Circus At Home
Juggling and Prop Manipulation
Welcome to your first day in the circus! Today, we'll start with the most quintessential of circus arts: juggling. You'll learn the basic techniques, first by practicing with grocery bags (yes, you heard that right!) and then with DIY juggling balls. Like other skills this week, learning to juggle might take you an hour, or it might you take weeks—but practice every day, have a little patience, and try your best. Every circus star started exactly where you are today.
Ask About Today
If you could juggle anything, what would it be and why?
Let’s play “Rose, Thorn, and Bud.” Share one "rose" (a small win or something positive that happened today), a "thorn" (a challenge you experienced or something you may need support with), and a "bud" (a new idea or something you are looking forward to learning about this week).
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
Learn From the Best
Before you can juggle, you’ve got to learn from the best jugglers of the past and present. Start with an amazing performances by modern-day master juggler and Big Apple Circus performer Alexander Koblikov.
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
The History of Juggling
Thom Wal wrote an entire book on the history of juggling. It was inspired by his worldwide travels with the circus. Learn more about how his worldwide travels with the circus inspired him to dive deeper into the history of his art form.
Cutting Edge Juggling
These jugglers are taking their art to a whole new level. Watch this video from Great Big Story to see them juggle pizzas, cards, yo-yos, and even engage in "combat juggling" — a real sport!
Juggling, Cirque du Soleil Style
Cirque du Soleil is famous for its mind-blowing sets, beautiful costumes, and incredible acrobatics. But in between all that, there's also some amazing juggling. Settle in for a 30-minute tour of some of the best juggling performances in Cirque du Soleil history. Which is your favorite?
DIY Juggling Balls
Yes, you can make your own juggling balls from balloons, rice, and a couple other handy items. Check out these step-by-step instructions and give it a try. (And ask for help if you need it!)
Be Safe: Juggling balls can be made from a lot of household items—even balled up socks. But remember, they're for juggling, not for hurling at your family members (or pets).
Plastic Bag Juggling
Plastic bags...bad for the environment, good for learning to juggle. Grab three of them, start with this Juggling How To Video from the DIY Circus Lab, and follow along with the steps. (Don't be discouraged: It's a lot harder than it looks.)
Pro Tip: Start with one plastic bag, then add another. Once you've mastered juggling with two, try adding a third.
Take your juggling even further: How many times can you catch the bags without dropping a single one? How high can you throw them? Once you're up to three bags, aim for 22 successful catches. Can you get there?
Too easy? You’re ready to grab those juggling balls you made this morning. Just like with the grocery bags, start with one, then graduate to two, and finally add a third. Aim for 22 successful catches! Remember, this isn't easy. But that makes it all the more exciting when you do get it right. (Right?)