Taking the stress out of your child's annual celebrations!

Posts tagged ‘entertainer’

Getting back to the business of entertaining

Lion - Louisville Zoo

Image via Wikipedia

Summertime is almost over and it’s time for me to put my children’s entertainer hat back on.

It’s been lovely to have a break and concentrate on other aspects of myself for a while, but to be honest I’m itching to get back to what I love best: entertaining London’s children.

The telephone has started to ring again and bookings are coming in. Birthday parties are back on the agenda and I’m gearing up by making a few new puppets and working on some new stories.

Tomorrow I’m tootling off to one of my favourite schools where I have been made part of the ‘family’ so it seems. I’ve been booked to work at their holiday club and tell some stories with puppet illustration. I’ve done a few in the last few weeks, Thumbelina, Space Mouse

and now I’m looking forward to telling tales from the Jungle.

The jungle forms a large part of childhood mythology, and whilst I’m happy to declare the lion the King of the Jungle, I also like to point out the inaccuracy of this statement and do my bit to tell the children real facts about lions as part of the fun entertainment. Mrs Lion does all the work and Mr Lion just lies under a tree all day, that’s why they call him a lion, because he’s always lying about . Well it works better when spoken…

I’ve made a brand new 5 foot long  knitted snake for the occasion and I’m really excited about introducing him to the children. He’s rainbow coloured and drapes really nicely around my neck. Sometimes I forget that the children see my puppets for the first time and whenever I make a new puppet, I share in the children’s excitement when they are first introduced to  them.

Meet Hissy the Snake

So Mr Snake will join Mr Elephant, Mr Lion and Mr Giraffe , Jaffa the monkey and wee Ms Mouse in my Jungle tales tomorrow.

I like to sniff you to see if you've washed your clothes!

Walking in the Jungle with a beat in your feet, tell me an animal that you’d like to meet.

I’m a lucky woman. I look forward to going back to work.

Save the pennies: Be gender neutral

Teddy Bears' Picnic

Image by Cockburn Libraries via Flickr

It’s a tough old world for the party scene out there. Money is tight, we are all struggling to pay bills and now you are facing the expense of a children’s birthday party.

Have you ever considered the impact of gender stereotyping when it comes to expense?

What on earth do I mean?

Well I shall explain.

So many times as a children’s birthday party entertainer, I see the  host struggling to keep up with the party tea, handing out blue/car boxes to boys and pink/ fairy boxes to girls. Sometimes they are left with odd numbers or an unexpected child turns up and they only have the opposite gender box, posing a tricky situation. You try getting a boy to eat his sausages and sandwiches and crisps from out of a pink fairy box. It isn’t easy.

The same applies for party table ware and balloons. It is also very noticeable at going home time and the party bags come out. In that mad scrum of leaving and finding shoes and bags and coats, it is really an unnecessary  extra effort to have to provide the appropriate pink or blue gendered going away gift.

Children really don’t care much about this gendered thing, trust me. Adults are laying on the expectations for them. Why do we have to gender the decor or the party table ware? Unless your theme is pink and girly or Thomas the Tank engine, you are really making things hard for yourself. All this gender stereotyping stuff serves to do is alienate boys if things are all pink , causing them to act up  or vice versa. There are plenty of themes out there that are gender neutral, why not take advantage of their potential.

Think about animals. Every child loves animals whether it is a Jungle or Farm theme or Teddybear’s picnic, there is potential for joy without having to do something different for each gender.

Instead of pink or blue tableware, why not try bright primary colours? There is nothing more visually pleasing than a table decked out in vivid rainbow colours.

As for party bags or going away gifts, a book or a pack of bright crayons and a colouring book always goes down well. Finger puppets are a great going away gift, especially after a puppet party.

My fairyland finger puppet set

A knights tale complete with fire breathing dragon and a tower

A space adventure

Ikea do very cheap and good quality sets . If you are looking for very special finger puppets, I make my own one off story finger puppet sets  available online in my folksy shop. One simple gift nicely wrapped in gender neutral colours is just as appreciated as a gendered bag full of plastic tat and sweets. I’ve even seen children going home proudly clutching their very own daffodil in a pot, or a strawberry plant. Be creative. There is more to childhood than turning our kids into princesses and pirates at every opportunity. Sometimes it is good to just let them be kids and it is considerably cheaper and far less hassle.

And if you are wondering, as a lady entertainer I am personally partial to pink and tutus and all things sparkly. But I do like a bit of rainbow thrown in for variety. Let’s open our minds to the possibilities of gender neutral and save ourselves a few pounds in the process. Can’t be bad.

Summer break

It’s the summer holidays now ( not that you could tell from this good old British weather we’re having) but the time has come when clients go on holiday and partying stops for 6 weeks.

So many people presume that children’s entertainers work the most in the Summer and are surprised that I say that that is when business is quietest.

So for a few weeks rather than writing here, I’m concentrating on my crafting.

Diane the London Children’s party entertainer and puppeteer is having a break and knuckling down to her crochet.

See you over on my craft blog!

Diane gets Crafty

Going crochet crazy! Come and see the cuteness.

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