Children’s Parties in West Midlands and Shropshire

Miss Picklelily is happy to announce that she is still performing kids magic parties and family shows in Shropshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire. Careena will currently be available as usual for children's parties in Shrewsbury and surrounds, Bridgnorth, Telford as well as Birmingham and Wolverhampton areas.

Early School Days and Children’s Parties, Guest Blog by Panda Education

Welcome to Miss Picklelily's blog!  This months blog is about early school days and socialising at children's parties.  It has been very kindly written by Sharon Dey of Panda Education who agreed to answer some of my questions!  Over to Sharon:   School has started. Your child is meeting a whole class of new children and learning new routines every day. You open their book bag after school and discover their first ‘big school’ party invitation and before you know it, your weekends are full with copious amounts of party invites! It’s a daunting time for parents, albeit mixed with a little excitement, as you both get used to new routines.   Parties have become quite a big event these days. Months of planning and worry over the ‘just right’ party, with the added battle of the party bags(!), has been a big issue across several parent forums. But, what about the children? Because let’s remember that the party is actually for their benefit (I know, I hear you, but we all fall into the same trap, believe me!)   I was kindly asked by Miss Picklelily to comment upon socialisation in those early days of school, with specific emphasis on parties. Thank you to Miss Picklelily for this amazing opportunity. I would highly recommend her unique, fun and magical parties to any parent.     Do parties bond early friendships? I believe that parties play a major part in forming friendships for your child, The opportunity to engage with their peers in a more relaxed environment is crucial to their social skills and provides them with fantastic openers for conversation back in the school environment due to shared experiences.   Are outside of school social activities such as parties important for my child to attend? Any exposure to a new activity is important for your child. It can be overwhelming when confronted with a new situation, whether it’s a club, a sporting activity, a music session, etc. Each time they walk into a new room filled with strange adults it can cause a range of emotions in children and each child is different in how they respond to this, from skipping off without a backwards glance to hiding behind you. It is important to encourage them to engage with new activities but you must not force them to join in!   My child doesn’t like parties, what shall I do? I would still attend the party, but stay close to your child. Listen to them and react to their behaviour. If they will only join in with you sitting on the floor next to them, then sit on the floor! Or if that’s too embarrassing for you, sit them on your lap on a chair so that you’re near the other parents but you are still encouraging your child to join in. Talk to them about what is happening and ask them if they’d like to join in. Don’t worry if they don’t want to, they are still taking it all in from the safety of your lap.   Will my child benefit from having a party of their own? This is completely parental choice. Parents choose whether to have a party for their little one or not, and if they choose to have one, they decide how lavish it will be. It does not benefit your child to have a party any more than it disadvantages them to not have one. Every family is different and should feel secure in celebrating their little ones special day in whatever way they choose.   My child goes AWOL at parties, he/she gets overexcited and then runs amok. What shall I do? Stay calm!! You may feel like the whole room is staring at you and commenting on your parenting skills, but believe me, they are not! You need to judge the situation that your child is in. Is s/he just being loud and excited? Or is s/he disrupting others? If the latter, take your child calmly to one side and explain what they are doing and what affect it is having.  Give clear instructions for what they should be doing and praise them when they are joining in correctly. If your child has not attended a party before, It’s a learning curve, so don’t worry if this happens.   My child is shy. Should I let everyone know at the party so my child won’t be “put on the spot”? No. Just be there with them but allow them to be themselves. They may surprise you with how much they do. But if they don’t join in, that’s fine. You don’t need to make excuse for them. It’s okay to be shy, and highlighting that fact just makes it more awkward. S/he needs to learn how to say “no thankyou” if they are put on the spot, and you will be there to help them if needed.     For more hints & tips on early schooling, please visit my website – www.panda-education.co.uk Thank you  

News for the New Year!

After a hugely busy of season of Christmas Shows you would think Picklelily would find January a bit quieter! Not so, January has been really busy with birthday party magic shows in Telford, Shrewsbury, and Bridgnorth, in fact there has been much magic all over Shropshire and the West Midlands. Picklelily has also been busy in her rehearsal studio working on new magic and games to keep her birthday parties fresh and updated. Last weekend saw a new fishing game introduced which was a great team game for the whole party to enjoy.  Picklelily also has a new bird puppet called Doreen who is being gradually added to many birthday parties this month. Not only that Picklelily has some new features in her shows, such as a wonderful musical feature that will need at least 6 little magic assistants and possibly a willing Mum or Dad to join in too! Over Chrstmas I added a new magic effect with a Frozen theme, which has been really well received. The second weekend of January was the amazing Session Magic Convention in Cheltenham, where I got to meet Derren Brown, one of my all time heroes in magic. Derren The session is really a convention for close up magicians who work with cards, I've since been inspired to really crack on with my close up magic for adults - watch this space! Both Dynamo and David Blaine were also at the Session, so I really felt that I was hobnobbing with the good and the great.  I've recently uploaded a short youtube clip of Dynamo producing a car on my facebook page. You can see it here In February it's the annual Blackpool magicians Convention where there will also be a lot of children's magic to learn and buy in for birthday parties during the year ahead.  Many magicians are solitary workers, but I find it helps to keep my shows fresh and my enthusiasm high by going to conventions to learn, network and to buy new equiment for my shows during the coming year..  

How to find the best children’s entertainer for your kids party

Truly the best way to find the best children's party entertainer for your child and their friends is by word of mouth.  Think back to all the children's parties you may have recently attended.  Was there a magician or clown who you really liked? Who engaged the kids the most at the party?  I get nearly all of my party bookings in Shrewsbury and Telford through actually doing the parties.  The more parties I do, the more bookings come in and this is because I really love my job, and I think it shows.  Recently I have had more and more bookings come in from parents who say to me that their child has absolutely asked for Picklelily and no one else will do! There is no better compliment than that! hollyparty1 (2) Of course, it may be that you are new to the West Midlands and you haven't seen many entertainers on the kids party circuit.  One way to find out who may be a really good choice of entertainer is to talk to other parents and also to the school or nursery itself.  They will undoubtedly have encountered lots of entertainers and party options over the years and are a great source of information.   Take a look at the various websites online, does their facebook page have lots of recent comments and photos? Do they keep their shows and ideas fresh and upto date by attending lectures and magic conventions?  Above all, you want to make sure you that if you are going to splash out and hire an entertainer or magician for your child's special party that you are in fact, hiring a professional entertainer.  The best entertainers out there will be full time. Yes, most parties are on the weekends but the really good ones will also be doing weekday after school parties and school bookings too.  They will also be sending out professional contracts and invoices to confirm your booking and will normally ask for a deposit.  Make sure you have a papertrail to confirm your booking or it can easily get forgotton. I have had countless last minute calls from distraught parents whose entertainer has let them down after only a verbal agreement about a party.  Remember, there is no show without the business and just because the kids party business is all about fun, there still needs to be solid training, time effort and commitment behind the fun  to make your child's party the very best it can be.  You can find more details about my parties at www.picklelilycircus.co.uk and read recent client comments at www.facebook.com/PicklelilyCircus

Halloween and half term fun!

Witch Picklelily at Highley Engine House 2013

Witch Picklelily at Highley Engine House 2013

This last week has been a whirl of magical entertainment as Picklelily was delighted to perform magic at the engine house on the Severn Valley Railway.  Witch Picklelily bedazzled over 200 children who visited during half term week over half term week.  Not only that, it was full steam ahead on Halloween itself with a flying visit by broomstick to Bishops Castle Library, Shropshire for a spooky magic show and then to judge the Halloween Fancy Dress Competition.  It was a tough competition to judge, however a young Dracula, a spooky ghost  carrying his own gravestone and a spider witch stole the show.  After the drama and excitement of Halloween was barely over, it was full steam ahead into birthday parties for George aged 5, Joe aged 11, and little Alfie's Christening party.  Picklelily has clocked up 19 magic shows and parties this week which has got to be a record!  Don't forget to click like www.facebook.com/PicklelilyCircus  for party tips and news and Picklelily looks forward to seeing you soon at a party in the West Midlands! Witch Picklelily boards a steam train