How to Make Money as a Children’s Entertainer

By Ajoke Aminu

Published:

Side Hustles

Ajoke Aminu

Ajoke Aminu

Writer & Career Coach

Are you a natural entertainer with a knack for making kids laugh and smile? In this article, we’ll explore the income potential of becoming a children’s entertainer. Whether you’re a magician, clown, face painter, or balloon artist, we’ll provide tips and strategies to help you supplement your income while bringing joy to young audiences.

What Does a Children’s Entertainer Do?

Imagine a cross between a comedian, a magician, and a circus performer, but tailored specifically for an audience of giggling, wide-eyed kids. That’s a children’s entertainer! However, they are much more than a party guest with a funny hat and a couple of balloon animals. Kids party entertainers are professionals who know how to get the party started and keep it going!

A children’s entertainer is an individual who specializes in providing entertainment and interactive experiences for children. They come prepared with games, music, and activities to engage and entertain young guests at birthday parties by performing fascinating shows. Each kids’ party entertainer may specialize in specific areas or offer a combination of services to create memorable experiences for children.

Some common types of services provided by children’s entertainers include:

  • Magic Shows: A children’s entertainer often performs captivating magic tricks, illusions, and sleight of hand to amaze and delight young audiences.
  • Clown Performances: Clowns bring laughter and joy to children through their comical antics, colorful costumes, and entertaining performances filled with jokes, balloon twisting, and slapstick comedy.
  • Face Painting: Children’s entertainers skilled in face painting create beautiful and imaginative designs on children’s faces, transforming them into their favorite animals, superheroes, or princesses.
  • Balloon Art: Using their balloon twisting skills, children’s entertainers create intricate and whimsical balloon sculptures such as animals, hats, swords, and other creative shapes that children can enjoy.
  • Storytelling: Children’s entertainers often engage children with captivating storytelling sessions, bringing stories to life through animated voices, props, and interactive elements.
  • Puppet Shows: Using puppets, children’s entertainers perform lively and engaging puppet shows, entertaining children with humorous dialogues, songs, and moral lessons.
  • Interactive Games and Activities: Children’s entertainers organize fun and interactive games, treasure hunts, dance parties, and other activities to keep children entertained and active.

How Much Does a Children’s Entertainer Make?

On average, the salary for a children’s entertainer in the United States is $70 per hour. Factors such as location, services offered, experience, and demand can affect the rate you can charge. It also often depends on the type of events you’re booked for. If you’re a talented children’s entertainer, pursuing a career in kids’ party entertainment can be a lucrative path full of wonder and excitement.

However, an experienced and highly skilled children’s entertainer may command higher fees, particularly those with a strong reputation and unique services. Moreover, children’s entertainers may also earn additional income through tips, referrals, and repeat bookings.

How to Become a Children’s Entertainer

Being a kids’ party entertainer is a world of laughter, cotton candy, and happy faces. As a birthday party entertainer, you’ll need a natural sense of humor and a talent for performing. You’ll also need to be patient, flexible, and able to work with kids of all ages. But fear not, it’s not all about being a clown or magician. You can bring plenty of other skills to the table, so let’s delve into how to become a children’s entertainer!

Understand the Role

Before diving into the world of children’s entertainment, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the role and responsibilities of a children’s entertainer. Digest the various services children’s entertainers offer, as listed earlier in the article. Reflect on your ability to engage and connect with children and your comfort level in performing in front of an audience.

By understanding the role of a children’s entertainer, you can assess your suitability for the position and make informed decisions about your services. This knowledge will also help you identify areas where you may need additional skills or training to enhance your performance and ensure a positive experience for young audiences.

Being a children’s entertainer requires not only talent and creativity but also a genuine passion for working with children.

Take the time to assess your interests, strengths, and motivations to ensure that becoming a children’s entertainer is the right path for you.

Identify Your Niche

Once you have a solid understanding of the role of a children’s entertainer, it’s time to identify your niche within the industry. Children’s entertainment is a diverse field, and carving out a niche can help you stand out and attract a specific target audience.

Consider your unique talents, skills, and interests. Reflect on what sets you apart from other children’s entertainers. Are you particularly skilled in magic tricks, face painting, or storytelling? Do you have a knack for balloon art or puppetry? Identifying your niche will allow you to focus on what you excel at and tailor your services to meet your target audience’s specific needs and desires.

Additionally, consider the age groups you want to specialize in. Are you more comfortable entertaining toddlers, school-age children, or teenagers? Each age group has different preferences and requirements, so determining your niche will help refine your services and marketing strategies. This specialization will not only set you apart from competitors but also attract clients specifically seeking your services.

Develop Your Skills

To excel as a children’s entertainer, developing and refining your skills is essential. Enhancing your abilities will make you more confident in your performance and add value to the services you offer. Here are a few ways to develop your skills as a children’s entertainer:

  • Practice Regularly: Dedicate time to practicing your chosen craft because the more you practice, the more polished and seamless your performances will become.
  • Attend Workshops and Classes: Look for workshops, training programs, or classes specifically designed for children’s entertainers to gain valuable insights, techniques, and industry knowledge that will help you improve your skills. You can also seek advice or mentorship from other professionals.
  • Stay Updated on Trends: Stay updated with the latest tricks, themes, and styles that resonate with young audiences. As a birthday party entertainer, this will help you tailor your performances to meet the evolving expectations of your target audience.
  • Experiment and Innovate: Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas and incorporate innovative elements into your performances. Find ways to bring a fresh and unique approach to your chosen niche in children’s entertainment

Create Your Act

Now that you have identified your niche and developed your skills, it’s time to create your act as a children’s entertainer. Your act should be customizable—engaging, entertaining, and tailored to your target audience’s preferences and age group. Tailor it to suit different venues and client preferences (such as favorite movie characters). The more you refine and perfect your act, the more impactful and successful you will become as a children’s entertainer.

Here are some steps to help you create an act that will captivate young audiences:

  • Define your theme.
  • Plan your performance structure, from the buildup to the climax.
  • Incorporate interactive elements to keep the kids engrossed.
  • Use props and visual aids to enhance the visual appeal and storytelling aspect of your act.
  • Practice transitions and timing to maintain the flow and energy of your act.
  • Personalize your act to make it more authentic and memorable for both children and their parents.
  • Seek feedback to make necessary adjustments, ensuring that it continues to evolve and resonate with your audience.

Gather Equipment and Supplies

To bring your act to life as a children’s entertainer, you must gather the necessary equipment and supplies. The specific items you require will depend on your chosen niche and the services you offer. Here are some essentials to consider:

  • Magic Tricks: If you specialize in magic shows, stock up on various magic tricks, props, and accessories. This may include cards, coins, scarves, cups, and balls. Invest in quality magic sets and ensure you have all the necessary tools to perform your tricks effectively.
  • Clowning Supplies: If you’re focusing on clown performances, gather clown costumes, wigs, makeup, and accessories. Consider colorful clothing, oversized shoes, and props like juggling balls or rubber chickens to enhance your act.
  • Face Painting Materials: If face painting is your expertise, acquire a variety of face paints in different colors, brushes of various sizes, sponges, glitter, and stencils. Sometimes, your side hustle as a kids’ party entertainer requires a touch of Picasso. Make sure to use high-quality, non-toxic face paints that are safe for children’s skin.
  • Balloons and Balloon Art Supplies: For balloon twisting, stock up on various balloons in different colors and sizes. Invest in a balloon pump, scissors, and other balloon accessories to create various balloon sculptures.
  • Props and Visual Aids: Depending on your act, gather props and visual aids that enhance the experience. This may include puppets, musical instruments, storytelling props, or themed decorations that align with your chosen theme.
  • Sound System: Consider investing in a portable sound system with microphones and speakers. This will ensure your voice is projected clearly and your audience can easily hear any music or sound effects you incorporate into your act.
  • Safety and Administrative Supplies: Ensure you have essential safety supplies such as first aid kits, hand sanitizers, and wipes. Additionally, keep administrative supplies like business cards, contracts, and marketing materials on hand for booking and promotional purposes.

Get Necessary Permits and Licenses

As a children’s entertainer, it’s important to ensure that you have the necessary permits and licenses to operate legally and professionally. Research the local regulations and requirements for children’s entertainers in your area. Contact your local government offices, such as city hall or the business licensing department, to find out what permits and licenses you need.

In most cases, you’ll need a business license to conduct your business legally as a children’s entertainer. You may also need to register with your local government and pay applicable fees.

Furthermore, depending on your services, you may need liability insurance to protect you and your clients in case of accidents or damages during your performances. Consult an insurance agent to determine the appropriate coverage for your needs. In addition, some venues or clients may require a background check, especially if you work closely with children. Comply with any necessary background check requirements to build trust and credibility with your clients.

Consider joining professional associations or organizations related to children’s entertainment. These associations provide resources, networking opportunities, and guidance on legal and ethical standards in the industry. They may also offer certifications that can enhance your professional credibility. By complying with local regulations and obtaining the appropriate documentation, you can establish yourself as a trustworthy and reputable entertainer in your community.

Market Yourself

To continue booking gigs and growing your business, you must market yourself and showcase your unique talents and services as a kids’ party entertainer. Also, regularly evaluate and adjust your marketing strategies to stay relevant and attract new clients. Promoting yourself effectively will increase visibility and grow your children’s entertainment business. With a little creativity and strategic planning, you can be your area’s go-to birthday party entertainer.

Here is how to effectively market yourself as a children’s entertainer:

  • Create a professional website showcasing your services, testimonials, and contact information.
  • Post engaging content and interact with your audience on social media platforms.
  • Develop a strong brand identity with a memorable logo, color scheme, and tagline.
  • Network with industry professionals and join online communities to collaborate and learn.
  • Offer special promotions and packages to attract new clients.
  • Collaborate with local schools and organizations for workshops and events.
  • Collect and showcase testimonials from satisfied clients.
  • Invest in professional marketing materials like business cards and demo videos.

Key Considerations and Challenges of Working as a Children’s Entertainer

When it comes to working as a children’s entertainer, there are a few key considerations and challenges to keep in mind. It takes a special kind of person to thrive in this role, but for those who do, the rewards are immeasurable despite these challenges. Some key considerations of this side hustle include:

Safety and Liability

As an entertainer working with children, safety should be a top priority. Ensure that your performance area is safe and free from hazards. Take necessary precautions to prevent accidents or injuries. Liability insurance is also important to protect yourself and your clients from unforeseen incidents.

Age-Appropriate Content

Tailoring your content to different age groups is crucial. Make sure your performances, games, and activities are suitable and engaging for the specific age range you are working with. Consider the developmental abilities, attention spans, and interests of the children in your audience.

Dealing with Difficult Situations

Children can sometimes be unpredictable, and you may encounter challenging situations during your performances. Be prepared to handle disruptions, tantrums, or unruly behavior with patience and professionalism. Having strategies in place to redirect or engage children can help manage difficult situations effectively. Thus, becoming a kids’ party entertainer is a suitable side gig for a teacher or a social worker who wants to spend more time putting smiles on children’s faces!

Conclusion

It’s now clear that being a children’s entertainer requires creativity, organization, and, above all, a genuine love for kids. Whether you’re a seasoned kids’ party entertainer or just starting out, it’s important to prioritize safety, communication, and fun when planning and executing as a birthday party entertainer. Who knows, maybe someday you can transition from being a children’s entertainer to a full-blown event planner!

As the article suggests, don’t be afraid to mix things up and try new activities or themes to keep things fresh and engaging for your young audience. It allows you to bring joy and laughter to young audiences, creating lasting memories for children and their families. If you are passionate about entertaining and connecting with children, take action and explore the opportunities in this exciting industry. With dedication, continuous learning, and a commitment to safety, you can thrive as a children’s entertainer and positively impact the lives of young ones.

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Ajoke Aminu

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