Whether you love them or hate them, clowns open the door to bright shapes and wacky, hilarious behavior. Before popping on that red nose, kids can engage in basic acting activities to poke fun at themselves and then use their creative side to create clown crafts. Exploring emotional development and awareness through clowning can also support children through transitions and help bring fun to even the darkest places.
1. Draw a Clown
Clown figures are made with basic shapes and basic colors, so it’s a great way to practice drawing these forms. It’s also an excellent way to teach symmetry as both sides can be the same. Start shape by shape; having the students copy what you’ve drawn on your page.
Learn more: Art Projects for Kids
2. Paper Plate Clowns
This project is great for littles when the shapes are precut and glue sticks are provided. It can also be elevated by providing templates of the shapes on paper so that students can practice their scissors skills.
Learn more: DLTK Kids
3. Paint Your Unique Clown
Students are gently guided through this process as you give basic instructions and then allow them to experiment with shapes in their own way. First, draw the outline of the clown in a darker color and then move on to adding pops of color using washable paints and big-handled brushes.
Learn more: Deep Space Sparkle
Teaching the basics of clowning can both alleviate fears and inspire the silly side of your students. Clowning involves letting loose and not being afraid to laugh- especially at yourself! Give students props, invite them to imagine that they’re stuck inside an imaginary object, or pretend something is different than what it seems.
Learn more: Clown Antics
5. Inspire Them
Clowning is often used to bring joy and laughter into people’s lives; especially those who are sick or in unfortunate situations. There are lots of non-profit organizations that volunteer in hospitals- bringing fun to tough situations. Show kids how clowning is used to bring joy to others’ lives with this fun activity.
Learn more: Clowning for Kidz Foundation
6. Just Pretend
Put kids into imaginative situations or circumstances and allow them to explore nature and then in a clown-like persona. This will enable the children to see the improv required in the art of clowning and practice hyperbole; exaggerating the reality of the everyday.
Learn more: Nose to Nose
7. Face Paint
Kids love to have their faces painted, and clowns definitely use this art to define their characters! This is a great way to define who you are as a clown. You can begin with a simple emphasis on a feature, such as extra long eyelashes were drawn on, and build up to the full-face look.
Learn more: Facepaint
8. Laughing at Yourself
Examining the areas where you can poke fun at yourself is part of the clowning process. This can be a great activity for building confidence when handled the right way. It also helps kids to see that everyone has differences which can be celebrated through clowning.
Learn more: Giovanni Fusetti
9. Read Like a Clown
Try transforming meek readers into confident readers by putting on a red nose. Kids can become someone else and lose the fear of reading aloud when they adopt another persona. They can even adopt a different voice or a unique laugh, and act things out that lend themselves to laughter in the book.
Learn more: Red Nose Reading
10. Clowny Flipbook
Studying the human body can be fun, especially when you make it whacky with a flipbook! You can bind together different images drawn by students, cutting them into thirds so you can mix and match the heads, trunks, and lower half. Use these books to create images and inspire writing.
Learn more: First Palette
Who doesn’t love a puppet- especially one with circus cred? Whether you go the brown paper bag route, use a sock, or just use an accordioned length of paper for the body, clown puppets enliven the spirit and bridge the world of medium art to dramatic art.
Learn more: Artsy Craftsy Mom
12. Circus Animal Mouths
A clown without a circus just doesn’t seem right, so give the kids some animals to go with it. Study the circus and choose animals to make a large mouth artwork with. All you need are several circles to make a head, some googly eyes, and extra bits to accessorize the animal’s personality.
Learn more: Kids Soup
13. Picture a Clown
Get black and white images from your student’s school pictures and print them out in black and white. Then, give them free rein to “clownify” themselves with different media such as crayons, paints, cut-out shapes, and even magazine cutouts! Experience with layering for extra fun.
Learn more: Ecole Petite Section
14. Bounce Clowns
Use a glue stick and colorful strips of paper laid in a star shape to create a cute bouncy-ball clown body. Print out different clown heads and feet, and allow students to mix and match so they can create a unique character. They make fantastic decorations for your classroom; especially hanging from the ceiling.
Learn more: ONEMIX Official
15. TP Clown
Create your very own toilet paper roll clown! Simply glue strips of paper around an empty toilet paper roll; with white at the top for the clown head and colorful pieces at the bottom for their clothes. Use different colored yarn to create fun hair, and googly eyes to create a goofy expression. A red pom-pom nose completes the project!
Learn more: Moms & Crafters
16. Sing a Song
Clown songs can be easily created using the art of parody. Use a common nursery rhyme song that your students already know and change the lyrics. Finger plays are also a fun way to incorporate music and clowning without a full-body commitment. Once your students master clowning, music can form part of their performance.
Learn more: Childcare Lounge