Children between the ages of 4 to 8 years old generally respond well to clowns in all venues. Children under the age of 3 years old can be reserved of clowns, especially if they have never seen a clown before. In order to support a level of comfort with clowns, an infant or toddler who appears to be timid of clowns should be allowed to approach the clown at their own pace. Never force a child to approach a clown if he or she shows any sign of discomfort. A large venue, such as a company party or community festival is an ideal event for a toddler to first meet a clown. The toddler can view the clown from a distance and see other children having a positive experience with the clown.
Some clowns apply makeup all over the face, called ‘whiteface’. Originally this type of clown, with big and bright features, was intended for clowns on a circus stage performing at a distance. Other clowns apply makeup with subtle features, called ‘auguste’. There is some evidence to suggest that these subtle features is more comfortable for kids who are timid of clowns.
Children over the age of 9 years old can be reserved of clowns as well. Older children can ignore a clown or be dismissive, as if to demonstrate they are too old to be interested in clowns. However, older children will still line up to receive face painting or balloon animals at a larger venue. Clowns are therefore well suited for an event at a larger venue with a wide age range of children, especially when the clown(s) are twisting balloons or face painting. Clowns often specialize in face painting or balloon twisting because they are often working events with large crowds, which can be referred to as a ‘production gig’. Working clowns get very quick and good at these skills. Often these events will also want a show, so some clowns develop a show to satisfy this need. An entertainer can develop a magic show by purchasing self-working magic tricks. These types of tricks require little to no practice to produce a magical effect and the patter is provided with the trick. These tricks performed by clowns often involve silly humour which can be a statement that is obviously incorrect to the audience, a movement or task which is simple for the audience but which the clown cannot complete, reoccurring blunders, or bathroom humour.