Tag Archives: children’s entertainment

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 https://www.jollygoodfun.co.uk/hazels-party-entertainment.php

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Rushden Christmas Light Switch On 2014

Christmas Show for Rushden

Fantastic audiences came to watch my Christmas Puppet Show at the Rushden Xmas Light Switch On. The High Street was packed with people all having a great time. Lots of entertainment, lots to see an do including Santa Claus, reindeer,  juggler, face painters, a street organ, balloons, a fun fair, live music and dance. Amazingly the event is organized and run entirely by volunteers. What wonderful community spirit. They did a great job putting on a terrific event for local people. [slideshow_deploy id=’4640’]

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Face Painter, Catterick Garrison

Face Painter for Family Days and Mess Functions

Christmas Face Painting

Hazel, Face Painter close to Catterick Garrison.

Catterick Garrison is now the biggest military base in the UK and as we are based in Richmond, only three miles away Jolly Good Productions are well placed to provide entertainment services to the many camps and units within the Garrison.

The Army places great importance on looking after the families of its soldiers and there are many events and functions taking place thoughout the year which involve the wives, husbands  and children of the servicemen and women stationed at Catterick.

Often the job of booking entertainment is given to an Officer, SNCO or JNCO who may have no knowledge of the local area and might be new to planning social events.  Sometimes contact details are passed on but often the designated person is starting from scratch.

Face Painting is a must for any families event and it is always best to hire in a professional. For military events in Catterick Garrison Hazel Wood should be your first port of call.  Hazel has many years experience providing face painting at army functions and fully understands the high standards required. When you book Hazel you can be sure of the following:

  • Immaculately clean kit.
  • Quality workmanship.
  • Total Reliability.
  • Full Public Liability Insurance ( absolutely essential when working on delicate skin or near face and eyes ).
  • Superb faces the kids will love, painted speedily.
  • Friendly service.

Face painting is not just or children. Hazel also works at Officers and SNCO messes for Summer Balls  and Christmas Parties too.

If you are responsible for organizing and event and you need someone who will come in and do a first class job for you and who will not let you down then then call Hazel on 07801 433993 or contact her using the Enquiry Form


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Children’s Entertainer Tent | What Type, What Size?

Planning for inclement weather!

Children's Tent

Children’s Entertainment Tent 10m x 8m.

Often the last consideration for event planners is making provision for the children’s entertainer. The priority is sorting out the main arena, car parking, catering,  toilets etc. Children’s entertainment is included in the budget but little thought is given to the practicalities necessary for the performers / entertainers to do their job effectively in outdoor conditions.

What happens if it rains?

If it rains and the performance space it outside in the open then in most cases the show would have to be cancelled. Expensive props and equipment would quickly be ruined, costumes soaked and people and equipment become soggy and wet. Electrical equipment could not be used in wet conditions and the audience would not want to sit on wet ground. Wind also presents a problem as props and equipment tend to blow away. Trying to perform a children’s magic show outside in windy conditions is a night mare.

For anyone in the event business in the UK the wet weather plan should be high on the list of planning considerations. Unfortunately when it comes to children’s entertainment it is often ignored or the organizers decide to “take a chance” and hope the weather will be okay on the day. Hiring in yet another tent costs money and children’s entertainment is usually a low priority therefore either no provision is made or someone manages to scrounge an old army tent, camping tent or a garden gazebo hoping that this will do at a push. Whilst it is true that something is better than nothing this is far from ideal as there is usually not enough space and these things tent to blow away in anything more than a light breeze unless extremely well fastened down.

If the show is cancelled the performer is still entitled to payment in full. It is therefore better to avoid suffering unnecessary financial loss and disappointing the children. It is better to be properly prepared.

What type of tent is required?

The Children’s Entertainment tent should be:

  • High Peak Frame Tent

    Okay for smaller events and to keep the sun off but needs sides fitted in windy, wet conditions.

    Large enough to accommodate the performers and the audience and have some extra storage space behind the performance area.

  • It should have a strong frame which will withstand high winds.
  • It should be anchored down with proper guy ropes.
  • It should have two side walls and a rear wall with the option to remove them in hot weather.
  • The front should be open or have a doorway to allow the audience to enter and leave easily.
  • There should be a safe power supply to enable a pa system to be used.
  • The tent or marquee should be “clear span” ie have no poles in the middle holding up the roof as this is an obstruction to performance and view.
  • There should be a parking space for the performers vehicle(s) at the rear of the tent and the vehicle should be allowed to remain on site as this provides secure storage for valuable props and personal effects.

What size should the tent or marquee be?

The size of the tent required depends on what shows or activities are to be performed and the number of children and adults expected to attend.

A marquee ten metres wide and eight metres deep ( 10m x 8m ) would be more than adequate for most small to medium size events where large numbers were anticipated.

What if the budget won’t stretch to hiring another marquee?

If it is not possible to provide an  additional tent  then consider creating a performance space in another marquee if necessary. This might mean that the original entertainment has to be modified or changed to suit the space available but that would probably be better than nothing.

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Mr Punch’s Xmas Party

Christmas Punch and Judy Showsantasmall

Imagine the fun when Judy decides to hold a Christmas Party and leaves Punch in charge of the baby whilst she goes to do the Christmas shopping. Will Punch behave himself or will he get into trouble when Judy comes back. What will Mr Punch get for Christmas and will he be asleep when Santa Claus comes down the chimney?

This special Christmas Punch and Judy Show is ideal for any Christmas Party or Christmas event. It has all the knock about fun that children love but with a festive theme and of course a lovely Santa Claus puppet for even more excitement.

To arrange a booking or to find out more call 01748 821621 now.

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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.

Family Fun Day Entertainment Tips | Site Layout

I was invited to a meeting recently to talk about providing children’s entertainment at a corporate family fun day.

The organiser showed me the proposed site plan and gave me a run down on what other entertainment and attractions were being planned. There were all the usual things that you would expect. Bouncy castles, kiddies rides, fairground stalls, ice cream van, burger van, first aid tent,inflatables and games for teenagers and adults and various other things plus my Punch and Judy Show.

The event covered quite a large area and the team had decided to make the most of the available space. This is perfectly reasonable. They had made a list of all the various suppliers and then dotted them all round the site.

Sometimes there are good reasons for having the event entertaiment and attractions spread out and if this is the case then all is well. On the other hand it can be a case of trying to use all of the space just because it’s there. I have seen this approach many times and the result is never good.

When planning a family fun day it’s always better to keep the entertainment close together. If you have a massive field then consider marking out one part of it for your event and just leave the rest. Don’t try and fill it. Similarly if you are organising a company open day with tours round the factory, don’t dot your entertainment all round the premises. Keep it in one place so that people can go on the tours and then come back to it afterwards.

Here’s why it’s a good idea to keep things close together :

  • Control – When everything is spread out and the public are everywhere and your suppliers and staff are everywhere too, it’s difficult to coordinate and control the event. Unless you are using  radios ( an important consideration for larger events ) then passing information, sorting out problems, finding individuals etc is going to involve a lot of leg work.
  • Health and Safety – It’s much easier to walk round and keep an eye on things when you haven’t got too far to go.
  • Atmosphere – If you want a really good atmosphere then keep it tight. Having lots of people having fun in one area creates a buzz. It’s probably better to have less attractions grouped together in a small area than lots of things miles apart.
  • Music and PA – Music also creates atmosphere. In a compact area you can easily provide music without having to hire in an expensive powerful pa system. Also you can make regular announcements which everyone will hear. It’s difficult to let people know what’s going on if they are in the far corner of the field or playing beat the goalie at the back of a warehouse 500 metres away.

Every event is different. There are no hard and fast rules. I have organised corporate entertainment packages for company family fun days many times and I am quite experienced in event planning. I have also worked as an entertainer many times at events where I have been positioned in a remote location and the event has not been as good as it could have been if the organisers had brought everything closer in.

Site layout at a corporate event

Corporate Event

The photo above was of a corporate family fun day for which I drew up the site plan and organised and ran all of the entertainment. I had a staff of sixty which included a team of entertainers and all of the fairground men and supervisors for the inflatables and side shows. The anticipated attendance was up to 3,500 people. It was a large site and we did have to bring in a pa system and use radios for communication. In this case we had so much to fit in that we had no choice but to spread out.

If you are planning an event for the first time and have a question please ask me.  If you have organised events yourself and would like to contribute any ideas please use the comment section below. Many thanks, Ron

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Kid’s Shows Inside Or Out?

Quite often children’s entertainment is booked for an event with little consideration being given as to where and how it is to be set up. Whilst some organisers are very good at appreciating what the requirements of the act or performers might be some with less experience may overlook  important considerations.

When booking a children’s entertainer to come to an event one of the first things to establish is whether the performance can take place outside in the open or if it needs to be under cover. Some types of show are ideal for outdoors. Punch and Judy is great children’s entertainment and is perfectly suited to being outside. Some juggling acts and clown shows are also meant to be performed in the open. Other types of show such as a children’s magic show or some puppet shows might need to be under cover.

It is always a good idea to consider providing a marquee or large party tent in which to put the children’s entertainment. The advantages of this are :

  • The rear wall of the tent provides a back drop behind the performance area.
  • The audience will enjoy the shows more because there are less distractions.
  • It is a natural focus point for families
  • The audience are more comfortable as they are under cover and protected from the elements.
  • The performances will not be affected by inclement weather.
  • Electrical equipment, speakers, pa systems are protected from the elements.

The disadvantages of providing a marquee or party tent are :

  • Cost
  • Space

I do think that having a marquee for the children’s entertainment is a very good idea if there is somewhere for it to go and if the budget allows. The entertainment provider should always be consulted to establish what their actual requirements are. They may also request a power supply for amplification.

Marquee for children's entertainment at the Galtres Festival

Children's tent at the Galtres Festival

The photo above shows a circus workshop taking place in the children’s entertainment marquee at the Galtres Festival near easingwold, North Yorkshire. This type of marquee can be obtained at a reasonable price. It’s really like a big party tent. It has plenty of space for the activity and there is room for the adults to come in and watch too. Matting has been put down on the floor which is another good thing to do especially if the grass is wet.

Marquee for children's entertainment

Children's Marquee at a corporate event in Leeds

The marquee above was supplied by a specialist marquee hire company for a corporate event in Leeds. A stage was provided at one end and plastic seats were set out for the audience. There was an off stage area behind the back drop and power put in for music and lights. At this event there was an on going entertainment programme throughout the day. This was a really excellent set up.

Children's Tent at Ripon Festival

Children's entertainment, Ripon Festival

In the above picture a smaller tent has been provided to cover the actual show but the audience are outside. In this case it was a good compromise. It meant that the organisers could have the show they wanted even though normally it would have to be indoors.

These are just a few examples of how some show organisers have planned for the provision of children’s entertainment at outdoor events. In all three cases above they have thought carefully about how to make the best use of the entertainers they have booked by making sure that they have a suitable  performance area to work in and therefore getting the best they can from their acts.

Let me know if you have any thoughts on this subject.

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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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