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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.

what you’ll need

  • A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
  • 6 balloons (optional: 3 of one color, 3 of another)
  • Rice
  • Scissors

  • A kitchen funnel or one made of paper
  • Tape
  • 3 plastic grocery bags



Ask About Today

If you could juggle anything, what would it be and why?

Dinner Discussion

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.


30-60 minutes

Time to get juggling!


Learn From the Best

Before you can juggle, you’ve got to learn from the best jugglers of the past and present. Start with some amazing performances by modern-day entertainer and Cirque du Soleil alumni Thom Wal.


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.


Got (Juggling) Talent

Now check out the best jugglers on Got Talent Global to see how entertaining—and difficult—juggling can be.

For younger explorers

Elmo Joins the Circus

Elmo has a dream of joining the circus, but he doesn't know which act is best for him. With the help of a singing chicken, Elmo keeps trying until he finds the perfect circus trick.


30-60 minutes

Now that you’ve seen what jugglers can do, it’s time to make your own juggling balls!


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!)

Download it

Stay 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 siblings (or parents, or pets).


15-30 minutes

Next, read up on juggling to get yourself ready for the real thing.


Juggling Facts

Did you know juggling has been around for more than 4,000 years? Learn more about the history of this classic circus art.


Get Ready to Juggle

Now take a moment to explore this DIY Circus Lab book to prepare your mind for the juggling challenges ahead.


Pro Tip: Check out the videos at DIY Circus Lab in addition to the book for visual demonstrations of juggling.

For younger explorers

Your First Day of Circus School

It's your first day of circus school. What are you hoping to learn? Read along with the book Your First Day of Circus School by Tara Lazar and imagine all the amazing possibilities.

For younger explorers

The Juggling Pug

For a laugh-out-loud book about an unlikely juggler, follow along with The Juggling Pug by Sean Bryan.


30-60 minutes

Ready to get juggling? (So are we.)


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.


Challenge Yourself

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?

For younger explorers

Junior Jugglers

Did you know that you can learn to juggle using tissues? Start with just one and practice the toss-catch motion. Then go from there! When you've practiced, entertain your family and friends with your new skills.


30-60 minutes

Practice makes perfect...kinda.


Toss, Catch, Repeat

Practice, practice, practice! Try juggling to a timer, or to your favorite song. When you've mastered juggling with plastic bags (or tissues), try some of these warm-up exercises.


Advanced Juggling

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?)

more to explore

15-30 minutes

Can't stop won't stop (juggling)? Explore some more!


Circus Math

Before you head to bed tonight, check out these juggling-related math story problems.


The Evolution of Juggling

Learn more about how juggling came to be in this TEDx Talk by juggler Jay Gilligan.