Entertaining kids can be a hit or miss pursuit. It depends on many factors, including their age, the occasion, how many kids are present, and whether or not they approve of the selected entertainment. As a parent, trying to figure out how to keep a slew of 5-year-olds or 10-year-olds from going bonkers and creating their own entertainment at a birthday party (when they’re hopped up on sugar, no less) is no easy feat. But you’re not the first parent to find yourself facing down this particular barrel. And there are a few guidelines that could help you find suitable birthday party entertainment options that kids are sure to enjoy. Here are just a few tips to help you in your undertaking.
A good place to start is by asking your child what he/she might like. Young kids could be stumped or they might come up with some pretty imaginative answers. They might ask for an appearance by their favorite TV star (SpongeBob SquarePants, for example). In some cases you could even deliver on their odd requests by hiring performers that specialize in dressing up like cartoons for kids’ parties. As kids get older, though, they might start to ask for entertainment they’ve seen at other parties. Either way, this could be a great way to get the precise form of entertainment your child wants.
If your child can’t seem to come up with any ideas to help you out, however, you’re back to square one. This is where your network of other moms comes in handy. Ask around to see if anyone can give you a recommendation. Other mothers are in the same boat as you, seeking entertainment options for their kids’ birthday parties, and a few are likely to have found some decent entertainers suitable for children. At the very least, they could give you some ideas of possible types of entertainers to look for.
Then it’s just a matter of approaching clowns, magicians, acrobats, musicians, and other performers to see if they do kids’ parties and if they are available. Many will have websites and/or demo reels you can check out to get a feel for what they do and whether or not they’ll be a good fit for your particular party plans or your child’s preferences. You won’t exactly go through an auditioning process, but most modern performers can provide you with references and a means of seeing a demonstration of past work.
Of course, you needn’t necessarily shell out major money to hire professional birthday entertainment for your child. If you’d rather spend your budget on food and decorations from just artifacts, you could find other ways to entertain kids. Party games could be a good option, as could movies, especially if you’re hosting a slumber party. Or you could set up an old-school game day complete with a variety of board games (newer co-op games are a great option if you want to pit all of the kids against the game instead of having them compete against each other). But whether you come up with your own entertainment options or you hire a pro to take care of this task, it’s best to explore your options and think about what your child is likely to find most appealing.