Talent Show Ideas for Kids

Hip-hop and jazz dances are fun for the dancers and the audience.
Hip-hop and jazz dances are fun for the dancers and the audience. | Source

What Should I Do for the Talent Show?

This is a question kids ask themselves, their parents, and their friends every year when it's time for their school talent show. The talent show is the perfect opportunity to strut your stuff in front of all your friends and teachers, and show them just what you’ve got. However, it can be difficult to come up with just the right act. If you need a few ideas, you’ve come to the right place. From the obvious to the original, you’ll find plenty of choices here.

The Obvious: Show Off the Skill You Have Been Practicing

If you’ve been taking performance lessons of any kind, such as acting, singing, dancing, gymnastics or playing a musical instrument, then you’re all set with an excellent stage act. You’ve been working hard on your lessons, so now’s the time to show off! Ask your instructor for some specific ideas, or use your recital or performance piece. If several kids from your school also take lessons from your instructor, the teacher may be willing to put together an ensemble act for you.

If you haven’t been taking lessons but have your heart set on singing, dancing or acting, go for it. The key to success when you haven’t been preparing with a teacher is to choose your song, dance, or monologue carefully so that is fits your skill level well. (Here are some songs that work well for kids in talent shows.)

Practice like crazy, and ask friends, parents and family members for their honest opinions. Don’t get mad if their feedback isn’t completely positive. Use any criticism you receive to improve your act.

A note on performing a gymnastics routine: Make sure your school’s stage is large enough and safe enough to perform your routine. You may need to put down mats, or ask the teachers in charge of the talent show if you can perform your routine on the floor just in front of the stage. Get your parents, teachers, and maybe even your gymnastics coach involved to make sure the stage is large enough and safe enough, and to make sure you have proper equipment.


Although karate isn’t typically a stage act, it’s exciting to watch and makes a great addition to a talent show. If you know karate, put together a routine of your favorite moves. Write out the order of your routine on paper, then practice it and memorize it. You’ll get the most dramatic effect if you start out with the easiest moves and progress to the tougher, more impressive moves. Breaking a board with a chop or a kick is an awesome grand finale. Wear your gi and your belt. If you like, go up to the mike before each move and tell the audience the move’s name, and give them a brief description of why and how it is used. Although karate isn’t typically set to music, you might choose to play some for a more dramatic effect and to fill any awkward silences.

Drawing and Painting

If your favorite talent is art, take it to the talent show and create a painting or drawing on the stage, right in front of the audience members’ eyes. The key is to get the largest canvas or paper you can possibly find, and have a spotlight put on it so that it can be seen easily by the audience. Choose a picture to paint or draw, and practice the picture several times at home. Time how long it takes you to finish your practice pictures to make sure you can finish your chosen picture quickly, but still do a great job on it. On the night of the show, angle your easel so that the audience can see it, and try not to block the audience’s view of the canvas with your body while you’re drawing or painting. Again, music adds drama and excitement, and fills any awkward silences. When you’re finished, turn the easel to the audience, stand back, smile, and take a big bow.

Magic Act

Magic acts are a talent show classic. Your local magic shop can recommend tricks that are easy to master and don’t require lots of expensive equipment. Practice and experiment with tricks until you’ve mastered them and can pull them off with confidence. Costumes, music and an assistant add to the overall quality of the act. Your costume doesn’t have to be fancy, but make sure you have at least a top hat and a cape, even if it’s a blanket tied around your neck and a cardboard top hat left over from New Year’s Eve.

Pogo Stick Routine

My own son made up a pogo stick routine for his school’s talent show last year, and he brought the house down. He loves his pogo stick and had already mastered straight-on jumping. It didn’t take him long to come up with a few more tricks, which gave him enough material for a routine. He started off simply, jumping slalom-style from side to side, and then spun in a circle while jumping. A few trickier things he added in were jumping over a cardboard box and pogoing while bouncing a basketball. He also (very briefly) juggled three small foam balls while jumping on the pogo stick, and for the grand finale jumped rope on the pogo stick. It looked difficult and impressed the crowd, yet was actually pretty easy and didn’t take him long to throw the act together.

Choreographing this act to a fun popular song adds to the entertainment factor.

Yo-Yo Routine

A yo-yo act is something really unique and entertaining. Yo-yoing is something not many people do these days, so the audience will be interested in seeing your tricks. If you’re an ace yo-yo artist, put together a routine of your best tricks, set it to music and show your stuff.

If you're not already a yo-yo pro, you may be able to learn some great tricks in time for the talent show. Don't wait until the last minute, though. Some tricks are quite difficult and take plenty of practice.

Jump Rope Act

Jumping rope is something most people can do, but when you make up a cool routine and set it to hip-hop or pop music, it becomes a great talent show act. It’s also something that works well with a group, so ask some friends to do it with you. Practice your routine on your school’s stage as much as possible, to make sure there’s room for all that rope swinging. Fancy costumes are not required, but it looks great if you all wear matching shorts and t-shirts.

Not to sound like a broken record, but choreographing your jump rope routine to a fun song with a great beat will help make the act a standout.


If you are a cheerleader, gather your cheer team together to do some dances and stunts for the audience. However, you don’t have to “officially” be cheerleaders to perform a fun cheerleading routine in the talent show. Get a group of friends together and make up a fun routine that showcases each girl’s tumbling and dance skills. Costumes don’t have to be fancy -- matching cheer shorts and t-shirts in bright colors are fine. And don’t forget the matching hair bows! Once again, find a great song with a fun beat, or use the music your team competes with.

Hand-Clapping Routine

Although a hand-clapping routine doesn’t sound like it has much to offer, it is actually a really cool act that anyone can do. Watch the video above and you’ll see what I mean. Another plus is that no special equipment or costumes are required. Although this act is basically easy, it will take plenty of practice to master and memorize the routine.

Funny Skits

There are lots of funny skits you can do at talent shows. These ideas are all funny but easy enough that just about anyone can pull them off successfully. Additionally, most don’t require any special equipment. Comedy acts are often a breath of fresh air among the numerous dance routines and ballad singers found in most school talent shows.

Talent Show Tips

  • Practice, practice, practice! Even though you might think your act is easy and in your mind you can perform it perfectly, you have to practice. Practice twice as much as think you need to. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Have a parent, brother, sister, or friend video your act as you practice it. Watch the videos carefully to see what works and what doesn’t, and what needs to be changed or improved.
  • Again: choose some great music. Music adds energy, excitement, and a professional quality to your act.
  • Remember that only a few people are on the front row. Don’t forget about the majority of your audience, who are watching from farther away or off to the side. If you’re speaking during your act, speak clearly, slowly and loudly so that everyone can hear and understand you. Whether you’re speaking or not, hold your head up, stand or sit up straight, wear bright colors, smile, and take your time. There’s no need to rush through your act.
  • Just before you go on stage, take a deep breath, relax, smile and have fun!
  • If you mess up, just smile, laugh, and keep going. If someone in your group messes up, ignore it and keep going. No one is perfect, and mistakes do happen. In fact, mistakes can be very funny and make your act even more entertaining. If you laugh about your mistake, the audience will laugh with you and enjoy the show even more.
  • When you’re finished, stand up tall, smile, wave to the audience, take a big, long bow, then wave again and walk—don’t run—off the stage.

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Comments 40 comments

samantha 4 years ago

when you get on stage and you are really really nerves what do you do i need help really bad can you halp me

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SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas Author

Samantha, I guess take a deep breath and imagine the audience in their underwear, LOL. Actually, here is a good article with some ideas:

gracie 3 years ago

I like pancakes

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SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas Author

I like waffles.

caroline 3 years ago

nice it is pretty interesting i have to choose something for my talent show so i was confused but not anymore because now I have a lot more ideas for my talent show

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SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas Author

I'm so glad you got some ideas here, Caroline! Let me know what you end up doing for the show. I'm sure it will turn out great!

shelbie mazell 3 years ago

well i have a talent show this friday and my teacher just told us about it so i don't know what to do with my friend i was thing jump rope but i don't know if my teacher will let me

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SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas Author

You should ask her, Shelbie, I think that your teacher would probably like that idea. If you're good with basketball handling, another idea is to do a ball bouncing routine set to music, and show off your ball handling skills! Have fun in the show, and let me know what you end up doing!

Lilly 3 years ago

Dunno what to do

Justthetwo 3 years ago

Best ever kids talent show act. After all the singers and jumpropers, it was a breath of fresh air!!!!

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SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas Author

Hi Lilly, I hope you found something fun to do in the talent show! Did you ever decide? There are some great ideas here, or ask your friends and family for ideas. Let me know what you decide on! Best wishes!

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SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas Author


jackelin 2 years ago

Thanks 4 the advice♥

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SmartAndFun 2 years ago from Texas Author

You're welcome, jackelin! Have fun at your talent show! How do you type those little hearts? I love it!

ken 2 years ago

i could yo yo or pogo stick

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SmartAndFun 2 years ago from Texas Author

Hi Ken, yo-yoing and pogo-sticking can be really fun acts for you to do in the talent show. They're fun for the audience, too, because they'll be something new and original in a sea of singers and dancers. Be sure to find some cool, exciting music to play during your act, and practice, practice, practice. Have fun, and good luck!

samantha 2 years ago

I don't know what to do

samantha 2 years ago

Look at the inappropriate school talent,really good.

shalom 2 years ago

very funny i loved loved loved the hand clapping routine l o l gave me really fantastic ideas

ashley 2 years ago

these ideas are great !

Isabella 22 months ago

Please help! I don't know what to do with the talent show! I can't do anything! I can't play the piano, I'm embarrassed to sing, and I can't play anything else!

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toptengamer 22 months ago from The Game

Isabella, you can do just about what ever you are comfortable with. It doesn't need to be a mainstream activity like playing the piano or singing. Be creative and more importantly: Be Yourself!

Aiden 21 months ago

I will really enjoy acting because it is fun. I will do that at my church talent show! :)

Carter 20 months ago

This will do some good for me:)

lilly 20 months ago

have no idea

Aubrey 20 months ago

Hi, i love drawing and painting, do you know of anything i can draw easily? SORRY!

Kyla 19 months ago

I don't know what to do

Kyla 19 months ago

I am good at painting and a good singer what do I do

shash 18 months ago

you should paint lots of pepoul will sing

Ashlee 16 months ago

I hope to compete in a daycare talent show by doing a chicken dance.

Harar 14 months ago

I extreme cheerlead and gymnastics and I'm so popular and skinny do you think I'll do great

Harar 14 months ago

It's not Harar its Emma (Emmzie or M&M)

Emma Katherine Stewart I have an insta so follow me

Emmzie 14 months ago

Hi lilly You should do gymnastics if you even know how but you should try dancing I play the trumpet do you play anything do yo do art I do do you love to sing I do there are lots of stuff do you play the piano I do as we'll are you good at writing stories or poems thank you bye

Emmzie 14 months ago

Answer me smartandfun I'm not very patient

Ashleigh 5 months ago

I could do a dancing routine. (If my school has a talent show or I can enter AGT if I like it)

Ashleigh 5 months ago

I am 39 yrs old, I will turn 40 next month, I entered a talent show in 1986 at the age of 10 and sung I'm not going from Dreamgirls, and I won the talent show, yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

drake 2 months ago

cool acts

eeeeeey 7 weeks ago

I am doing hip hop

Lara 7 weeks ago

At my school you have to audition first. I played the piano for my act and guess what... I got into the finale! (;

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SmartAndFun 6 weeks ago from Texas Author

Great news, Lara! Congrats! Let us know how the show goes!

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