Updated: Sep 14
When I look back at the last few months it’s clear to see that the entire world has turned upside down. 6 months ago walking into a bank with a mask on would have gotten you arrested, but now it’s the law. And that’s not the only thing that has changed. For me, one of the biggest groups that have had their lives changed are children. Most haven’t been to school since march, and some of the biggest events of children's lives have had to be cancelled or postponed due to lockdown. Birthday parties are a prime example of this. A key event in any child’s social calendar, birthday parties have been non-existent up until recently when guidelines changed to allow some events. Now parents have the hard task of figuring out how to arrange a children’s birthday party whilst meeting all the vague guidelines that are currently in place. The good news is though that certain performers are perfectly suited to the new guidelines – magicians! And here is why magicians are perfect for post lockdown children's parties.
Magicians can perform outdoors
One of the biggest concerns that people have is where to hold the party. A lot of venues haven’t opened fully yet, and people have no idea about how many people are allowed in each venue or what the policies are regarding other aspects of a party like food. One venue though has minimal restrictions – the great outdoors. Since the government allowed outdoor performances it’s now possible to hold parties outside in public places such as parks, fields or open spaces (with permission from the landowner of course).
While meeting up with your friends outside is nice it isn’t exactly a party. Parties need entertainment and one of the best choices for a post lockdown outdoors party is a magic show. A temporary “stage” can be set up and your child can be entertained in a minimal risk environment with everyone spread out into socially distanced bubbles. Masks aren’t needed and there is no need to worry about kids running up and down as the great magic show will keep them occupied and glued to their seats in awe. It also looks a lot more impressive to other parents that they arrive to see a show, instead of sitting in a park watching the kids go crazy! You can invite parents to bring along a little picnic and blanket and make it more of a meal and a show! (As a side note: a lot of people like to compete with others and not that I’m advocating this, but it does look good to walk up to a party where theres a stage area, seating and seeing kids excited about a show!)
(A pre-covid outdoor show)
Magicians can perform online
The outdoors option is a good idea, especially now that things are opening up more, but there are still concerns about safety and bubbles. Lots of people are putting out conflicting advice about who you can meet and who you shouldn’t meet. Some people may not feel safe about going into crowded areas and wouldn’t feel comfortable taking their children to a party. But there are other options for celebrating your child’s birthday. Like everything else nowadays there is always the option to do an online party. Using software like Zoom it’s now possible to get all your friends together for a party where they can all see each other, chat even play games online and have a virtual party. But one of the things to consider with this is that leaving kids to their own devices online will last about 5 minutes before they wander off.
To make your party last and keep the kids entertained, I’d recommend hiring a childrens magician to do a short show via zoom for your child and their friends. That way they get to meet their friends virtually and still get entertained. Online magic shows can be personalised and still very interactive. The children can speak with each other, play games and even chat on the message board and get involved with the show – all from the comfort of their own homes. There’s no need to worry about social distancing and bubbles etc, they can just sit back and enjoy the show. One thing that makes magic the perfect entertainment for online parties is that magicians like myself have tailored their shows to be specifically online. The online version of my show is different to the live show as its designed to work with the restrictions of a camera and a virtual audience. Using my years of experience I’ve been able to adjust each trick that it works as a virtual show and gives people the sense they’ve actually watching a live show that they can get involved in!
(A screenshot from one of my bedtime stories with me and Charlie)
There is another advantage to hiring a magician for an online show – they are normally cheaper than hiring them to perform outdoors. There are a lot less costs involved for a magician so they can reduce their price which makes it a better option if you are on a budget.
Magic shows work in socially distanced environments
Let’s be honest. Social distancing is a pain. Even for adults it’s clear to see that walking through Asda (or Walmart for the odd American that’s reading this article) people struggle to follow the basic rules of social distancing. A few weeks ago I was in a superstore and walked past the reduced section as it was being restocked. Needless to say social distancing went out the window as people clambered over each other to get 10p off some ready-made noodles. This got me thinking, how can we expect children to follow social distancing when we can’t even do it ourselves as adults.
That’s why I find it good to have a magic show at a children’s party. There are many reasons why magic shows promote good social distancing. This is because when booking a show with myself I will send through guidelines as to how people should sit at one of my shows. I encourage people to sit in family bubbles, each bubble socially distanced from the next one so that people can relax and watch the show without concern about others getting too close. I even bring spots to help mark out seating areas for people. This way there is little stress for families.
This is all well and good of course, but what's the point of encouraging people to sit in groups. We all know that children are excitable bundles of energy that love to bounce around, especially at a party. How on earth do you expect them to socially distance at a birthday party? That is where having a magic show comes in useful. Magic shows are a focal point for the children. For the 45 minutes of the show their eyes are glued to the stage. I make sure that my show is engaging and will keep little ones (and adults) occupied. There is another reason why I ask people to sit in family bubbles – the parents. Having a child sitting with their family members promotes both good behaviour and makes the magic show a family event.