Teach grandparents to amaze and entertain their grandchildren with a few simple magic tricks.
At the South Sioux City Public Library, we encourage our staff and volunteers to share their unique talents and interests with our patrons through programs. In my 45 years as an amateur magician, I have found that kids are amazed and delighted by simple magic tricks. Our library has offered kids' magic classes for a while; Magical Grandparents was an outgrowth of that idea.
The first step is deciding which tricks to teach. In Magical Grandparents, we teach a disappearing coin trick, a card trick and a math magic trick , but the important thing is to choose tricks that will be easy for a beginner. I recommend visiting the Scam School YouTube channel  for a variety of simple sleight-of-hand tricks (that work well for kids, too).
Advance preparation also includes reserving the program space and developing a plan to inform potential attendees.
We promote our program through Facebook posts, newsletters, a mention in our weekly article in the county newspaper, library posters, library postcards and calendar handouts.
Since I served as the performer, this program was cost-free; I owned all the necessary materials.
Set-up is simple: just gather the magic supplies and set up chairs for the demonstration. I usually begin the program by doing a small magic show of 5-6 tricks. I then demonstrate the three pre-selected tricks to the full audience, and work my way through how to perform them. The participants are then able to try them themselves, and I go around and offer one-on-one support and tips. Depending on the number of participants, this program generally takes 30-60 minutes.
I performed this program twice: once at the library (with 8 people in attendance) and once at a 50-year high school reunion (with 37 people in attendance). Many people found it very entertaining, but it was difficult for some to perform the hand manipulation tricks. I talked about how practicing these tricks will actually help keep your fingers more flexible, as I know from experience.
About This Library
The South Sioux City Public Library (SSCPL) serves the 20,000 residents of Dakota County. Nearly 17 percent of our population is below the poverty line; about 29 percent is below the age of 18, while 12 percent is over 65. Because of the poverty rate, many of our patrons are open to do-it-yourself projects. This translates into several successful DIY programs at the library.