Category Archives: Children’s Entertainment

Entertainment for children

Parties For Girls

Hazel’s Jolly Good Fun Partyhazel3

Perfect for girls aged 5 to 10  years old. If you are looking or party entertainment that is really hands on and will keep the children interested and involved from start to finish then booking Hazel is a great choice.

All you need is a village hall or large function room and Hazel will keep the kids busy and enjoying themselves for a full two hours.

Hazel is based in Richmond, North Yorkshire and covers Darlington, Bedale, Nothallerton, Barnard Castle, Newton Aycliffe, Bishop Auckland, Ripon and surrounding areas.

More details can be found on Hazel’s web page

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Lady Children’s Entertainer, Richmond ( North Yorkshire )

Looking for a female children’s entertainer?parachutehazel

Some mums and dads prefer to book a female children’s entertainer when planning a birthday party. Unfortunately they are not easy to find as most entertainers tend to be male. Thankfully that is changing and more women are coming into the business.

Hazel has been involved in entertaining children for nearly twenty years and as a mother of three she has first hand experience of raising a family and she knows how stressful parties can be for parents.

Hazel specializes in providing party entertainment for children aged from 4 to 8 years old. They are perfect for kids who like to be active and burning off energy. Hazel’s Jolly Good Fun Party is two hours of full on fun with a break in the middle for party food.

Hazel is a professional dance teacher and so her parties are also brilliant for little girls who love to dance. They love to copy Hazel and learn the moves for all the popular party dances.

Hazel will travel to party venues withing a fifteen miles of Richmond including Darlington, Barnard Castle, Northallerton, Newton Aycliffe and Bedale.

To find out more visit Hazel’s web page:

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Cardboard Castles | Fab Fun For Kids!

Workshops for children

Cardboard castle for kids workshop activity

Cardboard castles

Event planners are always looking for something different to put on for children’s entertainment at big events. I came across a great idea whilst working at an event in Lincolnshire last summer. It was a drop in workshop for kids involving oodles of  poster paint and lots of flat pack cardboard buildings.

Cardboard City

The organizers had fenced off  a large, flat grassed  area and set it up as a kind of cardboard city with various cardboard castles and buildings. They had staff supervising who were handing out pots of paint and paint brushes to the kids. The children could then go and express their creativity on the buildings.  The result was a kaleidoscope of colour as paint was daubed everywhere.

No mess

I had expected to see a lot of very messy kids, covered from head to foot in paint but that was no the case. In fact I didn’t see anyone in a pickle. Parents were happy and the children loved it.

Wet weather plan

In case of wet or windy weather there was also a big marquee with more buildings to paint inside plus other craft activities too. It’s worth bearing this in mind if you’re thinking of doing this as the cardboard would blow away if it was windy and probably turn into a soggy mess if it rained.

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Ingredients For A Good Children’s Entertainer

If you were planning to wow your friends and family with an amazing cake for a special occasion you would certainly want to use the best ingredients that you could find. Not everyone is a good cook and sometimes the end result is not up to expectations. Making sure you have all the right ingredients is a good start.

When it comes to jobs not everyone is cut out to be an electrician, a nurse or an accountant. Whilst we could all have a go at most things there is no doubt that our personal attributes, aptitudes and abilities mean that there will be some jobs for which we are perfectly matched and others which we are never ever going to be really good at no matter how hard we try.

professional children's entertainer

children's entertainer

So what makes a good children’s entertainer? It’s easy to go out and buy a box of tricks and knock up some kind of fancy costume but this is just on the outside. It’s what’s inside that really counts. Here are some of the essential ingredients required in a good children’s entertainer.

  • First and foremost anyone aspiring to be a children’s entertainer has to like kids! This may seem obvious especially if you are a loving parent but the fact is that there are plenty of people who would rather not have children running round under there feet or can only tolerate them in small doses. Unfortunately there are people who work with children in various occupations who do it just because it’s a job and not because they genuinely enjoy it.
  • The next essential quality is patience. Children can be very challenging. When children become excited they can be noisy and silly and sometimes naughty too. A good children’s entertainer needs to have an abundance of patience.
  • Must be energetic! This does not mean that an entertainer has to be bouncing around like a kangaroo all of the time but an energetic person brings a performance to life.
  • A good imagination is also important. Children have incredible imaginations. They can quickly conjure up a world of make believe. A children’s entertainer needs to have the ability to step in and out of imaginary situations when story telling, improvising or performing shows and routines which have imaginary settings.
  • Adaptability. Every audience is different by age group, gender, numbers and behaviour.  Venues also vary enormously too. It is necessary to be able to adapt to whatever situation presents itself on arrival for a show.
  • Reliability is another essential quality. A children’s entertainer must be both reliable and punctual. Failing to turn up would leave the party or event organiser with a massive problem.
  • A friendly personality, good manners and a sense of humour are also highly desirable.
  • Enthusiasm! They say enthusiasm is infectious and it’s true, especially when working with kids. An enthusiastic person who loves their work will be able to keep the children interested and entertained without too much difficulty.

These are what could be described as the natural ingredients required to be a good children’s entertainer.

To this must be added knowledge gained from training courses, attending seminars and lectures as well as studying relevant books and video resources.

Last but not least is experience gained from years of practice and performance.

Enhanced by ZemantaBeing a children’s entertainer is a demanding job but one which is also very rewarding. Not everyone is suited to this type of work. Have you got what it takes? Do you agree with my list? Let me know what you think.

Who To Invite To A Children’s Party

Mathews Birthday Party

Image by ronwooduk via Flickr

Every parent wants their child’s birthday party to be really good. A birthday party is special. It’s exciting for the birthday child and it is a happy and memorable occasion for family and friends. The child’s mum is usually the one who does all the hard work of organising everything. Sometimes it’s the Dad but often father is in a supporting role rather than being the main driving force.
Inevitably the question arrises of who to invite. Before I go any further I need to explain that I am very experienced in the world of birthday parties. First of all Hazel and I have three daughters, all grown up now but we have been through the birthday party phase. We have experienced first hand the stress and effort that goes into party planning. Second, I am a very experienced children’s entertainer. I am not bragging when I say I’ve seen it all. I have been employed to entertain at the most lavish birthday parties you can imagine where people have spent an absolute fortune ( and I mean thousands and thousands of pounds )and I have also worked at parties where I’ve been in someones garage with the mum and four kids. So on the subject of birthday parties I do speak with some authority. I’ve seen so many different kinds of parties that I’ve got a pretty good feeel for what works and what doesn’t.

Here are a few considerations to make when deciding who to invite to a children’s party.

  1. Age Group. If you are hiring a children’s entertainer it is much better to have all the same age group.If it’s a fifth birthday party you don’t want a group of ten year old boys getting bored and deliberately spoiling it for the little ones.
  2. Space. If you are hiring a hall this shouldn’t matter too much but if you are doing your birthday party at home then you need to think carefully about how many children ( and parents ) you can comfortably fit in.
  3. Cost. Some venues will charge per head and therefore the more children you invite the higher the cost. If you are hiring a hall or having a party at home then increasing the numbers shouldn’t have too much of an effect because children don’t eat too much anyway. A few extra sausages on sticks, sandwiches or crisps won’t break the bank. Also the cost of your bouncy castle or children’s entertainer will be same whether you have ten kids or a hundred.
  4. When. Will the party be on the actual birthday? Is it going to be mid week or weekend? Friends and relatives living farther away may not be able to come at certain times.
  5. Naughty kids. This is always very tricky as you don’t want to offend people. Unfortunately there are some children who are very badly behaved and they could spoil the party. Have you got the courage not to invite them?

Once you have thought about all of the above you need to make a list. Involve the birthday child. Sit down with him / her and ask who they would like to come. Use this list to help you :

  1. Best friend
  2. Friends
  3. School friends / class mates
  4. Friends from clubs / organisations / hobbies
  5. Relatives ie cousins
  6. Children of parents close  friends

Cross off people who you don’t want to invite and those you know can’t make it and you now have a list which you can use for sending out the invitations.

Incidentally it’s a good idea to make a proper list and make sure you know the child’s full name, the name of their parent or guardian and a contact telephone number / mobile number  so that you can contact them if you need to either before or during the party.

I hope you found this article on birthday party planning useful. If you have any questions or would like to add anything on this subject please use the comment form below. Your views are most welcome.

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How To Entertain Older Kids

Leyburn Primary School, Summer Fair

How to entertain older children at a party or event is a common challenge faced by event organizers, party planners and parents. It’s much easier to provide for younger children. The little ones love bouncy castles, clowns, magicians, balloons, dancing, playing games and any number of the many children’s entertainment options out there. Older children can be much more difficult to please. Children grow up fast these days and once they get to eight years and over they are becoming more and more sophisticated. Bouncy castles and magic shows are no longer cool.

If the older children are over looked there is a good chance they will grumble or worse still get up to mischief. Making sure there are things for them to do is a very good idea. Of course you can’t make them join in but there are certain activities which always seem to work well.

We have always found circus skills workshops to be popular with all ages especially older children. When we put on a circus workshop we like to give plenty of variety. We bring a range of equipment covering juggling, plate spinning, diabolo, stilts, pedalgos, flower sticks, twirling ribbons and other similar props for people to have a go at. This nearly always works well.

Another activity which we find the older ones like is our bubble making workshop where they have a chance to make giant bubbles. We set this up in an area with six or eight  buckets and about twenty  bubble wands, give a demonstration of how to make a massive bubble and then let them try their hand. This also works well with the older kids but it is weather dependent and is impossible to do in windy conditions.

I’m also going to mention skipping. Did you know that skipping has had a revival and many primary schools have had skipping workshops to help promote exercise, health and fitness. The amazing Cirque De Soleil, the world’s top contemporary circus company also use skipping in some of their breath taking shows. Skipping in teams can be very competitive and great fun. It’s very easy to do and worth considering.

When we do parties for children of eight years and above we rarely do shows. I always recommend to parents that they have a circus party. It’s busy, well organised and there’s loads to do. It never fails!

Older children and teenagers like a challenge. They like hands on stuff. They like things they can do with their mates. They like to be occupied, they like variety, they like what they perceive to be “cool stuff”. Any of the above will fit the bill. Why not give it a try?

Have you got any good ideas for entertaining older children? Share your thoughts and experiences with us using the comment section below.

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Why Everyone Loves A Pirate Theme Party

A stereotypical caricature of a pirate.

Image via Wikipedia

There is no doubt that pirates are as popular today as ever. The idea of dressing up as a pirate appeals to all ages and both male and female alike. You can’t escape the fact that pirate mania is infectious. We all love it. Pirate theme parties or pirate themed events are great fun and perfect for children’s entertainment or adults too.

Of course real pirates were extremely unsavoury characters who roamed the high seas preying on ordinary sailors and shipping. Those who fell victim to these villains were likely to receive harsh treatment which might mean beatings, torture enslavement or death. Pirates were ruthless in their pursuit of booty. They were rough, lawless criminals for whom drunkenness, robbery, murder and debauchery became a way of life.

Given the shocking nature of pirates it seems strange that we in a civilised society should want to emulate them when they represent the very worst aspects of human nature. How can this be?

Today we are more familiar with the fictional pirates we have come across in books, TV or film. As children we read Treasure Island and discovered the fiendish Long John Silver. We were captivated by the adventures of Peter Pan and his battle with the notorious Captain Hook. More recently we were introduced to the character of Captain Jack Sparrow created by actor Jonny Deppe in Pirates of the Caribbean. All of these fictional pirates are rascals but can do us no harm and because the stories are so exciting they do make for great children’s entertainment. We know that the characters inhabit an imaginary world where no one really gets hurt. We can enjoy the swashbuckling from the comfort of an armchair or in the warmth of a cinema. There is excitement, thrills and spills but its all totally harmless.

So the truth is that being a pretend pirate is great fun. We can look like a pirate, sound like a pirate and act like a pirate without doing any harm and without fear of retribution ( real pirates were hanged if they were caught – a sobering thought ).

Organising a pirate party is easy to do. Costumes, props and accessories are readily available or easy to make. You don’t need to go to a lot of trouble if you don’t want to. Every fancy dress shop has pirate costumes for hire but you can easily make your own. It just depends how elaborate you want to be. Party shops sell pirate balloons and pirate flags with the skull and cross bones on them or you can make up your own flags using black card for the back ground and white card or paper for the emblems.

For larger events such as council fun days or corporate entertainment there are many companies that hire out authentic props and backdrops for pirate themed events. Many professional entertainers offer speciality acts which they have created for pirate events.

Children taking part in a Jolly Good Productions pirate day activity with pirate " Ron "

Pirate “Ron” leads a pirate crew on a surprise attack.

If you are organising a pirate party or a pirate day and need children’s entertainment then our own pirate puppet show is ideal. The set is a pirate ship and there are some brilliant characters. All of the puppets are custom made and there is a great story with lots of audience participation.We also provide face painting on a pirate theme. Children love our superb pirate faces. Usually this runs concurrently with the show. We also do pirate stilt walkers who can walk around the show field interacting with the public.

The Pirate Ship from our puppet show

Ship Ahoy! This is the pirate ship from our show.

If you are stuck for ideas for your next party or event and you haven’t tried this one yet then why not “ Hoist the Jolly Roger ” splice the main brace and set course for piratical fun. You won’t be disappointed!

Got any ideas you want to share about pirate theme parties?  Are you a supplier of pirate costumes, props etc or do you have any tips on where to find great pirate stuff ? If so please leave your comments / details below.

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Traditional Amusements | Chair O Plane Ride

This Chair O Plane Ride is owned by Craske’s Traditional Amusements. I took this film clip at the 2010 Wensleydale show where I was performing my Tradtional Punch and Judy Show. It’s great to see these lovely old fashioned kiddies rides still operating and as popular as ever. This footage was taken before the public arrived. It was soon busy once the crowds turned up.


For more information or to hire this ride call Jeremy Craske on 01609 777238 or Andrew Craske on 01969 663408.

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Christmas Puppet Show

We are now taking bookings for our Christmas Puppet Show. Ideal for any Christmas Party. Younger children will love this show with all the fantastic christmas characters. We call it “Santa’s Busy Day” Perfect for Shopping Centres or Corporate Events. Great for schools and Nurserys too.  Must be indoors. We can provide a complete package of christmas themed children’s entertainment. Why not call for more information, availability and prices.

Christmas Puppet Show

Christmas Puppet Show

Santa in Christmas Puppet Show

Santa Claus in Puppet Show

We usually provide Face Painting alongside the puppet show when working at events.

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Donkey Rides

Every now and again someone rings me up asking if I know where they can hire someone to turn up at their event and give donkey rides. It isn’t easy tracking down people who keep donkeys for the purpose of giving rides.  They are around, it’s just a matter of finding them. The internet helps a lot but in my experience there are still lots of small traders who don’t have decent web sites if they have one at all.

The problem I have with animals used in this type of work is that sometimes they are not very well looked after. I think it is essential that the well being of the animals takes priority.

The donkeys shown in this photo belong to a gentleman called George and as you can see they are very well looked after.

Donkey rides are especially popular at school fetes and seaside themed events as well as at family fun days.

To enquire about hiring these donkeys contact George directly on Tel 01302 361498 or mob 07810 490723

Donkeys For Hire