In a previous post, I talked about general tips for a successful party. Now, I’ll delve into how we at Funnie and Friends can turn even the most shy, trembling, or out and out screaming scared child into a fan of whatever character appears.
If the children at the party are 4 or under, there is a good chance a few of them will be scared of a costumed mascot character. Seeing Poppy on TV versus seeing a five foot Poppy towering over them is a huge difference. Rest assured that our entertainers know how to ease the child into acceptance. Our goal is to help you get that photo opp without the child screaming.
First, we try to learn all the children’s names. This is where a parent can help because many kids won’t say it loudly enough. Of course, we’ll know the birthday child’s name; please help us with the others. If the entertainer can call the child by their name, it establishes a bond and trust. That’s the first step to having the child at least pay attention from afar. The entertainer will usually tell them not to come too close, but to watch because the Character needs their help. Knowing the child’s name enables the entertainer to engage the child throughout the initial magic show or sing along. It gets the child to pay attention and watch. That’s the first step to comfort.
Next we’ll try to get the child involved in the game. With the promise of a prize at the end, this usually entices little ones to participate. At this stage, it also helps if an adult or older child sits with the frightened one. This reassures the child that nothing will go wrong. A nice lively game with the promise of a prize, usually engages a frightened child.
Don’t take candy from a stranger. Offering candy really does break down that fear.
If the scared child won’t participate in the game our next step is to have the character offer the prize to them personally. The entertainer will help the character put the prize into the child’s hand. Again, this is when the parents’ cooperation is key. Instead of saying, “Oh he’s too scared” as the character approaches, be positive and say, “Look what Spidey has for you!” Then the child almost always takes the prize and will give the character a high-five or something.
Please let your guests know that our entertainers are experts at handling frightened children, and we almost always gets the kids involved. Our goal is to have everyone walk away with a wonderful memory!