At Night Owl Circus Arts in Johnson City, TN, Games for Circus Educators has been an invaluable resource. AcroYoga is one of our more popular classes for adults, and we have found that so many of the games listed in Circus Games have integrated well into this class. We’ve been skipping around randomly for about 2 months now, and have mostly chosen games that have had some kind of partner acrobatics element to them.
This book has games that are generally explained in one page, and each page has a new game. Most of them are quite simple, but very creative and fun. Each game starts with the recommended age range (most are quite broad), group size, and also some notes about who the game may or may not be suitable for, or safety notes if there are any. Following that, it clearly describes how the game works, and how to facilitate it. Many of the games also include a wide array of variations or adjustments that could make it easier or more difficult, or more suitable for different group sizes and ages.
For our group, we were drawn to the games that involve some partner acrobatics, but there are others that don’t – many don’t require any touch at all. Some incorporate elements of juggling, improv, team building, and even building self esteem.
I will give an example of a game I found particularly creative, and wasn’t familiar with previously: Ants & Frog Tag. This game involves one person being “it” (they’re the “frog”). Everyone else is an ant. When a person gets tagged, they have to lay on their back, legs up in the air, and await rescue. Two other ants must then carry that person to a mat in the corner of the room. Once the downed ant has been placed on a mat, they can get up and get back in the game. The game description starts by giving some basic safety information about how participants should be instructed to carry each other.
We have played this game in our adult AcroYoga class twice now. The first time was only partially successful, because the group was too small, but the second time we tried again with a bigger group, and it was a huge success! We all had so much fun, and were laughing so hard it hurt by the end of the game!
I would definitely strongly recommend Games for Circus Educators to anyone who works as an aerial instructor, circus coach, theater coach, summer camp counselor, or team building coach. These games are a great way to teach motor skills, break the ice, increase team morale, teach improv, theater and circus skills, and generally just have a ton of fun!
Available at https://squareup.com/store/american-youth-circus-org/item/games-book for $15.