Spending a week on a Preschool Circus Theme was so much fun! There is just SO much you can do related to the circus, with bright colors, animals, lots of gross motor opportunities, and more! This has probably been one of my favorite theme weeks that we've done! At the time we did these activities, Lena was a young 4 and Maggie was about 2 1/2.
While you're here, be sure to visit some of our other preschool themes. You can find Over 30 COMPLETE Preschool Weekly Theme Units here along as a peek at our Daily Home Preschool Schedule.
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Ringmaster Says- Gross Motor and Listening Game
This version of Simon Says, is great for a circus week! Instead of saying "Simon says," you'll be saying "Ringmaster says." A little bit of a costume makes it more fun, but is not necessary. We took turns putting on a top hat (ours were left over from the 4th of July), and a Little Red Riding Hood dress-up cape.
Here are some fun circus actions that you can call out for your kids to do:
- roar like a lion
- stomp like an elephant
- pop like popcorn
- walk on a tightrope
- do a somersault like an acrobat
- lick an ice cream cone
- prance around the room like a horse
- make a silly face like a clown
- drive a funny car around the room
- reach up for balloons
- pretend to juggle
Dumbo and Popcorn
What better way to enjoy circus week than Dumbo and a popcorn snack! There are parts of Dumbo that are a little scary (and weird), but overall it's a fun circus movie for kids. It is available through Netflix, or you can rent it through Amazon Instant Video. If you have sensitive children you may want to skip it or screen it yourself so that you can see how you think they'll do.
I picked up these reusable popcorn boxes at a party supply store to make the experience feel more authentic. I think they've become the 'official popcorn boxes' in our house!
Field Trip to the Gym
Lena has been taking gymnastics lessons for a while, and in addition to her regular lesson this week, I took both of the girls to an open gym time. Maggie couldn't have been more excited-- she usually just gets to wait in the balcony with me and watch her big sister, but this day she ran out into the gym shouting, "I'm in gymnastics for the first time!!!"
I encouraged the girls to pretend that they were circus acrobats practicing for the show. They walked across tightropes (balance beams), turned somersaults, swung on the rings, and so on. Many gyms have open gym times like this now, and it was a great field trip to take for circus week, since the actual circus wasn't in town.
Fine Motor Skills Under the Big Top
Without a doubt, this was my girls' favorite activity of the week. It was simple and inexpensive to put together, but they each played with it every day. It also worked well for both of their ability levels (2.5 and 4)- they each found different parts of it challenging. Read the details in this post.
Kazoos and Flutes
At the party supply store, I picked up little plastic kazoos and flutes for the girls to play this week. They made lots of silly circus music (until it drove me crazy and then they became only-when-Mommy-is-not-around toys)!
This week the girls both enjoyed using these fun circus printables from Homeschool Creations. Lena especially enjoyed the Read, Build, Write activity that you see pictured above. You place a little card with a circus word on the top of the mat (read), then build the word using letter tiles (build), and then write it on the bottom. We used our Bananagrams to build the words, but you can also make your own or use Scrabble tiles.
Exploring Shapes and Colors with Clown Faces
These fun little clowns were made with scraps of construction paper cut into different shapes. Read all about this activity in this post! It incorporates cutting, gluing, color and shape recognition, listening skills, and TONS of creativity.
Our favorite picture book this week was Peter Spier's Circus! by Peter Spier. There was just so much to look at, and so much information! The illustrations are incredibly detailed, and it is almost like an 'I Spy' type of book!
There are lots of other great circus books out there! Check out this post to read about the other circus books we enjoyed.
I found a couple of fun circus games for the iPad this week. I know some of you may have other devices, or no device at all, but I include these suggestions for those of you who do! Feel free to ignore!
Lego Duplo Circus- Duplo makes several of these little games, and the best part is that they're all FREE! There's nothing particularly educational about them, but a few minutes of entertainment is fairly harmless.
Animal Circus: Toddler's Seek and Find- This is a game that my girls both enjoy playing when they visit with their grandparents. It is like a seek and find book, except when you tap an animal or object, some sort of small animation happens. It's cute and funny, and again, provides lots for little ones to look at. It's priced right, too, at just $0.99!
Need even more ideas for a circus week? Follow Cutting Tiny Bites on Pinterest or check out the circus theme board below.
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