Guest post by Donna and Jim Milburn of The Click & Clown Company.
These days, parents have numerous entertainment options to choose from when planning their child’s birthday party. You have everything from playground style establishments, gymnastics, park and recreation centers, craft stores and tea shops to theme characters, magicians and fairies, to name a few. If you’re thinking of hiring a clown, here are some tips for you to consider.
Types of Clowns
Clowning has had a long history, across the world — from ancient Egypt to the middle ages to the current day. There are different types of clowns such as a “whiteface”, which is the oldest type of clown, mostly associated with the circus and is thought to be the most intelligent of the clowns. There’s also the “auguste”, which is in a class by himself. The auguste is the least intelligent and zaniest of the clowns, who uses exaggerated make-up and movements to entertain his audience. Contrast and comparison are the key to an auguste clown’s costume. The “tramp” clown comes across as a “down on his luck” approach to life and things do not go well for him. The “hobo” clown is not unhappy about his situation. He knows everything will turn out alright. Many famous clowns like Abbott and Costello, The Three Stooges, Joseph Grimaldi, and Laurel and Hardy captured our attention and kept us in stitches with their wonderful sense of humour. Clowns can entertain children of all ages, from two to ninety two. The whiteface and auguste clowns would be the most common for children’s parties.
Is a Clown Right For Your Child?
So how do you choose what to do for your child’s birthday party? A good place to start is by asking yourself a few questions. What is my child’s personality? Is he/she shy or outgoing? Would they like a few friends or many? What activities do they enjoy? Do you want to have the party at home or at an establishment? Regardless of what you choose, you can always design it with your child’s personality and interests in mind. For example, if your child is shy, you can speak to the clown ahead of time to see how the clown would interact so your child would feel comfortable and safe. If your child is really outgoing, the clown could be an excellent choice.
Where to Look?
Once you have decided on hiring a clown for your child’s birthday party, a good place to start looking is on the internet as most entertainment places and entertainers have all their information including testimonials on their websites. If you are into social media networking, you can find all sorts of information on children’s entertainment. Twitter is a great resource. Some may advertise in local newspapers. You can also check out your library for listings. Another place to look is at your local Chamber of Commerce. The Click & Clown Company is a proud member of and is listed in the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce Directory. You also might want to ask friends. Word-of-mouth recommendations will not only give you information, but you may also get a review at the same time.
When evaluating a clown’s services, consider the following:
- Do they look credible? Check their website and their reviews.
- How long will they show run? Most home birthday parties run from 45 to 90 minutes of entertainment. This will depend on the number of children attending and what kind of show the clown will be producing. This information will help you plan and coordinate your party and its timing. For example, some clowns like to end his show with the singing of Happy Birthday as the cake is presented.
- What does the show consist of? Do they do animal balloons, juggling, and/or magic? Do they provide music and dancing, etc? Ask what the clown does in the case of a child being shy or afraid.
- What is the price? Do they base their rate on a set number of children and then have a surcharge for each additional child? For example, our company does not have a limit on the number of children for a home birthday party, which allows you to save on the amount you pay for the party. Also ask if the clown has any other features to offer, such as photography and karaoke, and if these are included in the price. Other options available are face painting, piñatas, popcorn machines, cotton candy, party novelties, a fairy character and specialty cakes at a discount.
- What are the terms of payment? Do they require a deposit? You may also want to provide your email address and ask for a confirmation in writing.
Whatever you choose, whether it is a clown, magician or a trip to the swimming pool, it all comes down to that special day for your child, no matter how old they are. If we start young with teaching our children the importance of birthdays and special celebrations, this will carry on throughout their lives and family traditions will be made and passed onto from one generation to the next. All the best to you in your celebrations!
The Click & Clown Company is owned and operated by Donna (aka Mrs. Click) and Jim Milburn (aka Dilly the Clown) of Pitt Meadows, B.C. Dilly has been entertaining children throughout the Lower Mainland for many years. Combining the art of photography with the entertainment of a clown is a perfect fit for the two of them. Find out more at www.clickandclown.ca.