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Should I Hire a Face Painter for a Birthday Party?

23 August 2023

When planning a party for your little one’s birthday, you’ll want to make sure they and their friends have lots of fun and it’s an occasion to remember. There are many types of entertainers you can hire for children’s parties - in this article, we’ll cover professional face painters, and the pros and cons of hiring one for your event.

What does a face painter do?

Face painters do exactly that: they use colourful non-toxic paints to paint designs onto children’s faces. They will be able to do a wide range of animals and characters and they usually take a few minutes per child to apply the design. 

Pros: It’s imaginative

Kids love role playing and having their face painted helps them feel authentically in character. You can base games around the children's chosen designs. You can also have children come in costume and then finish off their look with the face painting. 

Pros: It’s inclusive

No matter their age, most kids love having their faces painted. Even adults can join in! Whether children are passionate about dinosaurs, cats, unicorns, superheroes or robots, a professional face painter will be able to create something that makes them happy. The face-paint is hypoallergenic and easy to clean off at the end of the party, or they can wear it home and wash it off with soap and water before bed. 

Pros: It's flexible

A face painter doesn't need a lot of space or special equipment provided - they will bring the paints, you just need to provide a couple of chairs, so it's ideal if you don't have a lot of space. It can be indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather, so the party can still go ahead even if it pours with rain.

Pros: It's safe

A professional face painter will know to follow health and safety rules to prevent potential problems, including using a fresh sponge for each child, and not painting over broken skin. They should have public liability insurance, just in case something goes wrong. 

Pros: Great for photos

Kids grow up so fast, so it's important to have photos of great days to look back on and smile. Face paint will make photos fun - get the children to pull poses of whatever they are painted as. 

Cons: One at a time

The main drawback of hiring a professional face painter is that they can only paint one child's face at a time. This means you will need to organise some other entertainment for the rest of the kids while they wait their turn. There's lots of classic party games you can easily play at home, for example pass the parcel, musical chairs, musical statues and pin the tail on the donkey. If your budget allows, you could hire a second entertainer, such as a clown or magician. Some face painters also have other skills, like balloon artistry or putting on a puppet show. 

Cons: Sensory aspect might upset some kids

If you know your children or a number of their friends are sensitive to sensory input and won't like their face being touched by a stranger, face painting may not be the right activity for their party. It's also not suitable for children under two years old as their skin is very sensitive. Where kids struggle to sit still, it may not be safe to paint their faces, as they could get paint in their eyes. 

Ultimately, whether to hire a face painter will depend on what your children enjoy and what they dislike. If you do decide to go ahead and book one, check reviews online to help you choose one, or ask friends for recommendations.

Photo by RDNE Stock project

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