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Circus Ideas for Kids: 3 Craft Activities for Outdoor Fun

Going to the circus is such fun for kids! Here are 3 fun circus crafts you can do at home with your kids – making stilts, juggling balls & a ribbon wand!

Clowns, acrobats, and jugglers – a visit to the circus is so much fun! The trapeze artist was fearless, the contortionist a little unbelievable, and now your kids all want a unicycle of their very own. Luckily, these days they don’t have to run away to the big top to learn circus skills! Many sports centers and dance studios offer circus activities for children, and some of them are even easy to teach yourself at home.

We’ve put together three easy circus craft ideas, all perfect for setting up some circus-themed fun! All you need to create some circus magic of your own is a bit of imagination and a few basic household items– so why not give them a try?

Making and doing these circus activities can be messy, but don’t worry – why not use the Solve Your Stain section of our site to help you figure out how best to treat any stains?

Circus Juggling Balls

These easy, homemade juggling balls will have them clowning around for hours!

You will need:

  • Balloons
  • Rice
  • A clean, dry, plastic water bottle
  • A piece of paper
  • Some tape
  • Scissors

How to make it:

  1. Roll the paper into a cone shape, and tape it in place to make a funnel.
  2. Place the funnel in the plastic bottle and pour the rice in until you have a fist-size amount in the bottom. Remove the funnel.
  3. Blow up a balloon and stretch its neck across the top of the bottle.
  4. Turn the bottle upside-down to pour the rice into the inflated balloon.
  5. Carefully take the balloon off the bottle, releasing the air – it will shrink into the shape of a ball.
  6. Using scissors, cut off the neck of the balloon, so that you can see a small circle of rice inside. This is a task for an adult, or for an older child with adult supervision.
  7. Cut the neck off another balloon, and stretch it over the rice ball to cover the opening – like a swimming hat. You can use decorative balloons for funky-looking juggling balls, or even cut holes in a second or third balloon cover to stretch across and make a cool polka dot pattern.

Circus Stilt Racers

This is one of the classic essential circus crafts for kids. Many of us have fond childhood memories of striding around on tin-can stilts – and they’re incredibly easy to make!

Circus Crafts for kids - tin can stilts

You will need:

  • Two large, empty tin cans (coffee tins or food cans work well)
  • String
  • Paper
  • Paint or colouring pens
  • A thick nail
  • A hammer

How to make it:

circus ideas for kids - how to make stilts from tin cans

  1. Make sure the cans are clean, that there are no sharp edges, and that any outside wrappers are removed. Turn both cans over so that the open end is facing down.
  2. Now for the grown-up job: on each can, carefully use a hammer to make two holes in the top of the can, one either side.
  3. Cut two lengths of sting (approx 1.5 meters long) – these will become the handles of stilts. Thread each end of the sting through the two holes to form a big loop; next, an adult can carefully secure them by knotting the ends of the string firmly in the insides of the cans.
  4. Now wrap the outside of the cans with a strip of paper (or fabric) and glue it in place – kids will love the opportunity to get stuck in with customizing their stilts using paint and pens!
  5. Watch them enjoy their stilts! These are great fun indoors and outdoors on a flat surface: Kids just stand on the cans and use the strings to help them maneuver around safely. They’ll feel just like a real circus performer – and a little taller, too!

Circus Ribbon Wands

If have an aspiring tightrope walker, trapeze artist, or ringmaster in the family, this is the activity for you! Ribbon wands can be used imaginatively for lots of different circus activities for kids. And they’re lots of fun for little ones to run around with in your garden or at the park.  

You will need:

  • A stick (approx. 50cm long)
  • Masking tape
  • Several lengths of different coloured ribbon
  • Glue

How to make it:

 Circus Craft Ideas - How to Make a Ribbon Wand

  1. Cut as many lengths of ribbon as you want attach to the end of your stick – any length that you want – and cut one length of ribbon, at least twice the length of the others, to wrap around the stick.
  2. Cut arrows into one end of each length of ribbon, so that they don’t fray.
  3. Gather together the other ends of the ribbons (including the one you will use to wrap the stick) and position them around the top tip of the stick, as if to make the stick longer. Use masking tape to fix the ribbons in place.
  4. Pull down the length of ribbon for winding around the stick and start wrapping it closely from the top.
  5. Continue wrapping the stick with the ribbon until you reach the bottom. Then tie it in a slip knot, leaving a small piece free at the end.
  6. Get another length of ribbon in a different colour, and cut an arrow in one end. Glue this ribbon to the top of the stick and wrap it around in a candy cane pattern until you reach the end. Once again, tie in a slip knot. Finally, tie the second ribbon to the other length of ribbon dangling free.

Do you have any fun suggestions for circus games using juggling balls, stilts, or a ribbon wand? Share them with us in the comment box below!