Circus games for a backyard 'big top' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Circus games for a backyard 'big top'

Updated:
© Creatas / Thinkstock © Creatas / Thinkstock


By Elizabeth Wells
From Your Family Today 

Ladies and gentlemen, and kids of all ages: Welcome to the greatest show on Earth. OK, maybe not the greatest show on Earth but definitely a very good time, and you don't need tickets. If you can't make it to the real big top this summer, you and your family still can enjoy three-ring -- and five-star -- fun in your own backyard or family room.

No one has to settle for simply being an audience member either. This home-produced circus gets everyone into the act with easy-to-set-up, easy-to-play games. Invite neighbors and friends or keep the fun in the family. Either way, prepare some popcorn and get ready for some serious clowning around.


Three-ring Toss

1. Fill several 2-liter bottles with water or small rocks and seal tightly.

2. Arrange the bottles on a table or the ground.

3. Fashion three rings (about 4 inches in diameter) from twisted pipe cleaners (you may want to twist several together to add weight to the rings) or paper plates with the centers cut out.

4. Line up the players several feet behind the bottles.

5. Have players take turns tossing the rings on the bottles.

6. If one of them "rings" a bottle, have that player step back one foot and try again.


Follow the Leader

1. Place a silly hat on the designated leader.

2. The child with the hat leads everyone through a series of antics of his or her choice, such as hopping on one foot, twirling and performing summersaults.

3. Use a timer to guarantee equal turns.

4. There are no winners or losers. Everyone tries to mimic the leader.


Clowning Around

1. Gather a selection of face paints and paintbrushes. (You can also use face crayons.)

2. Depending on age, allow children or adults to paint the designs. Either paint the whole face or do simple designs, such as ladybugs, butterflies, snakes, etc. (Note: Cold cream will easily remove the paint.)

3. Dress up in bright, oversized clothes -- robes and PJs are always good -- and accessorize with floppy hats, ties and big shoes. A couple of horns round out the outfit.

4. Have each family member climb on a bike or tricycle that's too small for them, and hold bike races across the lawn.


Tightrope Walker

1. Stretch a piece of rope or tape on the ground.

2. Have them walk with or without a blindfold along the line. (It's best the walker goes barefoot if blindfolded.)

3. Spectators should "ooh" and "ahh" as each participant moves along the rope.

4. Vary the walk to include a speed challenge, change of direction or backward walking challenge.


Juggle

1. Take a tennis ball and cut a large slit in it.

2. Squeeze open the ball and fill it halfway with dry beans (the added weight makes it easier to handle).

3. Stand with both feet spread fairly wide apart and keep your elbows in so your hands are in the same place.

4. Start by tossing and catching a single ball with one hand, then alternate hands, then toss with a partner.

5. Add a second ball and practice tossing and catching.

6. Eventually add a third ball.


All this activity will make everyone hungry. Depending on your own energy level, you can offer an array of circus-style food for your gang, such as hot dogs, soft pretzels, nachos, animal crackers and sodas. For authenticity, serve the snacks in paper lunch bags and holler, "Hot dogs! Peanuts! Popcorn! Get 'em while they're hot!"


Copyright © 2011 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.
 

  • Success by 6More>>

  • Michael Anderson Elementary Wins Book Drive School Challenge

    Michael Anderson Elementary Wins Book Drive School Challenge

    Tuesday, August 20 2013 1:08 PM EDT2013-08-20 17:08:44 GMT
    Michael Anderson Elementary on the Fairchild Air Force Base took the Challenge- so did Windsor Elementary in the Cheney School District. Their mission -to collect books for the Success By 6 Book Bank.>>
    Michael Anderson Elementary on the Fairchild Air Force Base took the Challenge- so did Windsor Elementary in the Cheney School District. Their mission -to collect books for the Success By 6 Book Bank.>>
  • Got A Pre-schooler? Pick Up a Kindergarten Readiness Calendar

    Got A Pre-schooler? Pick Up a Kindergarten Readiness Calendar

    Tuesday, August 7 2012 7:48 PM EDT2012-08-07 23:48:39 GMT
    Got a Pre-schooler? Pick up the Kindergarten Readiness Calendar at any local library! Getting ready for Kindergarten starts long before your child sets foot in their Kindergarten classroom! That's>>
    Got a Pre-schooler? Pick up the Kindergarten Readiness Calendar at any local library! Getting ready for Kindergarten starts long before your child sets foot in their Kindergarten classroom! >>
  • Young Children Learn from Everyday Life

    Young Children Learn from Everyday Life

    Wednesday, August 10 2011 12:26 PM EDT2011-08-10 16:26:51 GMT
    They say kids don't come with an instruction manual, yet parents, especially new parents are bombarded with all kinds of advice from friends and family. There are books and websites offering endless lists, tips and tricks for parenting.  Jill Johnson, Communications Specialist for Family Resources at Community-Minded Enterprises and Success by 6 Board Member says you can teach your children with simple, everyday activities.>>
  • Want Your Child to Love Learning? Let Them Play!

    Want Your Child to Love Learning? Let Them Play!

    Wednesday, February 9 2011 2:08 PM EST2011-02-09 19:08:57 GMT
    Want your Preschooler to Love Learning? Let them play! Gwendolyn Haley, Spokane County Library District Youth Services Manager, and Success By 6 Board Member, says playtime is the most important part of a preschooler's day.>>
  • Your Baby: 2 Months

    Your Baby: 2 Months

    Tuesday, March 13 2012 5:59 PM EDT2012-03-13 21:59:50 GMT
    Our Success By 6 Pediatrician, Dr. Mary Kay Wagner, host of our "Your Baby" series discusses the finer points of living with a 2 month old baby. >>
  • Your Baby: 4 Months

    Your Baby: 4 Months

    Tuesday, March 13 2012 6:19 PM EDT2012-03-13 22:19:00 GMT
    Our Success By 6 Pediatrician, Dr. Mary Kay Wagner, gives parents an idea of what they can expect of their 4 month old baby.>>
  • Your Baby: Six Months

    Your Baby: Six Months

    Tuesday, March 13 2012 6:46 PM EDT2012-03-13 22:46:36 GMT
    Our Success By 6 Pediatrician, Dr. Mary Kay Wagner, says child proofing the house is a priority in a house with a six month old baby.>>
  • What Book is just right for your New Reader?

    What Book is just right for your New Reader?

    Thursday, July 21 2011 4:31 PM EDT2011-07-21 20:31:53 GMT
    What book is just right for your new reader? Mary Ellen Braks, a Youth Services Manager with  the Spokane County Library District says it's an exciting time when your child is starting to learn how to read.>>
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.