How to approach social distancing as kid’s entertainers?

How to approach social distancing as kid’s entertainers?

As restrictions are slowly being lifted and bookings are starting to come back, many entertainers are asking the question ‘how best to approach the issue of social distancing for parties?’   

We asked a number of performers on the Partywizz platform to share their advice on how to approach social distancing and about their experiences of recent shows.

How to approach social distancing as kid’s entertainers

This article is packed full of advice from our professional entertainment partners, but please note, the suggestions are based on individual interpretations of guidelines. 

We, of course, encourage you to check out and follow the latest government guidelines at the time of each performance.

What’s different about your normal kids show and your current socially distanced shows?

Dee O Shea from Genie Mackers

“There is less physical interaction with kids but the show is still really interactive.  This is the key thing to work on as professional entertainers; to make the show as fun and interactive as it can be while taking steps to make the environment as safe as possible.

At this time, we offer arm painting and glitter tattoos as an alternative to face painting.  The arm painting is done whilst wearing a mask and gloves.

For the rest of the show, we maintain a minimum distance of 2 metres between the entertainer and the audience.  It’s often possible to create a much bigger distance than this depending on the venue.

We are currently avoiding the sharing of microphones for the karaoke part of our show.  Instead we get the kids to use a pretend ‘invisible microphone’ which still seems to work fine!”

Audrey of Glam Fairies Parties

“The only real difference is the precautions I take in terms of health and safety measures.  It’s all about the PPE!  So I wear a face shield and gloves when I’m giving treatments to the kids.  I sanitise everything throughout and between the different kids. 

For the food I bring to the party, I make sure everyone has individual portions.  I suggest to parents that they try to ensure the kids don’t share with each other”

Emma of Emma Slowe entertainments

“There is actually not too much difference.  Your two concerns are about taking sensible precautions at the same time as making it as fun as possible.  The necessary hygiene requirements are not difficult to carry out but they do slow things down a little as you constantly need to sanitise everything, so I would recommend factoring that in.”

How do you discuss the issue of social distancing with parents or those booking you?

Audrey of Glam Fairies Parties

“The most important thing is to have a conversation with the customer before the event to manage expectations and to agree on the measures that will be taken to ensure safety.  Different people have different expectations so it’s important to discuss your recommendations so that you are all on the same page.  Often the customer may not have too many worries but the other parents may have different expectations.”

Dee O Shea from Genie Mackers

“We suggest a number of things to customers to create the safest possible environment in the circumstances:

  • Where possible the party should be outside
  • Where it cannot take place outside or where weather puts an end to that plan, we ask that the room chosen is well ventilated
  • Keep numbers as small as possible
  • We suggest that only the host parents join in the room with the kids to minimise numbers.  Therefore, the parents should be asked to drop off their kids and pick them up afterwards rather than stay for the duration of the party”

Can you share some general tips for social distancing in shows for kids?

Emma from Emma Slowe Entertainments

“I did an online hygiene course specifically for Covid 19.  It’s generally aimed at the salon and beauty industry but the advice and guidelines are well suited to things like face painting and pamper parties, so I would definitely recommend it.  It’s also good to be able to tell any concerned parents that you have completed such a course.

I find gloves can be difficult for carrying out certain activities so, in these cases, regularly washing hands and sanitising them is important ”

Brid – AKA Silly Sally the Clown

“I always wear a mask during my kids shows.  I was a bit worried a first that the kids would find it off-putting.  So I made my own mask with a brightly coloured design which goes down really well!”

Dee O Shea from Genie Mackers

“Keep your hand sanitiser in full view at all times.

Keep physical interaction to a minimum.  Where you are passing something to a child such as a magic wand, always sanitise the object before and afterwards.

Where you are interacting, look towards the parent or organiser as you sanitise something before passing it to someone.  You will generally gain their nod of approval.

At the beginning of your show, mark out a physical line that the kids must not cross.  Or you can mime putting out a magic invisible line over which they are not allowed to cross.

Keep options to a minimum to avoid unnecessary interaction.  For example, for balloon modelling we limit the options to two designs or even one.  This way the kids know what they are getting and it avoids them crowding round you to watch them being made and to decide what they want.”

Orla from Magic Wand Face Paints

“The most important thing is to follow sensible safety and hygiene procedures and to let the customer and other parents see that, so everyone feels more relaxed.  I’m a stickler for hygiene anyway and always use different brushes for each child.  Now I sanitise myself, the kids, the chair and all materials throughout.”

Does social distancing and the necessary precautions affect the feel of the show?

Dee O Shea from Genie Mackers

“Not so much.  You are only really making small changes that help to ensure safety and hygiene.  You can easily improvise the show to replace physical interaction with gestures and this doesn’t really affect the atmosphere.  So, it doesn’t kill the fun but it does reduce risk.

Note that some customers will interpret social distancing guidelines differently to others.  Some are very particular and others are more relaxed about the situation.”

Audrey from Glam Fairies Parties

“It doesn’t really affect the mood too much as people tend to be used to the basic safety precautions and so have come to expect it.  We are all wearing masks these days in shops and public transport etc so it feels less intimidating for the kids.”

Emma Slowe of Emma Slowe Entertainments

‘Different people have different ideas about what social distancing means in terms of throwing a party.  It’s definitely a balance to strike between taking sensible precautions and trying to make it not all feel too clinical.’

What advice do you give parents for managing the rest of their party?

Dee O Shea from Genie Mackers

“Make sure all food and drink is served separately

Avoid communal bowls of crisps and popcorn etc

Avoid party blowers as the temptation is often too great for kids to pick them up from the floor and reuse them.  You won’t miss the noise either!”

Audrey of Glam Fairies Parties

“Host the party outside if at all possible and try to keep the numbers down”

Emma from Emma Slowe Entertainments

“Depending on the setup and venue it can be useful to set up a one-way system for people entering and exiting rooms”.

That’s all for now!

We hope that you find these ideas and experiences useful. 

We of course all very much hope that our businesses return to pre-Covid levels soon. However, we can be fairly sure that many of these precautions and procedures will be with us for some time – and may help shape the ‘new normal’. 

In the meantime, we feel that following such advice can only help instil confidence in those who are looking to hire entertainment.  And it doesn’t have to affect the entertainment value!