Get exercise and have gross motor fun when you make your own backyard circus.I’ve mentioned before that my preschooler loves to move! Well, when I suggested we do a circus when we were at the playground  last week, she was eager to get started! We did another “circus” in our own backyard circus on our play set and inside as well. 

Why Play Circus

The circus is not something that my kids will probably see. Ringling Brothers has stopped its circus after 146 years. Given what we know about animals, it’s probably best to stop putting them through a show. (Although no animals are harmed in Ringling Brothers circus acts, the popularity of watching them as a curiosity has faded.)

But, there is something delightful about showing off and being daring. Strawberry also enjoys watching Dumbo. Personally, I think it’s a rather dumb show (pun intended), but it is a classic and my daughter loves the circus scenes.

Why not do your own circus in your backyard or at the playground?


While participating in our "backyard circus" she wanted to climb these tires. "Do you want to try it without holding on?" She was shocked. "Mom, I might fall that way!" Ah well, great imaginative play and gross motor exercise at the same time.Ideas for a Backyard Circus

  • High wire (or balance beam). Practice walking along a “wire” or straight line in your home, on your patio or deck, or at a playground!
  • Jumping through hoops. Try jumping through a hula hoop. Plus, do the hula! It’s harder than it looks!
  • Trapeze artistry. Play on the rings and bars on as wing set and do some neat tricks or
  • Climbing. Go up the slide. Climb a difficult wall. Climb and hop on tires or other thingies. What could be better than climbing up the slide?
  • Trampoline. How high can you jump? Dumbo jumped down from a huge tower into a pool of water. But we’re just jumping as high as we can!
  • Play with a pet. We don’t have a dog. But if you do, wouldn’t it be fun to try to teach your dog some new tricks?
  • Clown. Whose the funny one in the family? Tell jokes and do physical comedy by running in to people or “falling” over.
  • Juggle. Ok, so none of us were successful at juggling, but it was fun to run around with balls and play catch!

What other ideas can you think of for your backyard circus?

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Our backyard circus let us have outside imaginative fun while still getting exercise and enjoying moving our bodies!

See more A-Z Play at Home ideas for the letter C below.The A-Z Play at Home Series

C is for Circus and ….

C is for Toddler Car Passing Social Skills Game from Bambini Travel

C is for Cars and Clothespins Roads from Teach Me Mommy

C is for Small World Car Play at The Gingerbread House

C is for Clothespin Caterpillar Craft from Adventures and Play

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