Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to Build Confidence in Preschoolers and Toddlers With Public Speaking


Written by Karen
with California Clown School
Author, Speaker, and Child Entertainer
in the Sacramento Metro area including Stockton, Modesto, and Bay Area

It's never too early to encourage kids to stand up in front of people and perform. Performance doesn't have to be learning lots of lines for a play or spectacle; it can be as simple as singing a song, telling about a picture they drew, reciting a favorite poem or even doing a Sunday school talk. The more we encourage young kids to speak, the greater the likelihood that their self confidence will increase with each experience. Everyone has a story to tell and wants someone to listen.

Teach the children poems suitable for little kids. Read the poems to them and help them to learn the poems through repetition and even enactment where possible. Then, have the children recite the poems while you're giving them your total attention.

Encourage the children to not be afraid and prove it to them by speaking publicly yourself. Even if you are uncomfortable with public speaking, which most people are, your little one needs to know from you that they are not the only one who is nervous when speaking. A child learns by example and does not have the ability to understand the philosophical realm of language and inner struggle. If you only tell them not to be afraid of something, they will agree with you to not do it, but they will not fully get what "it" is.

Have the kids draw a picture. Then suggest that they each take turns standing up and telling everyone else in the group or class about what they drew. Teach them that teamwork and a positive attitude benefits them as well as those around them. This will build self confidence and self respect which will make them feel good about speaking in front of people.

Teach children to be polite and listen. Have them applaud the speaking child for his or her efforts. This is an important part of growing to appreciate public speaking, especially as not every child will find it a comfortable experience unless they're supported thoroughly. Teach all of the children that it is very important to be kind and to never to laugh or make fun of a speaker.
Encourage the children to ask questions politely. It is both good for the speaker to learn to field questions from an audience and for the children to learn the skill of asking questions in relation to something they've just learned about.

Build a stage for the little performers, if you can. The kids can help with designing, locating and making it. They could help hang the curtain or with making props to make it look like a stage.
In many cases, it's probably best to make a portable stage that can be put up and taken down with great ease, so that it's not in the way. Use bamboo poles stuck in buckets (stuff paper or other materials into the bucket to hold in place) to create a prop for hanging stage curtains from and a pole across the top of each pole for hanging curtains from.

Develop fun ways to teach young children the right things to do when speaking in public. Also demonstrate the wrong things to do. This can be done on a fun basis: Have someone perform all the wrong things like speaking too loudly or too quietly, or too fast, or moving all around the place while talking or facing the wrong way to the audience. You can demonstrate that chewing gum and pulling on their clothes and hair is not the way to talk clearly either. Have some fun with this––the children will laugh a lot but the lessons will still be taken up by their inquiring minds.

Teach the children about "the big finish." That unlike dancing or playing music, public speaking is not about making a lot of movement, or tapping fingers or feet, or fidgeting. Show energy but don’t be too excited or boring, but just right, to share their ideas. However you wish to accomplish this just remember to focus on what "to do" , instead of what "not to do" and everyone including yourself will have more fun.
Some public speakers do walk around as they talk; in fact, some of the most engaging ones do this. Children can be encouraged to be expressive with their hands and walking provided that they don't cover their faces or place any part of their sides or back to the audience. As before, and exaggerated performance these mistakes will lighten the mood and help them to laugh at themselves and not judge others.

Truly listen to what the children have to say. It is important that we teach them that what they have to say is important. If we show them that we value it and want to hear what they have to say they will feel more comfortable and respectful with strangers. Part of successful speaking is also learning to be considerate to others by listening.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Easter - In the Stockton Record

Quail Lakes Baptist Church held an Easter egg hunt April 7 at Atherton Park in Stockton. Roughly 2,000 people came out for the event, which also offered face painting and other activities. As reported in the Stockton Record.
California Clown School

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Suppose your daughter's fifth birthday is soon, she wants a birthday party and you have no idea what to do. How are you going to keep 20 kids busy and safe at her birthday party? Here is a list of suggestions from experts.

1 Hire an entertainer, if possible. A professional entertainer will have liability insurance that’s protects you, your home and other assets. If you think you can’t afford one, find one who brings prizes so you will not have to spend $150 on party bags. Go to the wikiHow article "How to Hire an Entertainer for a Child's Birthday Party" for help hiring an entertainer.

2 If you are still not able to hire an entertainer, get someone to help you with the children. This leaves you free to be the hostess to the party.

3 Decide a theme for your party. Use the Internet to find all of the things that pertain to your theme. You will be able to find ideas for birthday cakes, games, logos, decorating ideas, etc.

4 If you want to keep the kids attention with games at your party you should give out prizes. Kids love to get prizes when they play games. Do not give out candy or any prize that is a high choke item. Candy can make the kids hyper and the prizes are a safety and liability issue.

5 Arrange games. Balloon games are easy to do and fun for the children. You can have balloon sword fights, balloon popping games and other fun and easy games for 2 children to play at a time. The video gives some ideas for balloon games. Have the other children cheer them on as the two play. Plan on spending 30 to 40 minutes on games.

6 Paint faces. Many children like to have their faces painted. Check out the wikiHow article, “How to Face Paint Your Kids at a Birthday Party for $15 or Less” for details. This article covers how to do it as well as how to do it safely.

7 Teach yourself how to do some basic balloons for the children. There are a number of articles on wikiHow on balloon twisting. One of them is “How to Make Balloon Heart Fairy Wings”. Girls especially like fairy wings. Another is “How to Make a Balloon Jester Hat, Sword and Belt”. Boys especially like balloon swords and belts. Watch the children to be sure that no one puts a balloon in their mouth.

8 Try some arts and crafts. Arts and crafts are always a big hit. Search on the Internet for arts and crafts related to the theme you have chosen.

9 Again, it is best to hire an entertainer with liability insurance. Most Homeowners insurance does not cover face painting and balloons but if this is not possible, these tips will help keep the children safe.

10 The most important thing is that you, your child and your guests enjoy the day. The main reason you are having a party is to celebrate your child’s life.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Patience with Children

A mother once asked her child to pick a balloon in her favorite color. The child said "pink" and reached for the pink balloon. The mother said, “No, you like yellow, it's better”. Then the mother took the pink balloon from the child and handed her the yellow balloon.

Do you ever feel the urge to step in and form your child's opinions, tastes, and to complete tasks that they seem to be doing "just too slowly"? If so, you're teaching your child a few unhelpful lessons, including that the child must rely on you to make decisions, that impatience is a virtue, and that the child's carers will always fix things rather than having to take on personal responsibility. Ultimately, impatience with a child risks lessening their independence and understanding. Learning to let go despite the messes, frustration, and mistakes that will inevitably arise is a vital skill when caring for or being with children. Whether you're raising children, or working or volunteering with them, a little patience goes a long way


1 Take a little time to think about the purpose and beauty of patience. Patience gives us time to reflect, to slow down and think about the world and the things we're doing. It's a way of enjoying what we're experiencing rather than always rushing toward an end just to make room for the next rush. Patience allows us to enjoy the process of living. Patience also enables others to accept us into their lives through our faithful, continued presence and enduring respect for them. When we accept the importance of patience in our lives, it becomes easier to be patient with others too. Through respecting the rhythm of ourselves and others, being patient presents an opportunity to give of ourselves rather than expecting others to conform to our wants.

See How to be patient for some more general ideas on letting a little more patience into your life.

2 Ask the child what he or she wants to have, do, or be. Resist the impulse to have things the way you'd like them to be. Even a very young child can indicate their likes and dislikes; allowing these to express themselves at appropriate occasions is important. As part of asking for the child's preferences, be sure to show that you've heard the answer; aim to paraphrase the child's response so that it's clear you understand.
Resist the temptation to change the child's mind about a future occupation. If little Johnny says he wants to be a window washer when he grows up, let it be. If you constantly interrupt with something like "Oh he's just saying that. We all know he'll be a doctor when he grows up", he'll start to resent the implications of being pushed toward a designated career.
Balance the wants with realities. If you think that what the child is asking for is unreasonable, unaffordable, or a sign of "consumeritis", take time to talk it through rather than simply saying no or choosing for them without discussion. You don't have to reason with the child but it helps to give a brief explanation. It helps even more if you show by example what you're asking the child to follow.

3 Show goodwill and interest in children. Where possible, try to please them. This isn't about being a doormat for the child's commands. It's about respecting the wants and requests of the child within the appropriateness of the situation. Help the child to learn the difference between making a request and making a demand and what the consequences are. It is also important to help them understand the importance of delayed gratification, teaching them that when you do say no, sometimes this is about waiting, rather than never having or doing what they've asked for. Helping them to understand this time perspective is far kinder than simply saying no and not explaining any further.

4 Be grateful for your children and for all children. When the daily chores mount up and everyone is rushing about, sometimes it's easy to take one another for granted. Taking time now and then to express your gratitude for your children will help you to respect them for the unique, individual beings they are, and helps them to see the importance of valuing others openly.

5 Humble yourself. Be willing to do things the child's way when possible. While their attempts might sometimes cause you frustration and worry, it is important to allow children to show you their way of doing things. If your child offers to help with making dinner, don't think of the mess they'll make. Accept that there will be a mess but realize that they're learning how to do something that will one day be of great importance as a skill (and eventually, they'll be making some of the household meals, relieving you of the burden occasionally). In watching and learning from your child or from other children, you will learn their character better, and see both their strengths and their weaknesses, giving you an opportunity to help them nurture the best talents and to learn to manage their weaknesses.
If you do not allow children to do things their way, this takes away their autonomy and potentially stunts their ability to discover things for themselves. Allow a child to try new things often, so as to give them a sense of self-trust and personal responsibility.
Naturally, keep safety and propriety in mind; it is entirely appropriate to step in and change the course of a child's behavior or activities where safety or appropriateness have been compromised; this is simply part of being responsible guardians.

6 Remember that children are human too. Remember that children have feelings, likes, dislikes, favorite foods, colors, etc. Honor these things when possible.

7 Let them try but don't turn it into an unbearable chore
Resist the temptation to control children. Children are ready to trust and soak up information from the people who care for them and spend time with them. Trying to control children lacks respect for their own self and is a way of trying to insert your way of thinking and preferences onto them. Give them space to grow into the individual that they are.
Patience allows you to be the ideal teacher. Instead of seeking to control, patience allows the child to grow at their own pace, rather than being pushed into doing things before being ready. For example, Dino de Laurentiis did not speak until he was 5. Despite the worries of others, his mother took this in her stride, believing he'd speak more than enough when he was ready. And so he did![1]
Try this: see if you can say "yes" to the child, before you say "no". If your first instinct is to say "no", question this. Actually, why not? Are you just being controlling, or is there a good reason to deny their request?

8 A little time out does wonders when tempers flare
 Pick your battles carefully. Most choices are not a life and death situation. Give children a rope long enough for them to safely learn on their own. Mistakes are a learning experience.If you feel that a situation is getting out of hand with a child, take a step back and create space between you and the child. This breathing space is important for both of you, after which you can express your thoughts and establish boundaries when you are collected, rather than channeling your concerns through frustration.

9 Be kind to your children and they will learn to treat you and others kindly by your example. Your example will be helpful to your children throughout their life. They will also have learned to make wise choices by the choices you allowed them to make. Now they will be kind to their children and teach them to make wise choices.

10 Be kind to yourself. It can be very hard to be patient sometimes in a world where teaching Mozart in the womb and expectations of exemplary behavior from preschool are considered the norm. No matter what the competitive approach insists upon, patience gives you a means for remaining calm within yourself, to give you the perspective to recognize the readiness of a child at their own developmental pace, independent of external standards. Rushing can cause you to lose sight of your guiding role, and of the precious essence of the child.

11 Love being with children. Sometimes our greatest impatience arises when we allow our own endeavors such as work, personal pursuits, hobbies, sports, etc., to get in the way of spending time with children. Whether we're parenting, caring, teaching, working or volunteering with children, nobody is immune from impatience at times. If you feel any sense of resentment when being around children for "holding up" the things you want to do, or you find yourself "half present" instead of giving your full attention, then being patient can restore your joy of spending time with children. Let go of the impatience and realize that time spent with children is precious. It is a time during which you can learn a great deal about seeing the world through fresh eyes. It can also be a time when you realize that you can make a big difference in the life of a child by teaching or showing them something new, and by helping them to love and respect themselves all the more.
Recognize that patience is a form of kindness. Giving time is giving kindness a chance. By removing the pressure of the other "more pressing" things you feel, you show your child that there is nothing more important, nothing kinder, than spending time with them.
A child who is given time with an adult soaks up the message that the busyness of adult life can wait, that childhood is a good time, and that there is no need to grow up too quickly. The point of life is being with one another, a gift that can only be imparted to a child in the doing.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

How to Make a Balloon Jester Hat, Sword and Belt

Kids love balloon sculptures such as hats, animals, wings and many others. These instructions will get you started on 3 different sculptures and are popular items at birthday parties. It is best to hire a professional for your party but if this is not possible these instructions will provide for your children


1 Pick 5 different colored twisting balloons. Inflate each of them with the pump leaving an unblown tail of about 5 inches at the end. Tie each of them off and set all but one aside.

2 Use that balloon for the hat base. Put it around a child’s head and twist the 2 ends together to form a circle that fits the child’s head.

3 Next take one of the remaining balloons and at the inflation end make a one inch bubble. This is done by moving one inch from end and pinching the balloon together to form a bubble. Then twist the bubble around the twist on the base balloon. Take another balloon and make a one inch bubble in it. Take the base and pinch it opposite the place where the other balloon it attached. Now twist the bubble around the base balloon to attach the balloon to the base.

4 Attach the other two balloons in like manner so that all 4 balloons are evenly spaced around the base of the hat. Twist the four balloons together about one third of the way up from the hat base. Then twist the balloons together again about two thirds of the way up from the hat base.

5 Inflate 4 water balloons and tie one on the tips of each of the four upright balloons. Bend the balloon tips outward.This completes the Jester Hat.

6 The Balloon Sword is simple to make and requires only one balloon. Take an inflated balloon and make a one inch bubble at the inflation end. Twist the bubble several times in one direction. Hold on to the bubble, go down 4 inches and fold it against the balloon. Pinch the balloon at that point and twist it and the bubble together to form a rough circle. Open the circle and poke the end of the balloon through the center leaving a larger circle at the end as a handle for the sword.

7 The Belt is the same as the hat base except it goes around the waist loose enough for the sword to be put between the belt and the waist.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Make Soap Bubbles for Your Children

Here is an easy and inexpensive way to entertain children on a warm summer day. It not only keeps them busy but exercises their bodies and their brains.


1 Obtain the necessary materials. Many of these items are sold at stores for around a dollar. Thrift Stores are also a possible source for them.

2 Put approximately 3 gallons of water in your container.

3 Add one half of a bottle of the liquid soap you bought.

4 Put the soap bottle out of reach of the children as it is toxic.

5 Watch the children so that no one falls into the container.

6 Put one of the nets in the water and remove slowly so there is soap film in the holes in the net.

7 Move the net though the air so the air passing through the holes in the net forms a bubble. It may take several tries to learn the best speed to the net.

8 Make sure the children stand away from each other so they do not get soap in their eyes

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to Have a Crazy Frumpy Hair Party

Here is a fun idea for a party or a sleep over. Have the girls come ready to have there hair done up crazy. Believe it or not this is a great idea for adults as well as kids.Some times girls just want to have fun.

1 Shop and purchase inexpensive hair combs so you can use a different one on each girl. Later you can send it home with them as part of their goodie bag.

2 Purchase colored hair spray of different color to use on the hair when you have styled it.

3 Style hair. Be prepared to do many crazy hair styles, using coated rubber bands and bobby pins, to hold the hair in place.

4 Select the color. Usually you can have several different ones to chose from, let the children pick their favorite.

5 Spray the hair. Make sure you are not going to get paint on anything other then their hair. A good idea is to have them use their hands to cover their face so that they do not breathe in the spray.

6 Air dry hair. Do not add loose glitter because it could go in the eyes and damage the eyes.

7 Have the guest make hair ribbons, head bands and other accessories that can be used on the hair. They are a great party give away and a fun craft project.

8 Prepare a doll beauty shop. Have them bring their dolls wash their hair and have the kids do to the doll's hair what you have done to their hair.

9 Make flowers to go in the hair, flower head bands, flower with ribbons, and netting, anything that adds fun to the activity.

10 Play games, hair curling contest, who has done the best hair on the dolls. The idea is to have fun.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

J.S. West

Another great summer and another great Company Picnic with J.S. West! The temperature is high and so is the entertainment!

Davis Community Park‎
2701 College Avenue
Modesto, CA 95350

Want more information on Company Picnics? Contact: Hanna Banana at California Clown School or call Hanna at: 209-464-6677

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Time!

Summer has come and we are excited to get outside! Tis the season of Company Picnics, BBQ's and Fun in the Sun. See what we can do to help make your GET TOGETHER more fun!



Monday, May 9, 2011


Our clown school dates have been changed!! We will be meeting in Reno, Nevada at Circus, Circus for Clown School between: October 31st to November 3rd, 2011

Contact Hanna Banana at: 209-464-6677 or visit our website at: www.californiaclownschool.com for more information!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

1930's Birthday Party

 The pencil toppers are sewn pieces of felt which I then Hot Glued onto the pencils. At the top of the party bags, just white lunch sacks, I bought a pack of wooden clothing clips (100 for $1) and then glued on two squares of decorative paper. The notebook came with the butterfly cover, bought from the local dollar store and then I added their name and the ribbon along the bottom.

I made doll-sized party hats with the same decorative paper that I used above.

 I wanted to make deocrations that would emphasize the decade. I found these images on Google by simply typing in phrases such as "1930's children."

Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Have a Happy Feet Painting Dance Party

 Are you tired of the same old tired, boring birthday parties? Instead have a foot painting birthday party. Tell your guests to come ready to have their feet painted. The idea is to paint their feet so they look like they have on shoes or socks.

Study face painting directions. Look at the wikiHow article titled “How to Face Paint a Child As a Butterfly”. This article covers the basic techniques and gives you information on the paint and supplies that you will need.
Foot Painting Designs. , Use the designs provided on this article for painting the feet. However do not paint the bottom of their feet so the children can walk and play without getting paint on everything. You can paint the top of the feed and lower part of the ankle. If you know the children and know that they won't have an allergy reaction to the paint you can paint higher up on the ankle to provide a sock.
Be aware of the weather. This should be a warm activity where the children can come wearing shorts and if possible sandals so you can easily paint their feet. Remember they will end up barefoot because you will be painting on their socks and shoes on the top of their feet. If necessary they could put on flip-flops or wear their sandals protect the bottom of their feet.
Chose feet activities. Such things as soccer, line dancing, Limbo dancing, the Hokey-Pokey or a sock hop.

Create foot invitations. Put a foot outline on your invitations. Add a paint bucket with a brush and some paint splatters on it as well. Tell your guests to come prepared to get their feet painted fancy.

Play dance music. Play lots of dance music for dancing for these wild feet. If you like, you can teach them some line dances or other fun dances that they can easily learn. This would work well for older children who really want to learn ballroom dancing or other types of dancing.

Make a foot cake. Put together a birthday cake that looks like a shoe or a foot. You could even make it look like a foot in a cast.

Play foot games. You can use balloons and have the children step on them. The balloons can be loose on the floor where everyone can step on them. Or you could tie the balloon to a child's foot with a ribbon and they would have to pop their own balloon or another person could pop their balloon.

Craft activities. Provide papers with a foot on it. Let the children design a sock or shoe or some other design for a foot. The design can be used either as the painting on their feet or in a contest to pick the best design.

Promote dancing. Let's try to get the kids back to dancing and dance the night away with their wild feet.
Want more information? Contact us at:  209-464-6677

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

How to Love the Unlovable

How to Love the Unlovable has become a RISING STAR article on WikiHow!

Why do some people act unlovable? The answer is fear!  


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Birthday Party Websites

Check us out HERE at Birthday Party Websites

 Hanna Banana's Banner

2)  Your Hanna Banana - The Clown School listing is up on the following BirthdayPartyWebsites.com:

Monday, December 13, 2010

Krispy Kreme

What better way to celebrate then at Krispy Kreme? Thank you Krispy Kreme for inviting us to share in your GRAND OPENING!

Krispy Kreme 
2809 West March Lane
Stockton, CA 95219

Friday, December 10, 2010

Haggin Museum

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the Haggin Museum for their 2010 Christmas Celebration! What a beautiful event that truly brought in the Christmas Spirit for everyone, especially me! Thank you Haggin Museum for the fun!

Phone: (209) 940-6300 Fax: (209) 462-1404
Mailing Address: 1201 N. Pershing Ave.
Stockton, CA 95203-1699

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We are making headlines again on WikiHow! Once again, one of our articles is on the front page and it has gone viral! As Child Entertainers we want to help people know who it is they are bringing around their children. We want you to have fun and be safe! Check out the article HERE! 
Want more information?
Give us a call at: 209-464-6677 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How to Teach Kids to Be a More Thankful Person

What a great message this month of November! Parents are often thinking of ways to help increase their children's gratitude for work that we all know is HARD! And, though we are happy to do it, it will make them a better person to recognize gratitude! Check out our new WikiHow on How to Teach Kids to be a more Thankful Person!

For more information check out our website HERE
or call Hanna at: 209-464-6677 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Balloon Crazy!

This past weekend we went Balloon Crazy at Carson Oaks Community Church! A HUGE THANKS for letting me help celebrate in your fun!

6509 N. Alturas Ave.
Stockton, California 95207
Phone and Fax: (209) 478 - 5866