Circus Games


Make red circles out of construction paper,add a small piece of tape to the back and give the students”clown” noses-Have the children sit in a circle, close their eyes. The teacher will gently tape one student, that student will jump up and take someone’s clown nose. Teacher says. . . . Open eyes, who is missing a clown nose?That child must guess who took it.


Throwing skills can be reinforced by two children holding a hoop whilst another throws stuffed animals through it……….they can be a trainer putting the animals through their paces!

Balancing – bean bags to practice walking the high wire……need to be very sure of where stepping…carry a bean bag on your head across the beam……as you walk along a rope……round obstacles……

Throwing at a target………paint a box any color except where you have drawn the elephant’s face on one side….paint this Grey…and cut out the open mouth. Children could throw peanuts into the mouth to….feed the elephant.


“Moving” Language Cards:

Make cards large enough to divide in half and have a silhouette of someone hopping etc on one side and the appropriate word on the other: these can be used for a myriad of purposes – writing centre, at mat time to perform, guess the action game (cover the word side) and whatever else you can think of!

Circus Word cards: Similar to above – include the animals, performers, ringmaster, tent and props etc.


I made 1 – 10 cards for the bulletin board as follows:

1 – the Big Top 6 – seals balancing balls

2 – “dressed” Elephants 7 – snarling lions

3 – bare backed riders 8 – silly clowns

4 – on the high wire 9 – prancing horses

5 – tumbling clowns 10 – dancing dogs

Opposites cards:

elephant – mouse big – small

hot dog – ice cream hot – cold

clown – clown fat – thin

clown – clown tall – short

tent up – tent down

popcorn in bag – empty bag full – empty

trapeze artist – dog lying down high – low

clown – clown sad – happy


Counting animals:

Circle on large piece of card – number of animals e.g. Elephants

Put some inside the circle……ask “How many elephants are inside/outside the circus ring?” Remove some to opposite in/out and ask “How many stayed inside the ring/left the ring?” etc.


Coloring sorting and matching:

Cut out matching pairs of clown’s hat……..mix them up and have kids match…….use patterned paper to make it a little harder.


I photocopied six different clowns – enlarged/ reduced them in size each time until I had 10 of each, colored matching clowns same colors and kids order them by size……keeps them busy for quite a while. (Have also done this with dinosaurs – they love them.)

Share an idea you have used in your classroom or at home that pertains to this theme.