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Theme and activities

Educational activity planning by theme: games, crafts, coloring pages, stories, songs & rhymes, and printable activity sheets.

Circus

children's activities; educational games, arts and crafts, printable material.

What the club has to offer

Coloring pages, word flashcards, picture game, and activity sheets to complement your theme

CIRCLE TIME

Circle time is ideal for getting children to exercise. Use this time to introduce the week's theme: the circus. Play the role of the animal trainer. Children are the circus animals. Here are suggestions of thematic exercises. Have children stand and walk together in the same direction around your circle time area. Name a few circus animals. Say, "You are tigers." Children crawl about like tigers. Say, "You are elephants." Children walk slowly, stretching out their arms and legs to make themselves as wide as possible. Next, state, "You are beautiful horses." Have them walk holding their head up high, arms alongside their body. When children are used to the game, have them jump through hoops, raise one leg, etc. Variation: Once children understand the game, give each child a different circus animal to represent. Your circle can have a horse, a tiger, an elephant, etc.

 

Claudine, one of our collaborators suggests an imaginary game to begin each day.

 

(Open thematic letter - Pipo the clown) Print the letter. Prepare a shiny envelope. Place the envelope in an easy to find location in the daycare. Read portions of the letter to them each day.


AREA SETUP

(Open thematic poster-circus) Print, laminate, and decorate the walls of your daycare with all kinds of posters. Organize a circus corner. Install mats for trapezists (children can use them to pretend they are acrobats throughout the week). Add balls and scarves for juggling, hoops, makeup, clown costumes, hats, disguises, a mirror, and a clown nose.

 

VARIOUS CIRCUS WORKSHOPS

Here are a few workshop ideas for this theme.

 

Building blocks - Construction area: Blanket or parachute to create a large tent.

 

Role Play: Trains, animals, disguises

 Circus-Thematic Letter

Manipulation: Pictures, memory games, animal or clown puzzles

 

Arts & Crafts: Modeling dough with animal-shaped cookie cutters

 

Reading: Circus picture books or animal stories

 

Music and movement: Hoops, scarves, balls, whistle, microphone

 

PICTURE GAME

The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate your daycare or a thematic corner. (Open picture game-Circus) Print, laminate, and store in a "Ziploc" bag or in your thematic bins.

 

MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Massage
Children sit two by two. Place mats on the floor. One child lies on the mat on his stomach. The other child uses a ball to massage his back. Play relaxing music throughout the activity.

 

Makeup
Provide children with makeup pencils and mirrors. Let children paint their own faces to resemble circus animals or clowns.

 

MOTOR SKILLS

Stilts
Make your own stilts using metal cans. Punch two holes on either side of each can, near the bottom. Measure a piece of rope so it is the appropriate length for children. Thread one end of the rope into each hole and secure with a knot. To walk on stilts, children stand on the cans, holding the rope in their hands. It's not easy, children will need practice! (Verify that the edge of the can is not sharp, add masking tape for extra protection.)

 

Lions
Have lions jump through hoops. This activity may be done indoors or outdoors. Children stand single file and hop, one at a time, through the hoop you are holding for them. Once all have had a turn, raise the hoop. Add words of encouragement such as, "Come my beautiful lions!" Continue raising the hoop, then alternate between high and low.

 

Elephant trainer
One child plays the role of the trainer and stands with his back to the rest of the group at the opposite end of the daycare. The rest of the children are elephants who move in a line towards their trainer. From time to time, the trainer turns around. The elephants must immediately freeze. If an elephant moves, the trainer names him, and the child must sit down until the next round.

 

Tight rope walker
Stretch a long rope out on the floor. Invite children to imagine the rope is high up in the air. Children walk barefoot on the rope. They mustn't put their two feet beside the rope if they do not want to fall! There are different ways to walk on the rope. Have them walk backwards, hop on the rope, and crawl on the rope.

 

Circus-Memory GameCOGNITIVE ACTIVITIES

Circus memory game
(Open games - Circus memory game) Print cards twice. The cards may be laminated or put in small "Ziploc" bags to protect them. Place cards face down on the floor. One at a time, children pick two cards. If they match, they keep the cards and play again. If the cards do not match, they must replace the cards. Their turn is over.

 

EARLY SCIENCE

Balance
Build a tower of objects or have children walk while balancing an object on their head.

 

CULINARY ACTIVITIES

You be the judge of how sweet you will go depending on the age group under your care. At the circus, there are sweets galore! Small bags of popcorn, candy apples, cotton candy, and sausages are examples of treats you can enjoy. Try turning your kitchen area into a sweet treats canteen. Children can choose their favourite item!

 

Clown pizza lunch

Prepare a round pizza for each child. Create a clown face using vegetables for eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Add spaghetti for the clown's hair.

 

Clown surprise

For each child, put one scoop of ice cream in a bowl. Add an upside down cone on top of the scoop. Have children create their clown faces (the scoop) using small candy.

 

ARTS & CRAFTS

Hat model
(Open model - Circus hat) Print and trace onto coloured cardboard. Have children cut out and decorate their circus hats. Measure children's heads and staple closed.

 

Clown nose
Provide children with Styrofoam balls to paint and decorate with sparkles. Thread string on a needle and push through the ball. Tie behind children's heads.

 

Circus-Coloring Book

COLORING PAGES

(Open coloring pages theme - Circus)

 

ACTIVITY SHEET

(Open activity sheet - Clown face) Print the face outline. Children add the expression of their choice.

 

SONGS & RHYMES

The Circus

By: Patricia Morrison
(No particular tune)

 

1 elephant wearing a hat
2 lions, very big cats
3 monkeys, making us laugh
4 clowns with noses so red
5 acrobats flying in the air

1, 2, 3, 4, 5...the circus is live!

 

Have you ever seen a circus?

By: Patricia Morrison
Sung to: Have you ever seen a lassie?

 

Have you ever seen a circus, a circus, a circus
Have you ever seen a circus
Oh, what a show

With lions and tigers and horses and acrobats
Have you ever seen a circus
Oh, what a show

 

COMPLIMENTARY ACTIVITY: A DAY AT THE CIRCUS

A day at the circus

(by: Joanne Arsenault)

 

Material:

Makeup, costumes, jumping rope, hoola hoops, balls, soft balls, mats, balance beam, balancing pole, parachute, ribbons and balloons for decorating, musical instruments. Use a parachute to create a big top. Decorate with ribbons, streamers, and balloons. Create a balance beam with a 2 x 4 and cover it with red adhesive tape. Cover a long stick with red adhesive tape too. Use it as a balancing pole. Children can walk like tightrope walkers. Provide mats for clowns and acrobats. Lion tamers can make use of the hoola hoops.

 

Set the stage:

Emily was going to spend the day at the circus with her friends. When they arrived, they were told that all six clowns were sick and that they could not be in the show. Emily and her friends thought that, if they practiced, they could be the clowns in the next day's show.

 

INTERVENTION GUIDELINES

For creative representation:

  • Children use makeup and costumes to dress up as clowns
  • Children create animal or clown masks
  • Children make rings for juggling
  • Children build a big top with blocks

For social and moral development:

 

Relationships with peers:

  • Suggest children paint each other's faces
  • Children wait for their turn to get their face painted

Empathy:

  • Have children pretend to be happy clowns and sad clowns

Autonomy:

  • Give children freedom to choose their costume
  • Encourage children to clean up on their own

Self esteem:

  • Invite children to show their parents their work (ex. mask or big top made with blocks)
  • Invite parents to come see the show children have prepared

For language development:

  • Have children discuss circus pictures
  • Ask children if they have ever been to the circus, have them describe the outing
  • Show children new words (big top, tightrope walker, juggler, etc.
  • Discuss clowns' emotions (sad, happy, angry)
  • Tell a circus story

For psychomotor skills:

 

Global motivity

  • Invite children to perform somersaults on mats
  • Let children throw a ball into the air and catch it
  • Have children jump in hoops and walk through or under hoops
  • Let children walk on a balance beam while holding a balancing pole (stick)
  • Have children juggle tiny soft balls

Movement and music
Sing songs using gestures and movements.
For example you may sing an adapted version of

the Hokey Pokey song:

 

You put your clown foot in
You take your clown foot out
You put your clown foot in
And you shake it all about


You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself about
That's what it's all about

You put your monkey tail in


You take your monkey tail out
You put your monkey tail in
And you shake it all about
You do the hokey pokey


And you turn yourself about
That's what it's all about

 

Continue with: elephant trunk, balancing pole, etc.


EVALUATION:

  • Invite children to describe their day at the circus
  • Review new vocabulary

 

 

Have fun!

The Educatall team

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