4 Ways to Avoid Costumed Character Catastrophes

Rachel Baron


Elmo, Leonardo the turtle, Doc McStuffins, Dora the Explorer – all seemingly harmless characters your children watch on television.
Until they show up in real life.


Photo Credit: GigMasters Member Heroes for Hire 

Some kids think it’s “turtle-y awesome” when their favorite sewer amphibian shows up to entertain.

altPhoto Credit: GigMasters Member Heroes for Hire 

Others run like they’re in an episode of The Walking Dead.


Why is this?  Perhaps they are completely overwhelmed that their beloved Super Grover is actually RIGHT THERE. It’s like being star-struck for the toddler set. 

Whether the child is two or ten, there’s a possibility of an utter freak out. So, how can you prepare for a potential meltdown?


You're Invited, and So Is...

If you plan on hiring a costumed character, be sure to state this in the invitation.

Something like:


“Jesse’s turning two.

And Elmo’s joining us too!”


Now a parent knows to either prepare their child for Elmo’s imminent arrival, or respectfully decline the invite. 

Photo Credit: GigMasters Member Kids Party Productions


Five Minute Warning

You don’t know if little Lily is petrified of Abby Cadabby in person? Before the character makes an entrance, make an announcement. 

“We have a very special guest here with us today. In five minutes, Lily’s favorite TV character is going to come out, sing some songs and play fun games. There’s nothing to be afraid of." 

Imagine being three feet tall, and a giant furry monster comes walking into a room waving oversized, toddler-crushing hands. Wouldn’t you want to know ahead of time? Don’t discount the gentle five-minute warning.


Have a Hiding Spot

Despite your best efforts, kids might want to leave the room. Whether the party is in your house or at an event space, be sure to have a quiet spot to escape Spongebob. Set up a craft area to keep little ones entertained. It could just be crayons and paper, and maybe a special treat so they don’t feel ostracized. (Think character cookies or lollipops.)

altPhoto Credit: Cakes Unique by Amy


Get Your Programs Here! 

For older kids who may be able to read, hand out a sequence of events when they enter the party. Gigmasters characters don’t just show up in costume; they come with a variety of activities. Before the event, contact your performer and ask for a detailed list of what’s on the agenda.  Print it out in a cool font and leave in a basket or assign grandma to hand out when kids come in.  “Oh, looks like a Optimus Prime is going to transform later. Way cool, yo.” (Or whatever it is the kids say these days.)

Photo Credit: GigMasters Member Heroes for Hire

 Do you have a Costumed Character story to share? Leave us a comment or send an email to marketing@gigmasters.com - we might feature you in an article here!