Does anybody here do children's shows?

unclepickle1

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 10, 2010
Messages
2
I've just added a leopard gecko to my collection, bringing it to three Emperor Scorpions, one g. rosea, and the gecko. My friend is going to college for elementary education and he's involved with an aftercare program for young children. The thought recently occurred to us to start doing shows in schools with my pets, to introduce young children to pets like these.

Does anybody know the legal process we would have to go through to do this? Or if we need insurance or certification or anything like that? We live in New Jersey.
 

BQC123

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
May 8, 2010
Messages
413
Legal issues I cannot say for sure. Ask a local school what they require. I may have been able to do it because they all knew me, and my son. Also be careful what you take. The only thing I was concerned about was my centipede, but that was sealed in a shatterproof container that was only touched by me.

I have been to my son's Kindergarden class. I also went to his old preschool and showed the current classes. I did a family's play group Halloween party. I also set up at the local township Halloween party. Over 200 kids, plus the adults Halloween weekend alone!

I would recommend a CYA approach. I did not let the kids handle any animals, mainly because there was food at the parties. The couple times I did, there was sanitizer handy, and I made them use it right away.

It is a very rewarding experience. The interest was amazing.
 

thumpersalley

Roach Lovers Mom
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
293
We do about 100 a year at schools, open houses/animal related, some Sat. markets, fundraisers & other places. We just recently started to go to our local youth detention center. We DO NOT do birthday parties & things like that for entertainment only. We do education only. The facilites are in charge of keeping insurance for anyone who comes on their property. We are in Oregon so I dont know how much that helps for where you are at but you can ask them. We have a pop up tents, folding chairs & folding tables to make transport easier. I keep my inverts in their enclosures & place them all in 40 gallon rubbermaid totes for transport. Snakes are in shoebox totes also put in the larger totes. We do not take any tarantulas or scorpions out at presentations, ever. We do take out the hissing cockroaches & snakes to be touched but never held. We have educational fact handout sheets we give to everyone & postcards with pics of the animals on them. We have the latin name of each species on the front of the enclosures along with any cool facts about that species, how big it gets & where it comes from. We sometimes get asked by other rescues in the area to come to the presentations too with their animals. Kim
 

captmarga

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
340
Just some suggestions to think about. I've done all kinds of Expos from Art to sculpture to horses/donkeys/mules. I"m also involved in Theatre and Ren-Faires, in which we the actors are the ones "on display". I recently attended the kid's day at the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas where Reclusa brought an awesome assortment of Ts, Scorps, centipedes and roaches. .

Prep: Do you need to pack anything? Rehouse anything? Change feeding schedules?

Transport: can everyone be transported in their normal home? Will you need a "travel cage"?

Weather: Will you be able to move everyone safely in the weather? This last weekend at the museum, there was no heat in the building. It was 50 outside, and the same inside the big, arched ceiling marble building. Will you have heat packs, portable heaters?

Space you will be using: Will there be tables? Will you have a safe area you can move the animals to when done or if they become agitated? Will you have to deal with stairs? Elevators? A one-mile hike through a building to get to your destination inside?

Timeframe: How much pre-prep and setup time will you need? Will you have access to the display area before and after?

Not trying to turn you off from doing this, but it can take a lot of time. The more you do it, the easier it gets, but there will always be little bobbles and things you didn't plan for!

Try doing some kind of a fun day at a museum, or library first. See how it goes for you and the animals. You may find you can't stand the kids jumping up and down, squealing and pointing... or the adults that shriek and run to the other side of the room!

Good luck!

Marga
 

thumpersalley

Roach Lovers Mom
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
293
Also you need to be prepared as to what you are going to say when that special kid comes up & taps the enclosures. I ask them to leave. There is nothing that can make me more upset than to see anyone tap an animals cage or enclosure! There are also those adults who are trying to get attention by acting like they are afraid of the animal/invert. As soon as you call them out on it, they are then your best student & spend alot of time with their faces up against the glass. I have no patience for people who pretend to be afraid of anything just to get attention. Those are the main 2 things you will need to figure out how you want to handle. They will pop up, alot. Kim
 

WhiskyTrekker

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
15
Have done quite litterally hundreds of shows for schools, scout groups, the local zoo, childrens museum, etc...
I have always been responsible for transportation, housing and logistics...host of show has always been responsible for insurance, permits, etc. As the owner of the animals, it is always your perogitave to bail and say 'no'. If temp control is an issue, sort that out ahead of time...only allow handling of animals that are safe/hardy (ie, roaches) but don't shy away from rare critters if you can maintain absolute control of what you bring...be truthful and know what you are talking about!
In most states we are largely an un-regulated group...let's keep it that way and conduct ourselves responsibly!
Also remember, most kids groups would be just as happy if someone brought a dog...so if you show up with a G.rosea and a hisser, you are probably going to be the high-point of their week! I loved people like me and you when I was in grade school...do it right and carefully and you WILL create more future keepers and change lives...share your passion and it will show...
Cheers!
 

cdjseahawk

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
14
last year off high school

So last year was my 12th grade year and that happend to be when i started collecting t's an scorp's by the middle of the year I did a presentation for just about every science teacher in my school an even my leadership skills teacher. Everyone loved seeing the t's an kept asking the teachers if I could bring them in agin lol an sence then I had 3 teachers get t's for there class rooms and abunch of students who I gave G rosei slings to. I feel it is a great thing to do I remeber at the begging the teacher would asked how has ever seen a tarantula before and the class that had the most students only 5 have seen them. Sorry if I had improper spelling that is one of my week spots.
But all I can say is people love tarantula demo's ecspecally kids how get to miss class to see cool things.
P.s the most popular question was are the venomous.
Chris Jacobson aka cdjseahawk
 

BQC123

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
May 8, 2010
Messages
413
Thumpersalley makes a ton of great points.
I was asked to do my presentations because the word got out about my visit to pet day at school. Everyone else did a quick "Here's our pet", but I was there for over 30 minutes TEACHING them about about snakes. I agree on not doing entertainment shows. I only did the small party to prepare myself for the larger presentation coming up. I wanted to be prepared for questions, and possible problems that could be worked out easier in a smaller group. They got the same thing, just a lot more personal than a larger group. I am NOT a public speaker by any means( I hate it ), and really needed the practice!

Be prepared for questions. Do not try to BS through the tough ones. These kids come up with some amazing questions. I also think a few were let down to learn that the scorpions and tarantulas were not as deadly as they thought. Be sure not to play up animals as dangerous, or deadly. We have Animal Planet for that!

Because of short notice I did not have any take home info, but will next time for sure. I had close up pictures of the animals on display as well. Displaying the names, locations, and even a small map would be great.

One final thing to prepare for is people trying to buy your animals. I did tell them what made good pets, but stressed the proper care, and that an adult would need to accept the ultimate responsibility for the animals. Several were interested in purchasing, but I would not go into that, even though several animals I have were for sale. If they choose to look me up later, fine, but that was not the proper venue to be selling. It would take away from the learning experience.
 

boonbear

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
100
does anyone else think it's disturbing that someone named "unclepickle" wants to know about children shows?!?
 

thumpersalley

Roach Lovers Mom
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
293
No more worse than boonbear. I think boon in the older years of the last century was a term for "favor" {D


Back to the thread........

We do get approached to buy the inverts, none are ever for sale at the presentations. I have the LD50 chart printed off to explain or compare different venoms so people understand how venomous one species is compared to another. They are always surpised when most here in the US arent all that bad. I also have a chart printed off of the most venomous, I actually just stuck to 20 of them & where they are located. There is a person on this board who does tarantula fang bracelets & I got one from her/him to use at the presentations so the kids cant touch it. Im also working on building a shed shadow box with a couple of different species whos sheds Ive kept since 1 inch & now they are 6 inches. Kim
 
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