Talent Show Ideas for Kids

Updated on June 7, 2018
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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.

Karate

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.

Cheerleading

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. 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.

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Baxter 2 weeks ago

        I want to dance!!!

      • profile image

        Me 3 weeks ago

        I will try singing in japenese

      • profile image

        violet 4 weeks ago

        cup song!!!!!

      • profile image

        Marwa 6 weeks ago

        I want to do magic with a partner but i don't have a partner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • profile image

        Lane 6 weeks ago

        I have a talent show but I don't if I should do beatboxing or drawing.

      • profile image

        cheyenne 6 weeks ago

        I like singing

      • profile image

        kayden 8 weeks ago

        I like to do gymnastics so this year I am doing gymnastics I get a little stage fright at first but then I start to feel confident in my self and believing I can do it Love, Kayden

      • profile image

        person 8 weeks ago

        it dont help me at all

      • profile image

        Connie age 11 2 months ago

        I have an idea why don't you do it by yourself I get stage fright and I sing on my own I just imagine there not there and it helps maybe you'll try something new or make a funny dance maybe you can make a funny song

      • profile image

        doofan 2 months ago

        i loved these ideas but not what i need

      • profile image

        ana 2 months ago

        having touble

      • profile image

        Unknown 3 months ago

        I really wanna do singing or dancing but my friend who is doing it with doesn’t want to do we either of those. She wants to do comedy and I really don’t want to do comedy. But I said yes but we still don’t really know what to do. HELP

      • profile image

        Taffy YT 3 months ago

        I auditioned to sing in 2016 and i was ok but my voice did crack a bit. Im not sure what to do now though because i can do a lot of acts like singing, dancing, piano and gymnastics.

      • profile image

        Pupcake 4 months ago

        I wanna sing for the talent show but I did that last year alone and it was scary. I wanna sing with someone this year for my first act. For my last act I wanna do a gymnastics routine but idk who I’d do it with!

      • profile image

        ..... 4 months ago

        Magic

      • profile image

        Anonymus 5 months ago

        I want to do art, like in drawing, but I can only draw anime stuff and things like that... I don't think I can join the talent show.......

      • profile image

        pokemonmaster1798 5 months ago

        I don't know what to do please someone give me some ideas ;-;

      • profile image

        kelsy 5 months ago

        I did hula hoop dancing for a talent show last year and this year I dont know what to do.Does anyone have any suggestions???

      • profile image

        Grace proffitt 5 months ago

        I am Go back talent show my go new

      • profile image

        ????? 6 months ago

        I rlly want to sing but i have stage fright i am a beautiful singer my parents say but im nervous! what do i do?

      • profile image

        Thandokazi lokoto 6 months ago

        I am willing to uplift my talent I can sing,dance and act or dramatise

      • profile image

        Posey 7 months ago

        idk what i can do 4 my school's talent show. all i am good at is piano but i did that last year. someone please give me an idea cuz the show is 3 1/2 weeks away

      • profile image

        Bob 8 months ago

        I really want to sing at the talent show tomorrow but I don't no how to sing I don't no how to do any fun things

      • profile image

        kiara 8 months ago

        god no what are you talking about !!!!!

      • profile image

        Candy 8 months ago

        I don't know what to sing help me please

      • profile image

        me 8 months ago

        i don't know what to do the talent show is a week away only!!!!!

      • profile image

        unicorn power 12 months ago

        help me do this its so confusing

      • profile image

        sweetie 12 months ago

        i don't know any songs but i can sing really good.

        Can you help me?!!!!

        what song should i do? it has to be easy!

      • profile image

        Sophia Dalton 12 months ago

        Me and my sister are doing 2 acts for the variety show ( the show for kids with no talent ) I will be painting her and it turns out horrible, and the other one we are doing the same thing as the people in the video grade 5 talent show but with 3 people and we are in grade 5 so it works out! You also have us great ideas thanks!

      • profile image

        Emma 13 months ago

        I can't think of anything to do with my sis and its tomorrow :0

      • profile image

        Fidget Spinner Guy 13 months ago

        I always do magic shows and I'm very good at the piano but I did that last year. I might just do a Bruno mars dance for "Thats What I Like" .

      • profile image

        hailey 14 months ago

        I'm actually having a 5th grade talent show and I have no idea what to do I would looking online and thinking well maybe I should just go on YouTube or something to find something out but I haven't found anything to do for the talent show and I'm really worried cuz I really want to do it

      • profile image

        D2A 15 months ago

        My little brother is doing a talent show and he asked me what he should do. I am clueless! Anyone have any ideas for an 8 year old

      • profile image

        JC 16 months ago

        Do bananas actually help you with stage fright and should I eat them since I have stage fright

      • profile image

        Matthew 16 months ago

        My talent show is not far away and i dont now what to do i mean i really want to sing but i dont think anybody will like that im 13 years old so please let me know what you think

      • profile image

        Rylee 17 months ago

        Thank you for the advice

      • profile image

        Tecla 17 months ago

        This was great

      • profile image

        Neausea 17 months ago

        I still can't find the right thing to do.

      • profile image

        emma 17 months ago

        This is really cool! I am going to use my acting skills in this years talent show! My dream is to be on Broadway in New York City! That is where I was born.

      • SmartAndFun profile image
        Author

        SmartAndFun 20 months ago from Texas

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

      • profile image

        Lara 20 months ago

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

      • profile image

        eeeeeey 20 months ago

        I am doing hip hop

      • profile image

        drake 21 months ago

        cool acts

      • profile image

        Ashleigh 23 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.

      • profile image

        Ashleigh 2 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Emmzie 2 years ago

        Answer me smartandfun I'm not very patient

      • profile image

        Emmzie 2 years 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

      • profile image

        Harar 2 years ago

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

        Emma Katherine Stewart I have an insta so follow me

      • profile image

        Harar 2 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Ashlee 2 years ago

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

      • profile image

        shash 3 years ago

        you should paint lots of pepoul will sing

      • profile image

        Kyla 3 years ago

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

      • profile image

        Kyla 3 years ago

        I don't know what to do

      • profile image

        Aubrey 3 years ago

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

      • profile image

        lilly 3 years ago

        have no idea

      • profile image

        Carter 3 years ago

        This will do some good for me:)

      • profile image

        Aiden 3 years ago

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

      • toptengamer profile image

        Brandon Hart 3 years 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!

      • profile image

        Isabella 3 years 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!

      • profile image

        ashley 3 years ago

        these ideas are great !

      • profile image

        shalom 3 years ago

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

      • profile image

        samantha 4 years ago

        Look at the inappropriate school talent,really good.

      • profile image

        samantha 4 years ago

        I don't know what to do

      • SmartAndFun profile image
        Author

        SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

        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!

      • profile image

        ken 4 years ago

        i could yo yo or pogo stick

      • SmartAndFun profile image
        Author

        SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

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

      • profile image

        jackelin 4 years ago

        Thanks 4 the advice♥

      • SmartAndFun profile image
        Author

        SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

        Cute!

      • SmartAndFun profile image
        Author

        SmartAndFun 4 years ago from Texas

        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!

      • profile image

        Justthetwo 4 years ago

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCL7wgzicpc

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

      • profile image

        Lilly 4 years ago

        Dunno what to do

      • SmartAndFun profile image
        Author

        SmartAndFun 5 years ago from Texas

        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!

      • profile image

        shelbie mazell 5 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

      • SmartAndFun profile image
        Author

        SmartAndFun 5 years ago from Texas

        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!

      • profile image

        caroline 5 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

      • SmartAndFun profile image
        Author

        SmartAndFun 5 years ago from Texas

        I like waffles.

      • profile image

        gracie 5 years ago

        I like pancakes

      • SmartAndFun profile image
        Author

        SmartAndFun 6 years ago from Texas

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

      • profile image

        samantha 6 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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