all the cards in the deck turning into the chosen card. The Phantom Marked Deck will give you the ability to perform a series of "miracles." You do this by learning the secret markings, which will make sure you can always pick the chosen card.
The third deck is the Wizard Stripper Deck, where your spectator picks a card and shuffles the deck, and you’ll still be able to find said card. You can also make cards appear, disappear, and transform into other cards with the Magic Card Box.
These are just some of the tricks you will be able to perform with Jim Stott's Ultimate Card Magic Kit. An added bonus of this kit is that you’ll get a Welcome Letter from Jim, with a secret website where you can download bonus materials to take your skills to the next level. This card magic kit offers a wide range of tricks and invaluable knowledge for any magician.
Kids love science - not necessarily the formulas and equations, but to them, the reactions are like magic. The simple reaction between baking soda and vinegar can fill any child’s eyes with wonder and lead them to ask a million and one questions. Scientific Explorer uses this to get kids engaged and teach them about science in a fun and interactive way. This company makes science kits that help children develop critical thinking skills. It encourages exploration and also gets kids to use their imaginations.
The Scientific Explorer Magic Science for Wizards Only Kit teaches kids the science behind the magic. It’s recommended for kids ages six and up, and comes with nine different science experiments for your little one to enjoy. It also has a wizard guide to show them just how the science works to produce their favorite reaction. Your child can also make a Wizard Wand cast spells and a Magic Hat to complete the look.
The Magic Science Kit includes experiments such as the Fizzy Frenzy, which gives children the ability to make ordinary powders foam, and Hocus Pocus Powder to change the colors of those same powders. Kids can see into the future by making their own Test Tube Crystal Ball, or learn how to make the Frothing Color-Changing Potion transform colors and boil right in front of them. Users can also make a Feverish Fizz of bubbling frothy foam, Magic Wand Lava color-changing froth, and a Glow-in-the-Dark Bubbling Potion.
The Scientific Explorer Magic Science Kit is the perfect mix between science and magic, and it will surely entertain and teach your child about the wonders of science. It includes everything you need, such as citric acid, cross-linked polyacrylate, red cabbage juice powder, and more.
The magic kit you choose will depend on your child’s age, interests and level. We’ve made sure to make this list a mix of magic kits, from those that are more scientific to more mystical, so we’re sure there’s something here your little one will love.