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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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