Capturing The Wonder: Turning Stories Into Magic!
by Matt Roberts, Professional Magician
There are few things more exciting in life than seeing wonder in a child’s eyes. As a full-time professional magician, I get to see that wonder every day as I look into the audience at parties, family events and my school fundraising shows throughout the Boston area.
A great magic trick is like a great story. It has a beginning, middle and an end with surprises along the way. A magician’s job is to bring that trick to life and turn it into a one-of-a-kind, memorable experience for his audience.
But you don’t have to be a magician to create that wonder. You have the ability to make magic every night before bedtime by simply bringing a story to life for your child. Here are a few tips for magically making your bookshelf come alive:
Make it special.
Create a special atmosphere for your reading time and build up the book in advance so that it is something to look forward to. Tell your child how special the story is because of the characters, the lesson or the colorful illustrations. Selecting books that you have a connection to will make this easy — like a favorite of yours from when you were a child. Then read it as though every page is the most important thing you’ve said all day.
Do the voices.
Come on…don’t be shy! Get in touch with your inner mouse or monster or pirate and make those characters come to life! Kids are used to movies and cartoons where each character is a distinct personality with a unique voice. No one else needs to hear your interpretation of a sheep but, trust me, your child will love it and it will make the story twice as fun!
When you watch sports on television, you don’t just tune in for the game. The commentary helps make it interesting. So many children’s books have such detailed illustrations that it would be a shame to flip quickly through the pages. When you finish reading a page, hang out for a few seconds to point out some details and reemphasize what’s happening.
Incorporate audience participation.
This is one of my most important tools as a magician and one of the things that makes my show unique. There is no better way to engage an audience than by making them part of the action. The same goes for reading a book. Let your child fill in words, ask questions and imitate your character voices. Ask them what they think will happen next or why they think something happened. After repeated readings, they will be telling you the story!
Have fun bringing those books to life and make some magic!
Matt Roberts is a full-time professional magician who specializes in making events memorable and fun with his unique magic shows for all ages. Contact him at Matt@CleanComedyMagic.com or 508.965.3489 and visit www.MattRobertsMagic.com & www.FamilyNightFundraiser.com to learn about his performances.