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Holiday Club Ideas | Circus Day

Circus Fun For Holiday Clubs

Having Fun Clowning Around

Having Fun Clowning Around (Photo credit: ronwooduk)

Hiring A Circus Workshop Is A Great Idea!

Hire a Circus Workshop  for your organization over school holidays, the kids will love it!

The Circus is an exciting theme for children and there is so much scope for everyone to get involved.  You can easily develop a full week of fun around your circus theme.  You can use our Circus Day as a launch pad for a range of other  activities possibly leading up to a fantastic Circus Show for family and friends at the end of the week.

Use the Enquiry Form to get a quote for hiring the Jolly Good Productions Circus Skills Workshop for your next school holidays, or call Ron or Hazel 0n Tel 01748 821621 for more information.

How To Make The Most Of Your Circus Workshop

Although the  Circus Workshop takes place on one day you can easily spread the fun over an entire week. There are lots of things you can do both before and after the actual workshop day.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Have the children draw pictures and make cut outs to decorate the room.
  • Have a dressing up day with a circus theme.
  • Read stories about clowns and the circus.
  • Build a circus tent.
  • Adapt games to suit a circus theme.
  • Have circus skills practice sessions.
  • Put together a Circus Show.
  • Hold rehearsals.
  • Make an arena for the Circus Show.
  • Hold auditions.
  • Think of as many types of performances and roles as possible ie Lion Tamer, Ring Master, Animlals, Ticket Sellers, Clown Band etc etc.
  • Involve everyone.
  • Choose music for each act.
  • Make posters to advertize the Circus Show.
  • Make costumes, masks and props for the show.
  • Make a Circus Video with all the children taking part.
  • Have competitions for making the best circus act.

You can easily turn a Circus Workshop into a fantastic Circus Week.

More Ideas For Holiday Clubs

Are you looking for other ideas for your Holiday Club or Out Of School Club? Jolly Good Productions do other special activity days. See the Holiday Club page on our web site.

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How To Entertain Older Kids

Leyburn Primary School, Summer Fair

How to entertain older children at a party or event is a common challenge faced by event organizers, party planners and parents. It’s much easier to provide for younger children. The little ones love bouncy castles, clowns, magicians, balloons, dancing, playing games and any number of the many children’s entertainment options out there. Older children can be much more difficult to please. Children grow up fast these days and once they get to eight years and over they are becoming more and more sophisticated. Bouncy castles and magic shows are no longer cool.

If the older children are over looked there is a good chance they will grumble or worse still get up to mischief. Making sure there are things for them to do is a very good idea. Of course you can’t make them join in but there are certain activities which always seem to work well.

We have always found circus skills workshops to be popular with all ages especially older children. When we put on a circus workshop we like to give plenty of variety. We bring a range of equipment covering juggling, plate spinning, diabolo, stilts, pedalgos, flower sticks, twirling ribbons and other similar props for people to have a go at. This nearly always works well.

Another activity which we find the older ones like is our bubble making workshop where they have a chance to make giant bubbles. We set this up in an area with six or eight  buckets and about twenty  bubble wands, give a demonstration of how to make a massive bubble and then let them try their hand. This also works well with the older kids but it is weather dependent and is impossible to do in windy conditions.

I’m also going to mention skipping. Did you know that skipping has had a revival and many primary schools have had skipping workshops to help promote exercise, health and fitness. The amazing Cirque De Soleil, the world’s top contemporary circus company also use skipping in some of their breath taking shows. Skipping in teams can be very competitive and great fun. It’s very easy to do and worth considering.

When we do parties for children of eight years and above we rarely do shows. I always recommend to parents that they have a circus party. It’s busy, well organised and there’s loads to do. It never fails!

Older children and teenagers like a challenge. They like hands on stuff. They like things they can do with their mates. They like to be occupied, they like variety, they like what they perceive to be “cool stuff”. Any of the above will fit the bill. Why not give it a try?

Have you got any good ideas for entertaining older children? Share your thoughts and experiences with us using the comment section below.

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Jolly Good Fun At RAF Waddington

The annual Air Show at RAF Waddington is massively popular with the general public. Needless to say a huge ammount of planning and hard work is required by many people to ensure that everything is in place and runs smoothly on the day. The RAF always do a fantastic job thanks to the commitment and dedication from every member of the team. In the run up to the big day everyone is affected, not just the airmen and women but the service families too.

Once the dust has settled and things are back to normal the RAF have their own party for family and friends to relax and enjoy themselves. This usually takes place a week after the Air Show.

Jolly Good Productions were delighted to be invited to provide children’s entertainment once again this year. Fortunately Natasha had just returned from working in France and so all five of us were available.

We had a great day, there is always a friendly atmosphere and the RAF always make you feel welcome.

We did a varied programme of entertainment for the kids including Punch and Judy, Face Painting, Stilt Walking, Magic Show, Circus Workshop and Bubble Making.

There was also a company providing bouncy castles, sumo wrestling and a mechanical bull machine.

It was a lovely hot day and we all enjoyed an ice cream from the ice cream van before packing up at the end.

Stilt Walking at RAF Waddington

Stilt Walkers

Punch and Judy at RAF Waddington

Punch and Judy Show

Face Painting at RAF Waddington

Face Painting

Magic Show at RAF Waddington

Magic Show

Have you been to the RAF Waddington Air Show? Did you attend the Family Fun Day? Did you enjoy yourselves? Comments invited.

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Athersley South Action Group Show How It’s Done!

It takes hard work and dedication to organise and run a community action group that can really make a difference. The Athersley South Action Group are a great example for anyone thinking of giving it a go. Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

The Athersley South Action Group came together during the summer of 2008 when the churchside Community Park was opened unofficially.We are a group of residents who were brought together by the dissapointment of vandalism and overall neglect of the park.At various meeting's with the church steering group we decided that something had to be done. Athersley South is a fantastic place to live, but what is there here for our kids, so we decided that we would form a community group to help maintain the park and provide activites for the kids.The groups aims are even higher we are still organising Litter picks on the park on a weekly basis and carrying out saftey checks on the equipment. We have organised trips for young people and we are looking into craft clubs, youth clubs and other social events for both children and adults.Athersley South Action Group want to pull the community together to make Athersley South a more fun, safe and enjoyable place to live for all ages.

The annual Gala takes place on Sunday 8th August 2010 and Jolly Good Productions will be there. We will be providing Punch and Judy, Face Painting, Children’s Magic Show and Circus Workshop.

Come and join in the fun.

For more info go to the web site :


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Circus Workshop Plan For An Event

Circus Skills Workshops have become an enormously popular form of entertainment activity at events of all kinds. We have been running circus workshop as part of our range of children’s entertainment options for many years. A well run circus workshop can be an excellent attraction and well worth considering when deciding what entertainment to book.

The event organiser will need to consider the following :

  • Location
  • Indoors or Outside
  • Opening Times
  • Age Groups
  • Crowd control
  • Safety
  • Supervision
  • Drop in / Free Play or Set Times


The circus workshop should be sited where it can be seen or easily found but not adjacent to main arenas, stages or entrance / exit points where people watching or waiting to join in could cause an obstruction. Also avoid siting near hazards such as roads, overhead electricity lines, ditches, barbed wire fences, ponds or rivers etc. People involved in circus workshop activities often become engrossed in what they are doing and forget where they are. If you were working near to a road, for example, it would be easy to imagine a child chasing a diabolo and running out infront of a car! A flat level area is required and the ground should be firm and dry. Grass surfaces are preferred to Tarmac or concrete as they are less likely to cause injury if someone falls over.

Indoors or Outside?

Circus workshop can be either indoors or outside. The advantage of indoors is that there will be no interference from the weather. Indoors is a much more controlled environment, more comfortable and with less distractions. Its also easier to maintain control indoors. At larger events the circus workshop could take place inside a marquee. A modern clear span type is better than the more traditional marquee with poles and low eaves. At many events the circus workshop will have to be outside. The benefit of outside is that everyone can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Windy conditions can result in frustration however as many activities will be hindered or become  impractical. Wet surfaces or wet slippery grass are also potentially unsafe. So outdoors is good if the weather is kind. Having a wet weather plan is recommended. See previous article regarding wet weather plans

Opening Times

Although some organisers ask for the circus workshop to be open for the full duration of the event it is better to run sessions at specified times.

A session can be anything from 30 – 60 minutes duration depending upon overall event times, how circus workshop fits into the programme, how the sessions are to be organised, number of participants etc.

Age Groups

One of the problems of having a completely open, drop in session is that you inevitably have families with small childen participating at the same time as teenagers and adults. It is very easy for a grown up to knock over an infant or even to accidentally kick or stand on one.  In the interests of safety little ones should either have their own area or designated times. Another consideration is aptitude and ability. Younger children require much more supervision and assistance than older children or teenagers and it is therefore better to give them their own time slot if possible.

Crowd Control

The circus workshop performance area needs to be enclosed. The event organiser should mark out the area to be used and then fence it in with stakes and ropes, plastic fencing or barriers. There should be one entrance / exit for the public and this should be controlled by a volunteer or member of staff when the workshop is in progress.


The area should be checked to ensure that there are no sharp objects, broken glass or hazards of any kind.

Only safe activities should be offered to the general public. Unicycling, fire juggling, knife juggling or walking on high stilts should not be used as the risk of personal injury is too great. Only activities with very low or no risk should be included. Juggling, Plate spinning, Diabolo and hold on stilts are all suitable safe activities.


There should be at least two adults in charge of the circus workshop so that one can go for help in the event of an emergency.

One person can easily run a group for a set session but open sessions really need two people as there will be a coninuous stream of people all trying different activities.

There should also be a member of staff controlling the entrance and exit.

Drop in / Free Play or Set Times

Running sessions at set times is good for the following reasons :

  • Enables staff to sort out equipment, tidy up and reorganise
  • Allow staff to have proper breaks and refreshments
  • To maintain control
  • Allows the possibility to  focus on different skills in each session
  • The programme is more varied and interesting
  • Can help with segregating age groups ie have a special session for 5 -7 years or special session for teenagers etc

” Drop in ” or continuous open sessions are less desirable especially if the event is very busy because they can become a disorganised free for all with equipment picked up and dropped everywhere. Children dash in, play with something for a minute or two and then dash off again without really achieving anything.  We do not recommend this approach.

One other consideration is parking. The organiser should allocate a parking space immediately adjacent to or at the rear of the workshop area for the circus workshop vehicle.  The latter is important as it will enable equipment to be securely stored when not in use.

I hope you have found this article useful. Please feel free to comment.