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Thread: Rooms full of kids!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania happyguava's Avatar
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    Rooms full of kids!!

    I'm so excited! I'm going to be entertaining the sick kids at the hospital in my mermaid guise, as their theme for November is Under the Sea This is my first major gig as a mermaid and I can't stop grinning every time I think about it!!

    The deal is that I'll have a large audience of children (it gets filmed so that ward-bound kids can watch too!), probably with some parents too and I've got ~40 mins to keep their attention. This will be the first time Nerissa the Mermaid is actually performing, as opposed to the "sit and smile and meet people and take photos" that I'm used to. Sooo excited! But I'm trying very hard to plan my 40 mins so that it's enjoyable and engaging for them, not just me!!

    So far I'm planning on singing songs with my guitar throughout - stuff like Beyond the Sea, Part of Your World etc etc. and probably telling a story or two. The idea is that it should be a fun distraction for sick children, so I want to transport them into another world where they don't feel like they're in hospital.

    I work professionally as a singer, so I'm no stranger to performing for large or small groups of people, but I guess I just wanted some advice from those of you who perform for children regularly about what kind of things they really enjoy, things that get them bored from your experience, any little tips and tricks and pearls of wisdom that you might have to offer.

    *goes back to grinning and planning and being excited*

  2. #2
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    tell them mermaid stories from around the world, like about Selkies, Merrow, Naiads, who they are what they do. Print some pics off google if you can. Maybe bring a book about sea creatures, read it and talk with them just like a circle time. Give them time for asking questions and posing for photos too

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania happyguava's Avatar
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    Ah that's a great idea Raina! I was going to do a similar thing showing pictures about different weird-and-wonderful sea creatures, but then I realised it's a whole month of 'under the sea' for them - they'll hear HEAPS about awesome creatures. Different mermaid stories is great though!

  4. #4
    When you're singing to kids, don't just sing at them. Small children (under 6) like repetitive songs a lot, and in general to keep the younger audience engaged and excited, it helps to have hand motions for all of your songs that they can join along and do, as well as teaching them the song. If you have an older bunch of kids, teach them in segments and then have everyone split up into groups and sing a round together. That's magical stuff, and not hard for 7s or older.

    Changing your volume and speed is great too - when I sing "5 little monkeys"* for preschoolers & kindergardeners, I do a normal verse, then a quiet one, then LOUD, then really slow, then really fast! All the while using my hands and face to do movements they can join along with. Encouraging participation is key, most kids (even older ones) won't want to sit and listen to *anything* for 40 minutes, they have to be doing something, so invite them to do things with you.

    Also, this is best for tiny kids, but it's good for adults too - puppets! Seriously, they're really magical, and a hand puppet isn't hard to use & play with. Provide something both whimsical and tactile.

    Yet another way to encourage participation is to make funny mistakes they can correct. "The itsy bitsy spider went up the beanstalk! Wait, the what? Water spout? Oh!! ..Down came the juice and washed the spider ou- what is it this time? You're looking at me funny!" (etc. etc.)

    *(5 little monkeys can easily be changed to 5 little dolphins, etc. etc.)

    www.swimmingmermaid.com
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    "Anything you want to do, do it. Want to change the world? There's nothing to it."

  5. #5
    Kids love to teach, so it's not a bad idea to be naive about the human world and let them teach you things. You can exchange information about the sea for information about the land.

    www.swimmingmermaid.com
    www.facebook.com/swimmingmermaid

    "Anything you want to do, do it. Want to change the world? There's nothing to it."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania happyguava's Avatar
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    Thanks ide, that's great!! Ah man, I'm starting to feel ready!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania happyguava's Avatar
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    Update update update! *trumpet fanfare*

    So it went really well! This was the first but I've already got more gigs happening. Sooo happy that it all went well so I thought I'd share some shots!


    Yes, out of context this photo is bizarre. That office chair turned out to be an excellent mode of transportation!


    Reading a story - a whole bunch of little girls had gathered on the stage where I'm looking. One of them put a sticker on my tail, hehe!


    ... and then someone threw a beach ball at me! Heheee, at this stage I was pondering how these giant land-bubbles were incapable of popping! And yes, I may have fallen off the wheely-chair in order to spectacularly catch the ball. Toootally worth it.

    </happymermaid>
    Last edited by happyguava; 11-17-2011 at 10:30 AM. Reason: Thought of more stuff to say!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    ADORABLE. Yay!

  9. #9
    So glad you had a great time Nerissa!




  10. #10
    Happy that it worked out!
    "An elephant never forgets...
    ...So I'm definitely not an elephant."
    -Me
    ♡♡♡Mermaid Kisses♡♡♡

  11. #11
    You can tell what a mermaid does and show them peices of sea jewerly and give them sea shells or shell neckalaces too next time when you do this type of project next time!

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