Your kids love to be entertained, but you can’t be the feature attraction 24/7. Birthday parties are an exceptionally good time to hire entertainment. Some entertainers are better than others. Some really know what will keep your child entranced – and how long they can hold that attention before that little body can’t contain it any longer. So what to look for in an entertainer? We caught up with professional child entertainers Sonshine and Broccoli to ask the questions you know you want to know.
1. Why are musical shows engaging for children?
I think we all remember our first concert. Mine ( Sonshine ) was the beach boys. Musical shows are extremely engaging for all kids, from the first clap, to the head bop, to the jump. Kids find music a freedom of their own expression.
2. What time of day is best for keeping kids interested in the performance?
I would say first thing in the morning or after nap time.
3. Where do you get the energy to entertain kids on a continual basis?
We could be having the worst day but the second we are on stage rockin’ out to an audience of kids, life is just great. The energy truly comes from them. Kids are excited , intrigued and engaged. We often feed off of their energy.
4. How do you know when you are losing the attention span of a child – are there signs?
Ohhh yes. Big signs.
We can plan a show one way and totally decide to change it part way through depending on the age and types of kids in the audience. Sonshine and Broccoli have been called “The Kid Whispers.” There is nothing better than getting their attention from the very first song. We have found that keeping the show very upbeat and interactive works great for us.
5. Should entertainment be at the beginning, middle or end of a party?
Entertainment should be after the first half an hour of a party. Let your guest come in – leave some time for the stragglers – and within 30 to 40 min of the called time it’s great to bring out the entertainment.
6. What size party works best with entertainment?
It completely depends on the party. For more intimate parties, 20 kids is great. For larger parties or events we bring equipment, plug in and rock out to a huge crowd.
7. Can you customize a show to my child’s age group?
Yes of course. Recently we performed where we were given very little information about a show. The kids happened to be much older than our normal audience. We quickly adjusted our set list and the kids, all the way up to 15, had a blast. We always have tricks up our sleeve.
8. Do you need a large space to have performers at a child’s birthday party?
Not at all. Any performer should be able to accommodate your space. I always say whatever you are comfortable with.
9. What can parents do to make the entertainment part go over well? Should it be hyped on the invite? Part of a theme?
Yes to both. It’s always great to let your guest know who will be performing. It allows the parent and child to go online, check them out on YouTube, get excited about who they will be seeing. I have seen so many fabulous themed parties, from a Far East theme where all the kids were given kimonos to Princess Parties.
10. Why do children love your music?
We have been writing and singing kids’ music for 11 years. When we started writing, the process was so natural: Just put yourself into the mind of a child; the innocence of so many first things , silly things, scary things. We have just released our 3rd album and our music has grown over the years. We are growing with the kids. This new album is a pop rock album and is in the new genre of kindie music. Indie music for kids. We feel that parent and child should really rock out together!
Sonshine & Broccoli, AKA Lisa Sonshine and Brock (Broccoli) Burford, have been entertaining parents and their children for over a decade. They’ve just released their third album “It’s A Beautiful Day.”
Music, always close to the heart and ongoing for Lisa and Brock, is the subject of a documentary, “Learning To Play” currently in post-production. Developed by the multi-talented duo, “Learning to Play” emerged from seven day collaboration with other musical artists. A Juno nominated artist, a film/ TV composer, vocal coach, Sonshine & Broccoli song writing students and others, came together in an all ages storytelling look on the power of music in our lives. The interviews and music from this moving collaboration can be seen on Sonshine & Broccoli’s website. The documentary explores how an early learned love of music can connect people to each other throughout their lives.
Over the past decade, Sonshine & Broccoli have entertained children across the GTA with their high energy interactive shows, sold out performances, In demand Corporate & private events, as well as a Pop Stars songwriting workshop for kids aged 7 to 12 as an after school, PD Day, and camp program. The camp has been recently added to the Toronto Public Library’s Culture Days programming.
Sonshine & Broccoli brings out the song in all of us.