Two-Dimensional Circus Art Activity for Preschool Children

Written by louise harding
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Two-Dimensional Circus Art Activity for Preschool Children
Two-dimensional circus art activities involve flat art working mostly with paper. (circus background image by Peter Baxter from

When teaching art to preschool children, remember the goal of the project involves learning from creating the art, rather than producing a perfect product. Preschool children are at different stages with the development of their fine motor skills. Cutting, drawing, holding paintbrushes and controlling glue bottles will be difficult for some students and easy for others. Two-dimensional activities are flat, artwork projects involving drawing, painting, photography or a composite of these mediums.

Circus Scene Paper Collage

Using circus-themed stencils, printed shapes as stencils, or cookie cutters, have parent volunteers trace and cut out enough circus shapes for each child to have an ample selection from which to create a circus scene. Or, print and have volunteers cut out circus images from printable colouring sheets or inexpensive dollar store colouring books (scan and print). The students will "mess up," so have extras for each child. Allow the kids to colour the images, then glue the images to blank construction paper or a printed circus background. You will need school glue or glue sticks, paper backgrounds, crayons or markers, and ample cut out paper circus-themed figures, animals and objects. If your class is scissor-capable, the children can cut out their own circus figures.

Watercolour Paintings

Print enough circus-themed colouring sheets for each preschool child to have at least one. Provide a tray of watercolours, cup of water and a paintbrush to each child. Encourage each student to paint their circus-themed colouring sheet. After the paintings have dried, children can mount their work on construction paper larger than the original painting. Have the students sign the works on the front or back. If you are working on a circus unit, these paintings can be used to decorate a notice board or classroom wall.

Clown Face Shapes Collage

Each child will require one piece of 9-inch by 12-inch construction paper (assorted colours), a 6-inch diameter white construction paper circle (face), a 4-inch long construction paper triangle (hat), a 2-inch diameter red or pink paper circle (nose), two 1 1/2-inch diameter black paper circles (eyes) and a piece of red construction paper. Have the children trace their handprints onto the red construction paper and cut out. The children then will glue the face to construction paper, the handprints with the fingers in the direction of the clown's chin above the face (hair), and the hat above the head. Allow the children to glue on the eyes and nose and draw a mouth onto the face.

Thumbprint Circus Cards

Fold a piece of 8½-inch by 11-inch card stock in half to form a greeting card. Using ink pads in assorted colours, allow the children to place their thumbprints on the front of the card. Use markers or pencils to turn the thumbprints into circus animals, people and objects. Provide an example of animals or clowns that less imaginative students can use as a guideline. For example, a vertically-placed thumbprint can have scribble circles around the top for hair and a triangle for a hat. An elephant can be a horizontally-placed print with four stick legs, a line for a trunk and two triangle ears.

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