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Soapy creations captivate kids

Program: Local preschool hosts entertainer.
By Alex K.W. Schultz
The Porterville Recorder
August 1, 2007 12:59 AM





                                                                                                    



The preschool room inside Happy Hearts Children’s Center sounded like your typical theme park Tuesday
morning.

But not a single roller coaster was in sight — just bubbles.

Brandon Gray, children’s entertainer and owner of Wild Child Adventures — a Fresno-based company — paid a
visit to the Porterville children’s facility and captivated the youngsters with an hour-long demonstration using
the filmy spheres.

Whenever the bubbles came to life, the children belted out screams and watched in amazement.

It was a never-ceasing chain of events.

“For me, it’s pure enjoyment seeing the smiles on their faces, the laughter, the yelling and them reaching up
and having fun with the bubbles,” Gray said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Eighty-six children — ranging from 6 weeks of age to 6 years — were seated around Gray to watch him fashion
various shapes and sizes of bubbles.

“I think everybody is naturally in awe of the bubbles. They can always bring out the child in everyone,” he said.
“And being able to add a little bit on the educational side is nice, too. That really helps a lot.”

Throughout his presentation, many of the youngsters were asked to volunteer and assist in an experiment.

Those who were chosen would step into a kiddie pool of soapy water and have Gray lift a hula hoop up and
over their bodies, creating a thin, transparent film that encompassed them.

Charisse Schultz, 4, was the first child to get her feet wet.

“He made bubbles,” she said, sporting a smile that communicated the whole story.

Trinity Soliz, 5, described her experience being surrounded by the thin film.

“It looked like a rainbow,” she said. “It was fun when I went inside the bubble.”

Samantha Oliveira, 8, is the daughter of Holly Oliveira — owner of Happy Hearts.

Samantha is assisting her mother this summer at the children’s center. But that didn’t stop her from
experiencing the fun.

“I thought it was pretty cool how he put people inside the bubbles,” Samantha said. “It’s so much fun.”

Holly Oliveira compared the day to a theme park adventure.

“It felt like I was taking them to Disneyland,” she said, “just from the excitement in their faces.”

The elder Oliveira talked about a time when she and 16 other adults took 65 children from the facility out for a
day of bowling.

As one can imagine, the task of keeping track of the youngsters was not a walk in the park.

Events like Monday’s, Holly Oliveira said, let her and the assistants breathe a little more freely.

“It’s a little bit easier having it here than taking them out,” she said. “Plus, the kids love bubbles.”

Gray, who has been in the children’s entertaining business for four years, said he remains in his line of work
for one reason.

“I love working with children,” he said.
Dominique Parker, 4, is inside a giant soap bubble
Tuesday at Happy Hearts Children’s Center in Porterville.
(Recorder photo by Chieko Hara)