Submitted by Tracy Radler from Ewing, New Jersey. K-2
Background: Here’s a great station idea for your younger students based on a “Day at the Circus” theme. Recommended for grades K-2 working in stations in groups of 3-4 students.
- Low balance beams
- Long ropes
- 20 or so plastic domes
- Scarves, balls, blocks, hula hoops, bean bags, playground balls, pins, and other available items
- Balance boards
- Circus-type background music
How We Do It: A total of eight activity stations are set-up around the gym. Each group is assigned to a beginning station. When the music starts, the students begin the activity at their station. When the music stops, the students clean-up and move to the next station. This station format has worked very well for our younger students!
Station #1: The High Wire Act - At this station, the students take turns practicing a variety of balancing skills on a low balance beam, domes, a long rope, etc.
Station #2: The Juggling Clowns – The students work independently or with a partner practicing juggling skills with different objects (i.e. scarves, balls, or blocks).
Station #3: The Big Top – The students use a 12-foot parachute (the size a group of 3-4 can manipulate). The objective is to work as a group to get the parachute to stay up long enough for an individual student to position himself under the center of the uplifted parachute. The student quickly yells the name of an animal that might be in the circus, imitates it, and gets back to his original spot before the parachute comes down.
Station #4: The Balancing Wonders - The students will challenge themselves on individual balance boards. For example, at our school we have plastic balance boards that a student can stand on as they maneuver a ball around a maze.
Station #5: The Lion Tamers – The challenge at this station is to have the students avoid getting their “lion tail” stepped on by other players while at the same time trying to step on the other player’s tails. The lion tails are jump ropes tucked into their belts/ pockets. The player’s rope should be long enough to drag on the ground so another player can step on it. Emphasize adequate safety measures at this station.
Station #6: The “Eagle Eye” Marksmen - The students use aiming and throwing skills to throw beanbags and other objects at targets drawn on the wall, into hula hoops on the floor, and at free standing targets.
Station #7: The Circus Animals - The students use Sportime beanbag animals and playground balls to perform “animal tricks.” This is done by placing a beanbag animal (i.e., frog or monkey) on top of the playground ball and letting it drop to the floor. When the playground ball hits the floor, the bounce of the playground ball will propel the beanbag up into the air. It is so much fun to watch! If you provide hula hoops, the students can pretend their animals are jumping through the hoops.
Station #8: The Tumbling Circus Performers - The students use a variety of gymnastic skills to perform log rolls, egg rolls, front rolls and cartwheels on the mats and incline wedges.