Circus Theme

Book List

Circus - Lois Ehlert
Olivia Saves the Circus - Ian Falconer
If I Ran The Circus - Dr. Seuss
Clifford at the Circus - Norman Bridwell
Harold's Circus - Crockett Johnson
Spot Goes to the Circus - Eric Hill
Circus McGurkus 1, 2, 3!
All Aboard the Circus Train! - Laura Driscoll
Paddington Bear at the Circus - Michael Bond
The Circus Alphabet - Linda Bronson

Songs & Fingerplays

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?
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?

Clown Song - sung to "I'm a Little Teapot"

I'm a little clown short and fat.
Here is my tummy, here is my hat.
I can do a trick as you will see,
Just turn around and look at me.

Arts & Crafts

Circus Clown Puppet

Mold Model Magic into a ball. Add clown facial features with extra Model Magic. Push head onto tongue depressor. Use colored paper or wallpaper samples to create clown costume. Don't forget to add big shoes and hands. Also, once Model Magic hardens, color clown head with markers and glue on yarn for hair.

~Submitted by Jennifer in Maryland

Tight Rope Walkers

Make tight rope men from clothespins by painting faces, adding fabric clothes and twisting pipe cleaners around the head of clothespin for arms. Put the tight rope walkers on a piece of string or thin rope and the performance is underway!!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

In The Kitchen

Clown Faces

Use a canned peach half for the face, half of a marachino cherry for the nose, raisins for the eyes and the mouth, colored mini marshmallows for his collar and tint some coconut orange for his hair (or shredded carrot or cheese)... Other bits of fruit or veggies could be used for the features. Supply the children variety & let thier imaginations run wild! (As long as they eat what they make.)

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Theme Ideas

Hoop Fun Movement

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. Explain to the children that sometimes at the circus the lion tamer will have lions jump through a flaming hoop. Have the children pretend that they are animal trainers and are teaching theri animals to jump through a hoop. Let the children take turns throwing stuffed animals through a hula hoop or other large ring.

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Marching Elephants

Children have fun mimicking actions of elephants
Marching music (Sousa marches work well!)

Children line up and march in a circle. One child acts as the leader as he/she call out an action. (You may want an adult to be the first leader to set the pattern.) All members of the group perform that action until another action is called out. Children mimic the movements of the leader as they march. Explain activity to children a little in advance, so they have time to think about original movement.

--"Big, long trunk": Raise one arm forward, looking for peanuts
--"Big, flappy ears": Children put hands on head and flap elbows up and down
--"Long, white tusks": Children hold hands near mouths, pointing with index fingers as tusks
--"Trunks hold tails": Children join hands in trunk-to-tail fashion
--"Pounding feet": Children try to stomp their feet in time as they march

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Elephant Log Roll

Children pretend to be an elephant and roll a "log" with their noses. Empty cylinder (oatmeal container, for example) A child pretends to be an elephant by pushing a "log" with his/her nose while crawling on all fours. Another child acts as trainer, walking alongside the first, to help retrieve stray logs and encourage the elephant. Children then switch roles. If more than one elephant goes at a time, mark lanes with masking tape, and mark a beginning and a finish line. At the finish line, partners trade rolls and backtrack to the beginning. (For older children, split into teams for a race. Or have a relay race, with each team having one log to roll.)

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare


Circus - A to Z Teacher's Stuff
Circus -
Circus Crafts - DLTK
Preschool Circus Theme - Everything Preschool
Circus Theme Teaching Resources - Instant Display
Circus Theme - Preschool Education
Circus Theme Unit - Teaching Heart


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