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Child's Play
....sharing information & ideas!

Circus Theme

Crafts & Activities
Songs, Finger plays, Nursery Rhymes

Crafts & Activities
Crafts & Activities

Clown Faces
Give each child a white paper plate. Let the children paint a clown face, encouraging them to use many different colors of paint. When the paint is dry, glue on a red pompom for a nose. Add yarn for hair.

The Circus Band
Invite the children to be in the circus band. Provide them with musical instruments. Play a record of circus music and let them enjoy playing along.

Clowning Around - Dressup
Bring in a variety of things that children can use to dress up, like: funny hats, ties, ribbons, bows, big shoes, wild print shirts, baggy pants.  Add some face makeup for more fun!

Circus Tent 
In the dramatic play area or outside set up a tent using an old blanket or parachute.

Circus Train
Provide the children with an animal outline or have them draw any animal they wish.  Color and cut out the animal. Paste the animal cutout onto a styrofoam meat tray. Add pipe cleaners, ribbon or paper strips across the tray as bars on a cage. Add black circles for train wheels to the bottom of the tray.

Clown Hats
Give each child a piece of light colored butcher paper. The children can add "fingerprint" spots to their paper with a darker color paint.  When the paint has dried, cut
the papers into semicircle shapes. Roll the shapes and tape them in place to form pointed clown hats. Make tassels from the remaining paper or ribbon and tape them to the tops of the hats.

Funny Clown Bows
7X12 in. pieces of tissue paper (all different colors)
pipe cleaner, string or ribbon
Fold 2-3 strips of different colored tissue paper together, accordian style.  Secure around the middle with pipecleaner, string or ribbon.  Fan out the folds.  You could also use crepe paper, construction paper or wrapping paper!

Animal Training
Let the children pretend they are circus animals who have been trained to jump through hoops. Have the children line up in a single line and take turns stepping or jumping through a hula hoop. Adjust the height of the hoop according to the age and skill of each child.  Or let the children take turns throwing stuffed animals through a hula hoop or other
large ring.

Ringmaster Hat
Measure a piece of black construction paper to form a tube to fit the child's head. Staple. On another sheet of paper, draw around the tube to form a circle, then draw another circle about two inches larger. Poke a scissors through the center of the small inner circle. Cut wedges to the line of the small inner circle. Fold the wedges upward and paste to the inside of the tube to form a  hat with a brim.

Silly Clown Shoes
gummed paper reinforcements 
2 shoe boxes (clown shoes)
2 60-inch lengths of ribbon or yarn 
colorful pompoms 
Punch holes along the top of the boxes and glue the reinforcements over the holes for eyelets for the laces.  Fold the front end of each shoe down into the box. Lace the shoes, Pull the laces firmly to pull in and fold down the sides. Tie laces in a bow. Decorate with pompoms. 

Songs, Finger Plays, Nursery Rhymes
Songs, Finger Plays, Nursery Rhymes

~ Did You Ever See a Clown? ~
     Sung to: "Did You Ever See A Lassie?"

Did you ever see a clown,
A clown, a clown?
Did you ever see a clown
Move this way and that?
Move this way and that way,
Move this way and that way.
Did you ever see a clown
Move this way and that?

~ Wiggles The Clown ~

I wear a funny little hat.
I have a funny nose.
Sometimes I'm thin.
Sometimes I'm fat.
My shoes have floppy toes.
I wiggle, wiggle all about.
I jiggle up and down.
I make children laugh and shout.
It's fun to be a clown.
~ Four Little Clowns  ~
   This is cute on a felt board
This little clown is jolly and fat.
This little clown wears a big red hat.
This little clown is strong and tall.
This little clown is wee and small,
But he does the funniest tricks of all!

~ Five Big Elephants ~
   (Change the numbers depending on number of children in your group!)

Five big elephants.  Oh!  What a sight,
Swinging their trunks from left to right!
Four are followers, and one is the king.
They all walk around in the circus ring.
(To pantomime, the children crouch over and clasp their hands, then move arms left and right as they walk. Choose the children to be elephants who follow one chosen to be king. The 'elephants' walk around the room several times as the rhyme is recited.)

~ This Circus Clown ~

This circus clown shakes your hand. (shake hands)
This circus clown plays in the band.(play flute)
This circus clown has enormous feet. (show foot)
This circus clown dearly loves to eat. (pretend to eat)
This circus clown has a round red nose. (point to nose)
This circus clown has white teeth in rows. (point teeth)
This circus clown has very sad eyes. (look sad)
He laughs, and frowns and then he cries. (demonstrate)
This circus clown bends away down. (bend down)

~ We Are Clowns Today ~
   Sung to: 'The Farmer in the Dell'

We are clowns today,
We are clowns today,
Heigh-ho the derry-oh,
We are clowns today.

~ Clown Song  ~
   Sung to: I'm a Little Teapot

I'm a little circus clown, short and fat
Here is my tummy, here is my hat
I can do a trick as you can see
Just turn around and look at me
   (point to a child to do a trick)
~ Circus Song ~
   Sung to: "I've Been Working on the Railroad"
I am walking through the circus,
Happy as can be.
I am walking through the circus,
Just to see what I can see.
I can see the clown laughing.
I can see the elephant, too.
I can see the lion sleeping.
Look out! He sees you.

~ Funny Clowns ~
   Sung to: 'Frere Jacques' ('Are you sleeping?')

Funny clowns, funny clowns,
Jump around, jump around.
Sometimes making faces,
Sometimes running races.
Funny clowns, funny clowns.
Funny clowns, funny clowns,
Spin around, spin around.
Sometimes with a big nose,
Sometimes with two big toes.
Funny clowns, funny clowns.

~ Let's All Go to the Circus Today ~
   Sung to: Mary Had A Little Lamb

Let's all go to the circus today,
The circus today, the circus today,
Let's all go to the circus today
And watch the animals play.

See the lions jump through the hoops
Through the hoops, through the hoops.....

See the big seals spinning balls.....
See the little dogs jump and twirl.....

~ Little Clown, Little Clown ~
   (Makes a great felt story!))

Little clown, little clown with a big red nose,
Little clown, little clown, with funny clothes.
Little clown, little clown with a suit of yellow,
Little clown, little clown, a happy fellow.
Little clown, little clown with a blue pointed hat,
Little clown, little clown, short and fat.
Little clown, little clown with a fancy green collar,
Little clown, little clown, wants to be taller.
Little clown, little clown with hair orange and bright,
Little clown, little clown, a jolly good sight.
Little clown, little clown with two purple feet,
Little clown, little clown, a real circus treat!

~ Under The Big Top ~
   (Another great felt story!)

Under the big top, what will I see?
Look there's an elephant smiling at me.
Behind the elephant, what will I see?
Look there's a bear dancing for me.
Behind the bear, what will I see?
Look a wild lion is roaring at me.
Behind the lion, what will I see?
A little seal doing tricks for me.

~ We Are Clowns Today ~
   Sung to: The Farmer in the Dell

We are clowns today,
We are clowns today,
Heigh-ho the derry-oh,
We are clowns today.

Additional verses: 
We do tricks today....
We make faces today....
We fall down today....


Big Top Treats
Mix 4 cups popped popcorn, 1 cup peanuts*, 1 cup animal crackers, 1 cup chocolate pieces.  Put in a ziploc bag and shake. You can decorate bags with colorful stickers before filling.

Big Top Treats II
Mix 4 cups popped popcorn, 1 cup peanuts*, 1 cup round toasted oat cereal, and 1 cup raisins.

*You may wish to substitute or omit the peanuts for younger children.

*Beary* special thanks to
for the wonderful graphics for this page.

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