DIY Circus Lab for Kids

DIY Circus Lab for Kids by Jackie Leigh Davis

A Family- Friendly Guide for Juggling, Balancing, Clowning, and Show-Making

Format: Paperback / softback, 152 Pages
ISBN: 9781631593475
Publisher: Quarry Books
Series: Lab Series
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$22.99 / £14.99
DIY Circus Lab for Kids gives families everything they need to produce their own circus! Author Jackie Leigh Davis invites the you into the international youth circus community, then dives into the circus skill families: juggling, acrobatics, manipulation, balance, and clowning.

The book opens with a do-it-yourself prop-making class, and provides enough homemade circus equipment to get you started on some fun circus basics. Rising circus stars will then move on to lessons in toss juggling, flower sticks, poi, human pyramids, and how to move on to even more tricks and skills. And best yet, kids will see how to combine skills into an act, and acts into a show. 

DIY Circus Lab for Kids also includes the Circademic Corner, which is full of academic and scientific factoids about circus, and Safety Check boxes whenever skill-learning requires adult supervision. Many of the skills in this book are safe enough for kids to do themselves, with a few requiring an adult “spotter” so families or classes can enjoy them together. 

Jackie Leigh Davis, EdM., is a circus education pioneer, teacher, and advocate. She was a founding member of the American Youth Circus Organization (AYCO), the first national youth circus advocacy organization in the country.  Founded in 1999, AYCO hosts biennial national festivals and educator conferences to promote the participation of youth in circus arts.
 
In 1995, Jackie established the circus arts curriculum for grades 1-8 at the Pine Hill Waldorf School in Wilton, NH. The program culminates in the annual Hilltop Circus, created and performed in collaboration with Pine Hill’s middle school students. Jackie also founded the Silver Lining Circus Camp (1997), a summer day camp for children ages 7-14, and the Flying Gravity Circus (1999), a teen troupe that brought performances and workshops to school communities from Pennsylvania to Toronto. Jackie has coached juggling, balance skills, and performance/clowning at the Circus Smirkus summer camp in Vermont.
                         
She merged her interests in circus arts and academics to become a circademic, earning a Master of Education degree in Human Development & Psychology in 2009 from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. At Harvard she identified circus as a vehicle for physical, social-emotional, and cognitive development and constructed her theory of developmental circus arts (DCA).

Prior to her teaching and writing careers, Jackie was a professional mime who studied with Marcel Marceau, performed for nearly 4 years at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Center, and taught at New York University. She currently resides and writes in New Hampshire. Her adult daughters, Erin and Ellie, live nearby.

Format: Paperback / softback, 152 Pages
ISBN: 9781631593475
Series: Lab Series
Illustrations: 250 color photos
Size: 8.5 in x 8.5 in / 215.9 mm x 215.9 mm
Published:
"A great reference book for school libraries [. . .] It’s also a great hands-on gift for adventurous youth, and for video game-obsessed or artistic youth who need to know that not all physical activity is highly competitive or sports based!"
"The book allows children to learn the basics of juggling, balancing, clowning and show-making, each skill paired with tutorials on how to hand-make props they might need at a cheaper cost than purchasing ready-made equipment. Whether it’s juggling balls from tennis balls filled with sand and covered with colorful balloons suitable for kids of any age, or a plywood tight-rope frame that may need some adult assistance, the idea is to create an environment of inclusivity."
"This is an excellent book, expertly done, and deserves a place on the bookshelf of any child interested in exploring the circus arts."
Starred Review - "Davis is a long-time circus instructor and her experience is immediately evident in her clear instructions, which are broken into written steps with photo illustrations featuring actual youth circus artists, while website links provide video demonstrations of prop/apparatus construction and the skills themselves. [. . .] A niche but exemplary resource."
"A well-conceived how-to book [...] ideal for collections where tweens and teens want to learn how to put on a show."
"DIY Circus Lab for Kids is a perfect circus classroom resource and also a tool for children who are interested in learning circus skills but who live in places where there is no access to circus classes."
"A hands-on, step-by-step guide with easy instructions and clear photos that demonstrate each juggling, balancing, clowning, and show-making activity."