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Pittsburgh, PA
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Profile of pezmagic
So here is the question... What do all of you do at birthday parties, etc. to entertain the children while you are twisting each one a balloon. They certainly won't stay still standing in a line for 30 minutes while you twist every kid a balloon, so how do you keep them occupied before they get their balloon and after they get their balloon?
=) I'm hoping for many different ideas here. Thanks!
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Bill Nuvo
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Well, I save the balloons for the end after my main show. Most often there are only up to 15 children. At 30 seconds per balloon hat that's like 8 mins maybe 10 if I am feeling a little slow.

The answer to keeping them entertained is to make a show out of it. Kids will sit and watch you twist the interesting shapes. Especially when everyone will get a different creation. They will try and guess what you are doing.

Also go to The have articles about balloon shows.
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Manchester Uk
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Profile of WKM
Hi Tricia,

I also save ballons for the end of the show. I try ti time it for a few minurtes before going homw time. THis way mums and dads don't mind waiting a minute or two and will watch the children and help keep them entertained too.

I also put some background music on. This means that the children are able to play and I often find that as long as I keep it moving The children are happy to watch what I am going to twist next and get ideas for what they want too.

I also talk to each child as they get to the gfront of the Que. I do the usual "how old are you? 107 wow your old!"and various things.

Hope this gives you a couple of ideas.

Liam Ball MMC

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Profile of derrick
I like to try and have a joke ready for every balloon animal they think of. If they ask for a gorilla..then I say, "Why do gorillas have such big nostrils? Ever see the size of their fingers? They ask for a elephant.. What's the hardest part of hunting an elephant? Carrying the decoys!!! Anyway, It becomes a fun game for the kids to come up with a new animal and it's fun for me too.

Hope that helps a bit.

Skip Way
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After the show, I lead the children in a winding birthday parade to the cake table. While they're being served I make an elaborate balloon hat for the birthday child and basic balloon hats...and only hats...for each child. This serves four purposes: 1) Balloon hats are colorful and festive! Parents love them! 2) Hats are far less likely to be handled and broken like swords and such. 3) The kids are seated and occupied, which vastly reduces breakage. 4) I can generally effect my exit before they finish - vastly reducing the "My balloon broke!" problem.
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Profile of DanielSteep
I too save the balloons for then end of the show unless I'm only doing balloons or the client specifies that they want the balloons before the show (Never Happend)
Ron Reid
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Hello Tricia:

I really don't like doing a line at a birthday party - mainly, for the reason you mentioned. I sometimes use a technique I learned from L'il John's video tape on Balloon Animals. Basically, he makes a guessing game out of it; he tells the audience that he's going to blow up a balloon and make an animal, and the first one who shouts out the correct name gets to keep it. He gives the balloon to a child, and then goes on to the next sculpture until everyone has one. That's the basic technique, but L'il John goes into a lot more detail concerning audience management. I think this beats a line at a party by a long shot.

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Profile of Stevethomas
The only balloons I actually make AT the party are the one for the birthday child (a big party hat) and a "Twisted Wrister" (thanks, Tom) for the birthday child to give to the mother, and I coach them to "take this to mom (grandma, dad or whomever hired me), give 'em a HUGE hug and tell 'em a BIG THANK YOU for having Steve the magician here at the party!"...that always gets the gigantic "AWWWWW" from the audience, and makes it more memorable for the parent(s). The rest of the balloons are given to the PIC (person in charge) when I arrive. They give 'em out as party favors as the children leave. That way, there's no poppage, and children leaving unhappy without a balloon. It also builds the anticipation of getting the balloon, and makes it more special so that none of the little "darlings" will decide to take it apart and attempt to design their own. I don't know how the small people are in your area, but here...they're sometimes not that nice.

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tagaytay, philippines
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Profile of cardcaptor
I put a show for the balloons, I formulated my show by reading some of the articles in the balloonhq. I don't want the kids to fall in line when I'm twisting the balloons because for sure they will not stay for a minute or two in the line and the party will be a playground for the children.

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Profile of haccis
After I have twisted "extra large birthday party hat" for birthday child, I order childs to play "bottle rolling game". Every kid who has won two times, can come to get his/her price, what is (of course) balloon hat.

This way I have time to twist nice hats and childrens don't have to wait their turn,
because they watch the game and try guess that who is the winner that the bottle is going to point.

Needless to say that we play until everyone has won the hat =)

Buster Balloon
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Profile of Buster Balloon
Question #1) Why do they have to wait around to get a balloon?
Question #2) Who says they won't?

What I always tell parents who are concerned with kids becoming restless while I am twisting is that kids are very much like adults when it comes to parties. They want to talk to their friends, and mingle and have fun too. When they are ready to get their balloon they will find me, but they do not have to stand there and watch me the entire time (even though many do).

So typically, while I am twisting, a mob will assemble. Some will stay, some will not. But the ones who wander off will come back as the wait gets shorter, and in the end everyone still gets a balloon.

You see, part of the problem, is that everyone keeps trying to go faster. "If I only use one or two balloons per child... Or if I only make swords... If I can get it down to 15 seconds per child..."

The truth is, if you are making really good balloons, they will wait as long as it takes. I regularly make sculptures that take 5, 10, 15, and on occasion even 20 minutes, with both kids and adults entranced the entire time. And no offense, but when I say "really good balloons" I do not mean by magician or clown standards. I mean REALLY good, like by balloon twister standards (if you are going to do something, do it right!)

My Birthday Party Show Package is a 45 minute Balloon Show followed by 45 minutes of twisting. And my Birthday Balloon Twisting Package is 90 minutes of just twisting. During both, I regularly have both kids and adults who will stand and watch the entire time that I am twisting. Even the ones who do not want a balloon at all.

Try it. You just might like it.
Buster Balloon
Creative Genius, Balloon Twisting Savant, & Pre-Sweetened Breakfast Cereal Connoisseur
Scruffy the Clown
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Profile of Scruffy the Clown
I prefer to do the Balloons last. However, If my wife is also there facepaint with me. then we generally do them first to get it over with. Also, this basically divides the number of kids in half for each of us.It usually goes pretty quick.
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Profile of wally
Where can I find instructions for a good scoooby doooo. thank yoooo
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