One of the things I get asked most questions about is for tips and ideas for hiring the best childrens entertainers.
Often questions are fairly straight forward like what will the entertainer do? How long for and what will it cost? Other questions are about more individual tailor made requirements which need more explanation and careful arrangement.
Tips and Ideas for Hiring the Best Childrens Entertainers
When you search Google for a children’s entertainer you will receive thousands of options. Where do you start? I hope these Tips and Ideas for Hiring the Best Childrens Entertainers will help you. Well you should start by looking at Customer Reviews about individual entertainers, or ask family, friends or colleagues at work for recommendations. They will normally either have hired one themselves or be able to put you in touch with someone else who has.
Recommendations are an important indicator of a Children’s entertainer’s ability to entertain and keep children occupied. Another option is to ask a local entertainment agency for recommendations, they will have years of experience and feedback from satisfied clients and several entertainers to choose from.
When you have decided on an entertainer what questions should you ask? You will need to know what services they provide, how long they will entertain, their fee and availability. A professional entertainer will normally have a disclosure and barring document (previously CRB) and a public liability insurance certificate. Some children’s entertainers are members of Equity which is an indication of their professional experience. Does the entertainer have a website and do they have any customer reviews you can see?
Should you choose the cheapest children’s entertainer? When hiring the best childrens entertainers if an entertainer stands out because of their lower fee and is quite a bit cheaper than others in the area, it could be an indication of inexperience or they may have just started, either way you should be wary because children’s entertainers are aware of their competitor’s fees and normally there isn’t much difference between children’s entertainers fees in the same area. It’s more important that you choose on the basis of recommendations or on-line customer reviews.
You should be prepared to pay a deposit to secure your entertainer and can expect to receive written confirmation of your booking and a receipt for your deposit. They will inform you when they will arrive and how they will structure the entertainment during the party.
Things to Look-out for in a Good Children’s Entertainer
The top requirements when hiring the best childrens entertainers are experience, relevant training, professional (full-time preferably), customer reviews, disclosure and barring document (DBS), public liability certificate, they must like children and good customer service.
Experience is a MUST, without experience the entertainer can’t learn what works best and develop their skills and performance. I’d recommend somebody with at least five years practical experience performing at children’s parties and events or developing their skills through magic clubs and personal tuition from experienced entertainers.
There are many part-time children’s entertainers around, some of which are devoted to making children’s experiences at parties magical. It must be said however, that there are plenty of part-time entertainers that see it as a way of earning some extra money and make little effort to develop a good performance. The only real way of telling the difference and hiring the best childrens entertainers is to have seen them yourself or to have a recommendation from family or friends, or a recommendation from a bona fide entertainment agency. Customer Reviews are an indication of quality and ability, but may be misleading when presented by unscrupulous entertainers.
It should go without saying that a children’s entertainer should like working with children, it might be surprising to learn that some tolerate them at best. As a final test in the search for hiring the best childrens entertainers – always be guided by the entertainer’s telephone manner, general responsiveness and customer service.
Magic Shows, Balloon Modelling, Music and Games, Face-Painting
When you’re considering hiring the best childrens entertainers it might be useful to start with a typical children’s party by way of example and these entertainers may be used either individually or in combination for tailor made parties and events. A typical children’s party will consist of 10 to 30 children of various ages ranging from 2-13 years and a children’s entertainer performing a magic show and balloon modelling for an hour. This can be expanded with music and games to cater for 2 hour parties, typically including a break for party food after about an hour.
There is a range of entertainment available for children’s parties and entertainment can include a pick ‘n’ mix assortment of a magic show, balloon modelling, puppet show and face-painting. It should be remembered that each element may be done by a different person, though sometimes there are multi-skilled entertainers capable of providing several different types of entertainment.
It’s an important consideration when arranging a party that you want the children to be kept occupied throughout the party, so for example if you are considering hiring a magician and a face-painter these will normally be two separate people. The magician will entertain, whilst the face-painter paints faces one by one, often whilst the show is in progress. There are individuals with the skills to do both jobs, however they can’t do both jobs at the same time or fully unless the party time is extended to accommodate the time needed. It seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many times I am asked can the entertainer paint faces as well as perform a magic show, balloon modelling and games for 20 children in two hours.
Face-painting and balloon modelling combined is a popular choice for children’s parties and both can be provided by the same person. This combination is probably most appropriate when the majority of the children are quite young about 3-4 years old or when the party is at home where the children can wander around the house and garden as they like and have their faces painted when they like.
Different types of puppet shows are available: glove puppets, marionettes, Punch and Judy shows. Any of these may be performed for children’s parties or events of different types and show durations range from 15 mins to 1 hour depending on the type of event.
The puppeteer will provide everything needed including puppet theatre, puppets, lighting, music and sound system. Various themes and stories may be told incorporating children’s stories, nursery rhymes, fables and legends.
For public events the age range doesn’t matter, with adults often watching shows along with children. For smaller children’s parties, adults will sometimes stay and watch the show but the emphasis is firmly on entertaining the children and the age range for puppet shows tends to be age 2-6 years.
Entertainers with a variety of circus skills provide circus workshops. These are appropriate for children age 3-13 years.
The items of equipment are demonstrated by the entertainer and then the children have a go themselves with supervision and assistance as needed. Children have fun with this activity, enjoy the various pieces of equipment and come away with a sense of achievement when they have been able to pick-up a new skill.
• Juggling Scarves (for very young children)
• Plate Spinning
• Poi Sticks
• Mini Stilts
• Peddle Goes
This is another activity that is popular for children’s parties and events. Craft Workshops include Craft Supervisors who bring all the materials for the event, demonstrate various crafts and assist children to make items themselves. This activity is appropriate for children age 3-13 years and craft items are provided as appropriate for the age range attending. Craft Workshops at organised events can sometimes last all day or part of a day and children can join in for as long as they like. Alternatively, a craft workshop may be hired for a private party for a couple of hours.
The crafts are absorbing, interesting and get the children involved and quiet! When they have finished they get a sense of pride in what they have made and take the items home to show everyone.
Types of Crafts Available:
• Cookie Decorating
• Decorate Mini Jewellery Boxes
• Decorate a Mask
• Princess And Pirate Crafts
• Cake Decorating
• Make a Greetings Card for Someone Special
• Hawaiian Grass Skirt and Garland
• Create Your Favourite Figures
• Make a Fish Tank
• Grass Head
• Bedroom Door Hanger
• Paint a Glass Picture Frame
• T Shirt Painting
• Glass Painting
• Mask Making
• Design And Paint a Plate
• Make a Colourful Beaded Necklace & Bracelet
• Design and Paint a Mug
• Plant Pot Painting
• Decorate a Glass
• Paint a Light bulb
• Junk Box Modelling
As with all entertainment it’s important to be organized and it pays to take a little time to do some research on the entertainers that can help you make some cherished memories.
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