Ideas for Kids' Crafts With a Circus Theme

Written by patricia k. maggio
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Ideas for Kids' Crafts With a Circus Theme
Use the circus as inspiration for fun kids' crafts. (circus image by jeancliclac from

Circus-themed crafts and art projects are great for teaching kids simple shapes, colours and even animals. Using household objects like paper towel or toilet rolls and paper plates, children can learn all about the circus and have a good time making their own clowns, ringmasters and lions.

Paper Roll Clown

Using empty paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls, kids can make silly clowns for their own circus. Start by covering the paper roll with coloured construction paper or painting it, and add any desired decoration: cut out dots or circles, triangles, or stars. Create an arm template that kids can trace and cut, or print one off and have the children colour them in. Add a white circle for the face that children can decorate with red or blue hair (coloured construction paper will do), googly eyes and a bright red nose and mouth. Glue to the top of the clown body and add a hat by rolling a cone out of a decorated rectangle of construction paper. Attach to the clown by fitting it over the top of the clown’s head. Finally, use a template for big clown shoes and have the kids trace and cut these out. Attach them to the clown by gluing them inside at the bottom of the paper tube.

Ideas for Kids' Crafts With a Circus Theme
Children can learn colours and shapes by making circus themed crafts. (clown image by indochine from


For a ringmaster, use a black and white or red and black colour scheme to make a tuxedo. To begin, cover a tube with black or red construction paper. Add a white stripe to the centre of it lengthwise and a cut-out bowtie to create a tuxedo effect. Attach a circle to the top for the head that children may add googly eyes to, and a face with magic marker. Again, use a template for arms and have the children cut them from black or red paper and glue them along with hands to either side of the body. For the ringmaster’s top hat, cut one circle from black construction paper, and glue to the top of the tube, and roll a rectangle into a cylinder shape and secure to the top with glue.

Paper Plate Lions

Use paper plates to make a friendly lion and teach kids about circles. Start by using a standard paper plate (the large or small size will do) and have the child paint it yellow. Once dry, attach three large circles from black construction paper; two for eyes and one for the lion’s nose. From the nose, draw the jowls with magic marker and use strips of black paper for whiskers. Then cut several 2-inch bits of yarn in an orange or brown colour for the lion’s mane. Make sure to use enough yarn to cover the entire circular edge of the plate.

Ideas for Kids' Crafts With a Circus Theme
Make a friendly lion with paper plates, yarn and paint. (Lion image by Anne from

Paper Plate Clowns

Kids can create a paper plate clown in a similar way. Begin by attaching cotton wool or yarn for the clown’s hair and a hat made of a semicircle piece of paper, or a triangular shape (kids can decorate these however they like). Next, have children glue on large googly eyes and use paint, foam shapes or construction paper to make a big nose, rosy cheeks and a big smile. Kids can also add a collar to the bottom of the clown face using a large paper doily.

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