Fine Motor: Art
  • Fingerprint Circus: Put a small amount of tempera paint in a small shallow container. Dip fingers in the paint and make a fingerprints on a piece of paper. After the paint dries, strings to make balloons; faces, whiskers and tails to make lions and monkeys; trunks, faces, and tails to make elephants, etc.
  • Clown Hat Collage: Glue scraps of paper and cloth to cut out clown hats.
  • Color / paint circus pictures.
  • Ringmaster Megaphone: Decorate black paper with chalk, paint, paper scraps etc. Then fold into a megaphone shape and tape together.
  • Popcorn Buckets: Glue red and white strips on popcorn boxes (template here) and tear the yellow paper for the popcorn.
Language: Rhymes / Fingerplays
  • Three Balls: A little ball, (Join thumb and pointer finger to make a small circle.) / A bigger ball, (Join hands to make a medium circle.) / A great big ball I see. (Raise hands overhead and let fingertips touch to make a big circle.) / Now let us count / The balls we've made, / One, two, three. (Count to three on fingers.)
  • The Elephant: The elephant walks / Like this and like that; (Get down on all fours and walk back and forth.) / He's very tall, / (Stand and stretch arms up.) / And he's very fat. (Stretch arms out to sides.) / He has no fingers, (Hold hands up, making fists to hide fingers.) / But he does have toes, (Reach down and touch toes.) / And, goodness gracious, / What a nose! (Grab nose between fingers and thumb of left hand; insert right arm through loop to form elephant's trunk.)
  • Wiggles The Clown: I have a funny nose. /I wear a funny little hat. / Sometimes I'm thin. / Sometimes I'm fat. / I wiggle, wiggle all about. / I jiggle up and down. / I make children laugh and shout. / It's fun to be a clown.
  • Under The Big Top: 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.
  • Carousel: The carousel goes round and round / The horses go up and down / Up and down . . .round and round / I want to ride it, all day long
Language: Songs
  • 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! ‘Cause he sees you.
  • Oh, Little Lion (sung to "La Cucaracha"): Oh little lion, Oh little lion, / Jump through the fiery ring. / Oh little lion, Oh little lion, / Let's see you do it again.
  • Take Me Out To the Circus (sung to "Take Me Out To The Ballgame"): Take me out to the circus / Take me to the big top / I want to see the clowns tumbling / As I eat popcorn and drink soda pop / Oh, the lions and tigers may scare me / And the high wire acts amaze me / So . . .You! . . .see . . .all the great things we will do / On our circus day!
  • Let's Go To The Circus (sung to "Mary Had a Little Lamb"): Let's go to the circus today / The circus today, the circus today / Let's go to the circus today /And watch a big parade. /See the clowns all tumbling around / tumbling around, tumbling around. / See the clowns all tumbling around /In the circus ring. /Lions and tigers jumping through hoops /Jumping through hoops, jumping through hoops. /Lions and tigers jumping through hoops /In the center ring. / The prancing horses step so high / Step so high, step so high. /The prancing horses step so high / See them marching by!
Math / Science
  • Classifying: Separate beanbags into color groups.
  • Seriation / Ordering: Put the circus animals in order from shortest to tallest.
  • Identifying Shapes: Find pictures of circuses. Talk about the shapes you find in these pictures (rings = circles; top of the tent = triangle; tent stripes = rectangles, etc).
  • Spatial Relationships: Experiment with toy circus animals and talk about where they are in relation to each other and other circus objects (the lion is in front of the hoop; the elephant is on the ball; the horse is under the monkey, etc).
  • Matching: Play a simple matching game with circus picture cards.

Gross Motor: Active Play
  • Play with hula-hoops.
  • Juggle with bean-bags.
  • Have a circus animal parade.
  • Tightrope walk: Place masking tape on the floor, or tape a piece of yarn onto the floor for the children to walk along, while pretending they are a tight rope walker.
  • Dress up like clowns and circus performers.

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