How to entrance toddlers over videochat?
May 30, 2012 9:19 AM   Subscribe

What are some great ways to spellbind 2- or 3-year-olds over Skype/videochat? Really simple magic tricks? Other cool things?
posted by shivohum to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Do the ol' pencil-in-the-ear-and-out-the-mouth trick. Never fails to impress around here.

I know a good trick for levitating a spoon behind a linen napkin, but at 2-3, they're probably too young to grasp its awesome sorcery.
posted by jquinby at 9:29 AM on May 30, 2012

I skype with friends with a toddler a lot, one thing she never gets tired of is me "handing" her money by putting it near the camera, or asking for a kiss or high five, etc. The best was the time she handed me a ball and I had a ball-like object nearby which I grabbed and she thought the game had finally become real!
posted by SassHat at 9:33 AM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

Make a mustache by holding a pencil or whatever between your nose and your lips. My daughter is three-and-a-half and I swear this is the one thing her grandparents do that can consistently make her giggle during our video chats. Simple clowning or miming like that works best in our experience.
posted by otio at 9:41 AM on May 30, 2012

Read to them. Little kids still love to be read to, especially if you make voices/sounds and gestures.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:19 AM on May 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

What about the old "help, how did I get trapped in this computer" trick? Comedy gold!! This is enhanced by putting your hands to either side of you and pretending that you are trying to pull apart the sides of the skype/videochat window that you are trapped in. Well, I find this hilarious, at least. I think some of my smaller children find it mildly worrisome.
posted by chinston at 10:24 AM on May 30, 2012

Puppet show?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 10:35 AM on May 30, 2012

I nth reading stories to them. Show them the pictures, make funny noises, make funny faces. Same as if you're with them, only any tickles you give have to be virtual.
posted by Capri at 10:43 AM on May 30, 2012

Cat show! The only thing my 3-year old nephew cares about during Skype videocalls is my cat. "Where's Baz?" So I show him Baz. Point out Baz's features and tricks (he does no tricks), etc. The Baz Show is very popular. I mean, not with Baz, Baz actually hates it, but with the 3-year old. I think Baz's annoyance is part of the hilarity.
posted by marylynn at 11:07 AM on May 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

How about copying games, where she copies you doing something silly, and vice versa? Challenges, like who can stand on one foot longer or spin around without falling (I suggest you consider throwing these matches, both for comic effect and to avoid causing devastating grief). Guessing games where you hide (or 'lose') an object where the kid can see it, but pretend not to understand their directions for where to look.

I'd actually avoid magic tricks at this age. In my experience they fail to impress, because the fact that you can find an egg in your ear is no more surprising than the fact that you can make a match burst in to flame or a piece of paper turn into an origami frog. Come to think of it, both those would probably be fine additions to the list......
posted by Ausamor at 1:43 PM on May 30, 2012

My mother bought a Dell computer, and it came with some webcam software that does some seriously cool stuff. You can set it to give you different backgrounds, put funny hats on your head, turn your face into a panda face (creepy!), etc. I have no idea how proprietary it is, but you might want to look and see if you can get that.
posted by gjc at 2:23 PM on May 30, 2012

Stuffed animals suddenly lunging at you out of nowhere. Lookout! Sock monkey attack!
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:08 PM on May 31, 2012

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