DIY circus lab for kids: A family-friendly guide for juggling, balancing, clowning and show-making
by Jackie Leigh Davis
New Arrivals Island, 2nd Floor
This book makes me want to be a 10-year-old again with lots of spare time, creativity, willing neighbor kids, and a big backyard, so I could try out some of these fun creations!
The expected tricks – juggling, tightrope walking – make their appearances, but so too do the unexpected – the poi, the diabolo, the rola bola. Each section begins with step-by-step directions for how to make your own item in question, with adult help as may be needed. Then in the ABCs of…, the author starts practitioners with the most basic moves, working up to more complicated. Safety is demonstrated throughout, with clear directions for how and when to use a spotter or otherwise practice with less chance of injury.
Full-color photographs and helpful supply lists throughout make the Make Your Own tasks feel do-able to most kids with access to a hardware store and a helpful parent or friend. As for the circus activities, I am quite sure I would be a flop at anything more challenging than hula hooping, but it’d sure be fun to try! If you’re thinking it’d be hard to learn some of these skills just from seeing pictures, the author and her Circus Lab kids have also created excellent tutorials that mirror the book at https://www.diycircuslab.com/tutorials
The author also has several helpful resource lists at the end, including curriculum connections and how circus can be incorporated into all sorts of positive social empowerment movements.