Make a Magic Memory in March

In our blog this month, we want to talk about memories. One of the main aims of Magic 4 Children is to create memorable parties and moments that have a positive impact and last a lifetime. 

As you already know, our CEO, Craig, is moving over to Northern Ireland this month to get married to Claire, (AKA Doodle) and settle down near her home town of Dungannon. This means that Freddie Fantastic is retiring from delivering parties in England but will be available for parties in and around Northern Ireland. We thought we’d start this month’s blog by asking Craig, (AKA Freddie Fantastic), what his favourite memory is from his 6-years of being Freddie Fantastic?

The Amazing Andre kids entertainer in the North-West

"Being Freddie Fantastic and having the opportunity to help families create some truly special memories is one of the greatest honours of my life. I always say that you only get to celebrate these Birthdays once and I passionately believe that it is important to try and remember and make the most of every moment. Whenever a family chooses Magic 4 Children and asks me to help make their day special, it really does mean the world to me and I see it as a huge responsibility to make sure that the children have an incredible time, but I also see it as my responsibility to eliminate as much stress as possible for the grown-ups so they can enjoy watching their children celebrate their special day.

Over the years I have made some incredible memories, I always say to grown-ups that I have the best views of the parties, that's because I get to see the children's faces light up with laughter, I see the looks of amazement and awe when I perform the magic tricks and I get to see the weird, wonderful, and wacky dance moves they often come up with. People always say that it must be exhausting performing at 4-parties every weekend, the truth is, I get so much energy from the children that I barely even notice the amount of physical and mental exertion a party takes until I get home.....that's when I collapse into a ball!!! 

Choosing just one memory has been tough but I have to say that one party in particular will always stand out in my mind. A Mum had booked Freddie Fantastic for her sons 5th Birthday Party. I rang her up on the week of the party to confirm the details and answer any last minute questions she may have and she informed me that her son was a selective mute and that he never engaged at parties or with strangers. She confessed that she had no idea why her son had requested a magician and she wasn't sure if he would even want to take part in his party. She had never seen a Magic 4 Children party and she was taking a huge leap of faith. On the day of the party I took my time to build rapport with the child like I always do and I spent a lot of time with him before the party started and eased him into the party gently. To cut a long story short, by the time we got to the magic show, he was up at the front performing magic in front of all of his friends and family with a huge smile on his face shouting 'ABRACADABRA' at the top of his lungs and having a great time. I remember looking at his mum and seeing her crying with a mix of emotions, seeing her son participating and enjoying a party with his friends for the first time in his life. Being able to provide that moment for that family has been one of the highlights of my career so far and one of my proudest memories."

- Craig, (AKA Freddie Fantastic)

Freddie's 5th birthday with kids entertainer Freddie Fantastic

Do you have a favourite memory from your own life?

Events in our life are usually made memorable not by the things we had but by the people we were with and the emotions we felt. Children are more likely to remember an event if it is talked about often, if there are photos or videos for them to look at, and if at the time they took a moment to take in what they could see, hear, smell and touch. 

Next time you have a party, a family get together, a day out with friends, or just a moment with your child that you want to remember forever, encourage them to stop, look around, take a deep breath, talk about how you both feel, and just savor that moment together. You could take a photograph of the view, take a selfie, a short video, anything that you can go back to time and time again to remember that moment and the feelings you felt. Be grateful for those moments. Often it is memories like this that can cheer us up on a bad day or help us through tough times in our lives. 

Can memory be improved?

People often forget things that happened a minute ago, nevermind months or years ago, but there are certain steps we can take to improve our memories and our children’s memories too.

 

6 tips to improve memory: 

  • If it is an event or moment that you want to remember, use as many of your senses as possible. What can you see, hear, smell, touch and maybe even taste?
  • If it is a fact, list of words or a number, say it out loud at least 3 times, write it down using different colours, highlight it, look for patterns in the words that stand out. Trace it on your hand with your finger.
  • Create a memorable story using the key words. For example: your child needs to remember the words: monkey, envelope, magic wand, traffic light, green. Your story could be - A monkey was walking down the road with an envelope in his hand, inside the envelope was a magic wand. The monkey stopped at the traffic light, took his magic wand out of the envelope and waved it until the light turned green. The sillier the story the better! If they tell the story and act it out they are more likely to remember it. 
  • Create a memory journey. This works well for remembering shopping lists or revision notes. Imagine walking around your house, or somewhere very familiar. In each room of the house, you find what you need to remember. Walk around the house as you say each item and picture it in your mind. When you get to the shop or are in the exam, imagine you are back in your house and going again from room to room in the same order. 
  • Teach someone else. If you or your child need to remember a fact or a set of in formation, learn it and then teach it to someone else. The act of explaining it to someone else makes it more likely that you will remember it yourself in the future.
  • Practise. Memories need training. Play games with your children like the tray game. Choose 5 items to put on a tray, show them to your child, cover the tray with a cloth and remove one item, can the child spot what is missing when you remove the cloth again? The shopping game - “I went to the shop and I bought…” Take it in turns to keep adding to the list and see who can remember everything that everyone bought in the correct order. Make patterns using numbers, shapes, letters, colours, sounds - this can be done visually or verbally - make the pattern and then cover it up, or say the pattern then get your child to repeat it correctly. How long can the pattern be before they make a mistake? Keep playing and keep improving.
boy opening a birthday present

A Skill for Life 

Knowing how to activate your short term and long term memories is an essential life skill. The more we use the above methods, the better our memories will be.

Teach your child how to use their memory effectively so that they know to say something out loud and then repeat it at least 3 times. Help them to create stories or images in their head or to draw a letter or shape on their palm as they say the words. Get them used to using their senses to help too. 

We write a new blog each month and would love to include information and guidance that helps you the most. So, if you have any requests or want advice or additional support for you or your child/children, please send us an email to bookings@magic4children.co.uk, and we’ll do our best to help. 

We’ll leave you with this thought for the day: 

"The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories." 

 

- The Magic 4 Children Team