10 Fun Games for a Kids Circus Party

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Throwing a circus party? From clown cars to tightrope walking to pies in the face, these games deliver big fun to your big top birthday bash.

  • 01 of 10

    Caught in the Clown Car

    Group of boys playing in cardboard car
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    Paint a large cardboard box to look like a clown car. Cut out a “door” on each side of the box. Place the box on the floor and have your party guests gather in front of the door on one side of the clown car. Play some music. As the music plays, the kids will enter the car through one door, walk through and exit through the door on the other side. They will do this continuously, circling the car as they do.

    Stop the music at random times. Every time the music stops, any players who are inside the clown car win a prize. Once they claim the prize, they leave the game. Play continues until everyone has won a prize.

    A fun addition to this game is to give kids clown hats, wigs, noses or a variety of clown accessories to wear as they play. 

  • 02 of 10

    Flaming Hoops

    Friends Playing At Park
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    Lauren, of The Inspired Treehouse, shares several “jump through hoops” activities with this fun party game. In addition to kids going through the hoops, you could also have them toss plush circus animals through them.  

  • 03 of 10

    Pie in the Face

    A French Silk Chocolate Cream Pie with Whipped Topping and Chocolate Curls
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    For this game, you will need several empty pie tins, lots of whipped cream and one or two volunteers that are willing to get creamed. Have the brave volunteers stand in one place. Have the players stand a couple of feet away from their targets. Fill up the pie tins with whipped cream, hand them to the players and let them launch away. Every time a player’s pie lands in the face of the volunteer, that player earns a point. When you’re out of pies, tally the points and award prizes accordingly. 

  • 04 of 10

    Circus Train Parade

    Children coloring cardboard box in nature
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    Give each player a cardboard box that has been opened on two sides. The box sizes should be just large enough so they can stand in them and pull them up around their torsos. To begin the activity, give the kids a variety of craft supplies that they can use to turn their boxes into decorated circus train cars. Some craft supply ideas include wrapping paper, paint, crayons, glitter, and stickers. (If you plan to have the kids paint their train cars, remember to allow for paint drying time in your party schedule).

    Once the train cars are complete, have the kids “wear” them and have a circus parade around the party space. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Clean Up After the Elephant

    Orange Candy Peanuts on a White Background
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    This is a race to see who can clean up after the elephant the fastest. Have two players start in the same spot. Give them each a broom. Dump a pile of circus peanuts in front of each broom. Use tape to form two squares on the floor. Tell the players these are the trash cans. On “go!” the players will race to see who can sweep all of their peanuts into the square first.  

  • 06 of 10

    Clown Pants

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    In this game, an adult wears a very big pair of pants (big enough to stand in, stretch out and have lots of room for kids to toss balls into) that are held up with suspenders. Have the players gather in a wide circle around the person in the clown pants. Give them several foam balls (or even crumpled up paper balls).  The person in the clown pants will spin in a circle as the kids toss the balls, hoping to land them in the pants.   

  • 07 of 10

    Musical Circus Rings

    Hoops on the Grass
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    Use hula hoops to represent the rings of a three-ring circus. In this game, however, you will have not three, but as many rings as you need to set up for a game of musical chairs (using the hula hoops in place of chairs). Place the hula hoops on the ground and have players circle them as the music plays. Every time the music stops, players have to stand inside one of the rings. The player left standing outside of a ring is out. Every time a player is removed from the game, so is one ring. Play continues until only one player is left standing in a ring.  

  • 08 of 10

    Tightrope Walker

    Little girl walking on balance beam
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    Create a mock high wire by balancing a long, thin plank of wood just a little bit off of the ground. (If you have a balance beam, this would also work as your tightrope.) Challenge players to walk across the “tightrope” without falling off. Time how long it takes them to walk across. Anyone who falls off along the way must go back and start again. The player with the best time is the winning tightrope walker. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Clown Bowling

    Kids playing ad hoc bowling on balcony
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    Part of the fun of this game is making the bowling pins. Use empty, two-liter, plastic bottles as the pins. Paint and decorate them to look like clowns (or circus animals, if you prefer).  Set them up as you would an ordinary set of bowling pins. Use a rubber ball (draw a clown face on it) to knock down the bottles. Score the game just as you would a regular game of bowling.  

  • 10 of 10

    Feed the Circus Animals

    Peanuts with Popcorn in golden wood bowl on black marble table
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    Draw a collection of circus animals on poster board (paint or color them in accordingly). Cut a hole in the mouth of each animal. Hang the posters on a clothesline (or sturdy string of ribbon run across the room). Give kids a bowl of circus peanuts, popcorn or whatever item you would like them to feed the animal. Have them take turns tossing the food into the animals’ mouths.