Should you hire a Bouncy Castle?
Updated: Aug 25
Before the current series of the Non Stop Kids Podcast, we used to review different party ideas. Our kids party entertainer thought this specific episode would make a great blog!
So check out the discussion below.
We all R: So, this week we will talk about Sienna’s birthday party, actually
C: Yeah, Sienna's your daughter, 2nd birthday
R: It’s her second birthday, she’s got some of her little friends coming over. And I was telling you that I am interested in hiring a bouncy castle for her birthday.
C: And I think it’s a really bad idea
R: Why don’t you start of by telling me why it’s a bad idea
C: Ok, I will give you some negatives about bouncy castles and you can maybe throw some positives into the mix, but I don’t think there are any positives. Let do this. So, here is the issue and anybody who’s been thinking about having a bouncy castle aught to bear this in min. First of all, from the entertainers point of view, and I know you don’t care less about entertainers point of view, because if you will hire an entertainer, you want to have the best possible experience an you want that entertainer to do a good job, the bouncy castle sometimes substitutes the entertainer. Cause if he is doing a magic show, it doesn’t matter how good that magic show is, you can have the best magician in the world doing the magic show, kids are going to get distracted by bouncy castle.
R: But you are under the impression that you have to leave the bouncy castle on during the magic show
C: I know, even if you drop it down for magic show, so you just pay for the bouncy castle for the time you are not going to use it. But than during the games, it can be a distinction as well, because during the party games, you are trying to play party games and the bouncy castle is drawing them away. If you are spending X amount of money to have an entertainer there to do magic, disco and party games and than there is a bouncy castle there as well, it’s going to effect what that entertainer can do and if the bouncy castle, yeah you can put it down, so you can have it when all the kids arrive and that put it down for the magic show and than you have to keep it down while they are eating. And than afterwards you are going to play party games, an you have paid the entertainer to be there to play party games, so you have to keep it down during party games as well. So, you’ve got it for ten minutes at the beginning and you’ve paid whatever that bouncy castle costs. What’s the point?
R: To be honest with you, I totally agree with you
R: When people say that they will hire a bouncy castle, and I say if you want to, that’s fine, but there is no need and you are right, there is absolutely no need. If I really wanted a bouncy castle, I will just hire for an hour, I would have the magic show still and have bouncy castle instead of party games, cause it’s just a big game. However, I am not planning on inviting the entertainer.
C: That’s fine
R: So, that’s why
C: Here is the second negative,
R: Ok, so let’s just say that number one negative take off, cause I am not having entertainer
C: Yeah, but it is something for people to consider about, it’s not just about you
R: Yeah, yeah
C: Second negative is, in order to have a bouncy castle you need two thing, really neat a big back garden, where you can put it or you need to hire a hole, pretty big, like a village hole You won’t be able to hire a small room, you need a big room.
R: I think most of parties, that we go to, you could have rented a bouncy castle if you wanted. Especially, if the bouncy castle was the only thing.
C: Ok, yeah
R: There are very few venues I could think of that you wouldn’t
C: Now here the issue and the reason I brought that up is to bring up another issue of having it in the backyard or having it outside. How many phonecalls we had day or two before the party going “please have you got some availability, I hired a bouncy castle and now it’s going rain all weekend”
R: Yeah, those happen
C: It happens quite a lot and than you are in situation when planed to have a bouncy castle, you though that it is going to be a nice weather and than it’s raining and you are stuck with 30 kids coming in two days time and nothing to entertain them with.
R: Unfortunately, that is always going to happen that is always going to happen. So if you are planning to have party outside, but likewise you can say the exact same thing about barbeques.
C: Yeah, you could, except barbeques, I went on barbeques on the weekend and it was raining, so everybody came inside and put everything into grill. So we still had barbeques. If you are having 30 kids coming to a party, it’s not like a bouncy castle, you have to have entertainment and so you have a bouncy castle, but you can’t use it. Well, you are in trouble
R: Yeah, I agree with that. That is the big negative of a bouncy castles
C: Next negative, depending on the company. The thing with the bouncy castle is, it’s not like hiring Non-Stop Kids, you can’t get a lot of cowboys etc. It’s not that expensive to but a bouncy castle, than you have to except that reliability is going to be a factor. We did a really big event couple of year ago, really big Christmas fair for the Belfry, where we were doing all stuff kids Christmas party. The bouncy castle guy just didn’t turn up
R: Again, with phone calls the day before
C: Because they are not entertainers, you don’ literary need any qualification to hire a bouncy castle, you go buy a bouncy castle and anyone can do it. It doesn’t have to be a professional person
R: Having said that, you can make the same argument for a lot of jobs of entertainers
C: You could Russ. At least you need a little bit more of the skill set, than just putting up a bouncy castle. There is literary no skill involved in it. It is easier, bouncy castle is cheaper comparing to the entertainer, where you have to prepare and learn about show description
R: I am sure you can book a bouncy castle from agency
C: Yeah, I am just bringing up stuff that I think is an issue. Another issue is that bouncy castles can potentially kill you.
R: Oh, cmon
C: No, seriously. I’ve seen in the newspaper child die on bounce castle. It’s happened a few times and the reason it happens is because, the bouncy company will come, set it up and leave. They are giving this equipment to people, the client, who doesn’t know how to use it and it rains and, all of a sudden, a kid slips off, it dies, or it blows away. Unless, you’ve got a professional that will come along, it’s occasional that you have a castle company that will have a person stay there with the bouncy caste. More often than not you’ll hire a bouncy castle that will drop it off and pick it later on.
C: And there is nobody there to police it
R: I think it’s dangerous to have a party at all, because you have to drive to the venue, and I am sure that there are more death caused in cars than there are by bouncy castles.
C: You are travailing it, but it’s still an issue. You ask the parent of the child that died on a bouncy castle if it was an issue at all. It’s an issue, that there are companies out there .
R: Ask parents whose children die because of car accident
C: It’s totally different situation. Here is the other thing about bouncy castle, it isn’t entertaining, they just drop it off and that’s it. The thing that people like when they hire us for example, as we call it hustle free, they don’t have to worry about entertaining the children, they don’t have to worry about keeping the children under control. We are there for the whole two hours, we are doing everything, they are just feeding the kids. With the bouncy castle, you can’t just leave the kids on there own on the bouncy castle, they’ll kill each other. So you’ve got really stressful situation, where you’ve got this peace of equipment and a lot of parties that we go to the parents like to sit at the back and chat, they don’t want to be involved, they don’t even like being involved, “we are hiring you to do this, we’ll go and sit at the back”. With this you’ll constantly have to be around bouncy castle and the parents of the children that are on the bouncy castle, when my son goes on the bouncy castles, even if there was someone standing there next to it, I would want to keep an eye on him, because I wouldn’t want him hearting himself. It’s more of the stressful situation for the parent, that are there
R: If you are comparing it to hiring an entertainer, like Non-Stop Kids for instance, that will come over and do it. There is no comparison which is better
R: Mostly, bouncy castle is as good. I am not arguing that bouncy castle is good, I am just arguing…but It depends on the event, on what you are looking for, for instance. Be honest with me though, if there was an entertainer, you say you would have to watch your son anyways, if there was an entertainer, there at the party, would you just go and leave your son too?
C: What I would do, I would be at back of the room. I’d be chatting to people. I wouldn’t be watching him the whole time, because I know he’d be sitting down, watching the magic show. That’s what I have done before.
R: Siena, who is two, I would have to her, because she wouldn’t just sit down and watch the magic show, she’d be running around. I think it also depends on the age range. If I had a 4 year old birthday party, there is no way I would even consider throwing a bouncy castle. Also, I agree with the point, that you don’t want the bouncy castle and an entertainer. So for that age range I wouldn’t even consider, cause entertainer is better and it’s more entertaining, more different and so on and so force. However, the party I am talking about, that I am planning, which you chopped me down in flames just before we started recording this podcast, Siena is going to be two. A lot of her friends are going to be either one or two, that’s not an ideal age for an enertainer.
C: It can be done
R: It can be, but the range is better two to four, not one and two. They would have gotten something out of it, but a lot of your point about having to watch them, and so on and so force, you’d have to do that anyway.
C: Yeah, but you would agree that at that age that have very limited attention spam. Bounce castle, you at my, he was on bouncy castle at that age, for two minutes and than running around doing something else. It would not go on a bouncy castle for two hours
R: But you don’t want them on it throughout the two hours. At the end of the day, this is what I am planning to have and why I think this is a good idea. I am planning of having, mainly outside, at my home. And it’s June, so I am hoping weather is going to be nice, like you say you never know it might be a total disaster, but I am planning of having it outside, summer’s day, maybe having a barbeques, there will be lots of adults there, there will be very young children and I am thinking that bouncy castle they can go there, paying indoors as well, we’ve got playroom inside. Bouncy castle in the corner, so that can play on, adults can chat, chill, watch the kids, go inside, outside. I don’t really want a sitins type, cause the problem is, with sitins for that age, like you say would have to literary go sit with the kids, while they watch it, I don’t want to go and do that at this age. Maybe next year, last year for a birthday party I had one of our shows, it worked brilliantly. But part of the reason was, it was mixed ages. Cause there were a lot of older, there was a very wide age range and I think our package is brilliant, it was fantastic for children mixed ages and it works great at wedding. It’s perfect and it’s cheap as well, comparatively.
R: But for this, there are mainly going to be younger kids, I think one of the oldest is 3. So it can be a little struggle from an entertainer point of view. I think the bouncy castle will just sit there, do its job and there is a slide, we have swing, you know what I mean? Just more of a laid back barbeques style party, but of course you did a very good point, cause all my plans will fall apart if there is rain
C: Yeah, that’ the other thing. What will you do than?
R: I’ll go inside
C: Without the bouncy castle or any form of entertainment?
R: Probably yeah, maybe balloon modelling
C: That’s you, you’ve got abilities for balloon modelling, what does everybody else do. They panic and call us asking if we could help and no, cause we are full booked up for month
C: I understand where you are coming from, but I hate bouncy castles. I don’t think that kids really enjoy them that much , they just kind of go, cause it is there.
R: I agree with all your point, but that’s what I am planning
C: And obviously more importantly, is you have a normal entertainer they won’t kill children
R: That’s very true, unlike the bouncy castle
C: We don’t know what are your thoughts whether bouncy castles are a good idea That’s our thoughts, we agree on some things, but overall we probably slide
R: I think we probably agree more than we disagree. But there is a bit of a difference of opinion there.
C: I hate bouncy castles
R: There is definitely a difference of opinion out there, but we are very interested in your thoughts. Thanks for listening to this week’s podcast. And we’ll see you again next week.
C: Catch you soon
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