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Baloo's Bugle


September 2004 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 11, Issue 2
October 2004 Theme

Theme: It's A Circus of Stars
Webelos: Citizen and Showman
  Tiger Cub:
Achievement 1 & Activities




Homemade Juggling Balls

Santa Clara County Council

Here are some homemade juggling balls you can make out of old tennis balls.

Supplies:       3 old tennis balls, Xacto knife, colored electrical tape, Sand or bird seed


1.        Cut a 1½” slit in a tennis ball at the seam. Have an adult do this step.

2.        Open up the slit, and pour in the sand or birdseed until ball is completely filled.

3.        Cover the ball completely with the colored electrical tape.

4.        Repeat with the other two balls. Use the same color tape for all 3 balls, or different colored tape for each ball.

Newspaper Juggling Clubs

Santa Clara County Council

(Reprinted by permission from Infinite Illusions; www.infiniteillusions.com)

Supplies:       4 sheets of newspaper per club, A roll of 1” wide masking tape


Santa Clara County Council

A Rola-Bola is a board resting on a piece of pipe, and you are supposed to be standing on it, juggling. Or doing something else of course, but that is up to you.


·         Bola and Floor Board* - Two pieces of plywood about 3-feet by 1-foot and 3/4 of an inch thick.  (*The floor board is optional but if you want to perform on grass or a rough surface it is necessary).

·         Bumbers - Two pieces of wood 1” by 1” by 1 foot.

·         Rola - a piece of PVC pipe 1 foot long and 6 inches in diameter.

·         Griptape - Optional but advisable: some grip tape from a skateboard shop (one boards worth.)


1.        Attach the bumbers to the bottom of the bola at the sides.

2.        Cut the grip tape in half and put each half at one side of the top of the board.

3.        Try out your Rola-Bola.  I advise beginners to put a chair in front of the Rola-Bola and hold on to it until a balance is learned.

Cutting a Clown in Half

Heart of America Council

The Clown Is Cut In Two

But Magically Becomes Whole Again!

Materials: Clown print, Thin cardboard, Scissors, Envelope

1.       Color the clown and cut it out.

2.       Then mount it on thin cardboard.

3.       To prepare the envelope, cut off a strip (about 1 " wide) at each end.

4.       Seal the flap, then cut two slots in the back of the envelope as shown in Fig. 1.

5.       Show the clown and the envelope, but keep the back of the envelope towards you.

6.       Insert the clown into the envelope.

7.       As you do this, push the clown out the first slot and back through the second slot as shown in Fig 2.

8.       Insert the scissors so that they appear as in Front View Fig. 3, and are positioned as shown in Rear View Fig. 3.

9.       Now cut through the envelope, holding the two halves together. Let the scissors fall onto the table. Invite someone from the audience to pull out the clown, pulling the envelope halves apart after the clown has been removed.

Chinese Juggling Sticks

(From Kids Domain)

Santa Clara County Council

Chinese Juggling Sticks are commonly referred to as Devil Sticks. A large stick with pompons at the ends is juggled between 2 hand sticks. They originated in China a couple of thousand years ago. The pompons on the ends of Chinese juggling sticks look like flowers, therefore the name for this toy translates into flower stick. Devil Sticks do not have any pompons on the ends and are tapered in the middle.


·         1 (5/8" X 24") hardwood dowel

·         2 (3/8" X 18") hardwood dowels

·         Colored electrical tape (1/2" wide) - The more colors used, the more colorful the sticks!

·         1 roll of rubber tape (available at electrical supply or hardware stores)

·         Small standard roll of duct tape

·         3 (4" X 12") strips of felt that will match tape colors

·         Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive or Tacky Glue


1.        Find center of the large dowel by measuring.

2.        Wrap tape on either side of center and put a strip of colored tape around center.

3.        Take the same colored tape as in center and, beginning from the outside center, wrap it around the stick in candy cane fashion leaving space for the width of rubber tape to also be wrapped around in candy cane style. Wrap the rubber tape around in the same way, covering the dowel with alternating rubber and colored tape   Do this on both sides.

4.        Wrap the duct tape on both ends in equal amounts for weight distribution (1/2 - 3/4 inch thick around both ends).  Test weight distribution by balancing the center on a finger.

5.        Cut the felt or material rectangles into ½” wide by 3" long strips as shown below.  A pair of pinking shears makes the ends look more decorative.

6.        Stack the 3 strips and wrap non-stripped end of the felt with Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive around the duct tape so that the strips flap in a flowery display.

For the hand sticks:

Alternate colored and rubber tapes around 2/3 of smaller dowels in candy cane fashion. Wrap extra rubber tape around the end and at end of candy cane design.  For the other 1/3 of hand stick, cover candy cane style with your choice of colored tape. Wrap a couple of extra times around the end.

Optical Whirlers

Heart of America Council

Make these optical whirlers to get the illusion of an acrobat spinning wildly through the air or a lion jumping through a hoop.

Materials: Cardboard Markers String

1.       Draw the acrobat swinging from his teeth on both sides of cardboard, but in different positions. Or draw the lion on one side of card­board and a large hoop on the other.


Tie strings to opposite edges of cardboard.

3.       Roll strings between thumbs and fingers to whirl your pictures.

Make all kinds of other optical whirlers, like clowns, gymnasts, and tightrope walkers. Be sure position is different on two sides of card­board. Strings may be attached at top and bottom, as for the acrobat, and at sides, as for the lion. Experiment a little to get the best results with your whirlers.

Den Meeting Ideas

Circle Ten Council

Discuss the big top and animals: bears, elephants, tigers, and lions. There are clowns, man on the flying trapeze, center ring, and shooting from the cannon.

Discuss how the circus travels from place to place, each time setting up the big top, and then taking it down in a few days.

Ask each boy to come dressed as their favorite circus performer.

Have them come to the den meeting with a circus act that they will perform or part of the group can be dressed as lions and another as the lion tamer(s) and do a pretend Big Cat Act.  Give the lion tamer a top hat and a whip made from a long paper roll (rolls from gift wrap work well) with long crepe streamer stripes. Have the lions –

·                      jumping through a rings (hula hoops).

·                     prowling the cage - snarling and lunging at the trainer,

·                     jumping off "barrels"

·                     pretending to  wrestle with each other.

Other Circus Acts might include

·                     a strongman

·                     flying trapeze

·                     juggling

·                     balancing.

·                     prancing horses (high stepping around the ring)

·                     bareback riders(doing fancy tricks)

·                     Circus Elephants (walking in line (tails to trunks), moving very slowly, balancing on a beam or "barrel").

·                     Tightrope Walkers (arms out at side as they balance along a masking tape line on floor - doing one legged turns, bows, etc. Add the balance beam and an umbrella).

·                     Acrobats -forward & backward rolls, cartwheels, splits

Some of the boys could come as clowns and put on a skit (do clown like actions: running, jumping, falling, tripping over pretend objects, wiggling and all large exaggerated movements).

They could practice their acts for the "Big Show" (The Pack Meeting where they will perform them for the parents.)

During the den meetings:

1st Week          Each scout must imitate a circus animal when asked to do so ONLY by the den leader.


2nd Week        Each scout must make a clown face when asked to do so ONLY by the den leader.

3rd Week         Each scout gives his best impression of a circus ringmaster when asked to do so ONLY by the den leader

Heads Up Hats

Santa Clara County Council

This is a craft that you can play with.  The game doesn’t even need rules--the equipment is so irresistible, kids immediately devise their own variations for the game. Each boy will need one hat and one small, soft object, such as a beanbag or Koosh ball.



Supplies:               Two Paper Bowls (plain white – Chinette work best); 1” elastic band; Tacky glue or Hot glue; Stickers, markers, pompoms, feathers and other decorating materials; Stapler; Single hole punch


1.        Have the boys decorate each bowl with markers and stickers. Remember that the bowls will be glued bottom to bottom.

2.        Punch two holes into the bottom bowl opposite each other in the side of the bowl.

3.        Fit the elastic through the holes and knot the elastic or staple it. Size the elastic to the boy so that it sits firmly on his head.

4.        Glue the 2 paper bowls bottom to bottom.

5.        Let the bowls dry until the next meeting.

6.        At the next den meeting, have the boys play a game with their new hats.  For one game, put kids in pairs about four feet apart. At the whistle, the first player to toss the soft object into his partner's hat wins.  For another variation, the first child to toss the object into his own hat wins.  Remember - You need to make the hats ahead of time.

Clown Hats

Santa Clara County Council

Here are some clown hats to make for your circus.

Supplies:               Paper bags, standard grocery size or slightly smaller; Tape (double-sided and clear); Pom-poms, googly eyes, feathers, pipe cleaners, and other decorations; Crepe paper; Curling ribbon; Construction paper; Scissors; White Glue or Tacky glue; Stapler; Hole punch


1.        Have each boy roll down the top of a bag to the outside until it reaches the hat size he wants to wear. Have him try it on for size, pinch or pull the brim to adjust the fit, then tape it in place.

2.        Have each boy decorate the hat using the craft materials. They can either be stapled or glued or taped on.

3.        The boys can make the hat as crazy or as simple as they want. The crepe paper or curling ribbon can be used to create streamers down the back of the hat.


Circle Ten Council

Take a sheet of white cardstock and draw a V shaped cone on the page. Give the boys different colors of cotton balls and let them glue them at the top of the V to make a snow cone. Optional you could use tissue paper crumbled into a ball and then glue them on the page instead. Instead of a snow cone how about Cotton candy


Circle Ten Council

Using colored cardstock give the boys popped popcorn and let them make a design of their own. Make plenty, as they will eat as they work!


Circle Ten Council

Using raw peanuts in the shell and white glue let the boys create their own circus animals. Once the glue dries let the boys paint their sculptures with colored markers.


Circle Ten Council

Lay a white sheet of paper in a shallow baking pan or box lid. Dip three or four raw peanuts in different primary colors and lay them on their paper. Roll back and forth four or five times or until the boy has achieved his desired effect. .

Circus Cup Puppets

Heart of America Council

Materials: Paper cups, Large craft sticks, Construction paper, Glue, Scissors, Markers or crayons, Yarn or cotton balls, Pipe cleaners, Fabric, lace, ribbon or wallpaper scraps

Set up a pretend circus. Make the performance ring by placing a circle of masking tape on the floor. Cubs can pretend to be any member of the circus and can perform with their puppets.

1.       With scissors, cut a slit the width a paper cup.

2.       Make each puppet head: Glue 2 circles of construction paper onto the front and back of each craft stick, creating a "lollipop" effect.

3.       Add yarn, fabric bits, ribbon scraps or construction paper details. These basic puppet shapes may be decorated to represent circus people and animals.

4.       of a craft stick in the bottom of


5.       Create arms from pipe cleaners. Use scissors to make holes in the cups for a pipe cleaner to poke through or, fold paper strips accordion-style and tape them onto the cup.

6.       Draw on eyes with markers.

7.       Insert the head into the paper cup slit.

8.       Decorate the body of the cup as desired.


Circle Ten Council

Make circus banners, like the triangular ones you can buy at the circus. Children can decorate with stickers, sequins, glitter, etc.


Circle Ten Council

Give each child a white paper plate. Let the children paint a clown face, encouraging them to use many different colors of paint. When the paint is dry, glue on a red pompom for a nose. Add yarn for hair.


Circle Ten Council

gummed paper reinforcements
2 shoe boxes (clown shoes)
2 60-inch lengths of ribbon or yarn
colorful pompoms
Punch holes along the top of the boxes and glue the reinforcements over the holes for eyelets for the laces. Fold the front end of each shoe down into the box. Lace the shoes, Pull the laces firmly to pull in and fold down the sides. Tie laces in a bow. Decorate with pompoms.


Circle Ten Council

Paint (and optionally decorate) Ping-Pong balls. Glue each to the top of a straw. Tie curling ribbon streamers under Ping-Pong ball if desired. Place inside decorated soup can.


Circle Ten Council

Blow up small balloons (5-6" diameter). Cut off the top 2" of a large plastic cup for the base. Tape the balloon, neck down, in the base. Make different animal/character heads by adding yarn hair, wiggly eyes, paper ears, noses, smiles, or magic marker accents. (Some ideas: elephants, bears, ringmasters, lions, clowns, seals, etc.)


Circle Ten Council

Use empty Kleenex boxes (the kind with oval cut out are best) for various circus train cars. You can paint them or cover them with construction paper or leave them as is. Glue brightly colored cardboard wheels to the four corners. Draw and color various paper animals to put into each box. Add paper "bars" to keep the animals in. Don't forget to make the giraffe box open to the top!


Circle Ten Council


One 7X12 in. piece tissue paper

gift wrap or construction paper



1 pipe cleaner


Place the tissue paper on the work surface so one of the long sides is closest to you. Make a fold on a long side 1/2 in. from the edge. Press hard to make the fold stay in place. Turn the paper over and make another fold about 1/2 in. from first fold. Turn and fold again and again until all the paper is folded. Wrap a piece of tape around the center of the folded paper. Unfold the ends to make the bow. Bend the pipe cleaner into the shape of the letter C. Tape the center of the pipe cleaner to the center of the bow. Wear bow around your neck as a clown's bow tie or in your hair as a headband.


Circle Ten Council



One 9X12 in. construction paper

Decorate with crayons, markers etc.

Tape or glue


Cut 9 in. square from the paper. Save both pieces. With a crayon, draw a line to round off one corner of the square. Cut off. Draw designs on the paper. Bring paper together and tape. If necessary, cut off the top of the cone to make an opening you can talk through. If you like, make a handle for your megaphone. Cut a 1 X 9 in. strip from remaining paper and make a ring. Flatten ring and glue to megaphone. Or use pipe cleaner for handle.

Circus Animal Masks

Longhorn Council

Lions, tigers, monkeys, elephants and bears can be a part of acts for Under the Big Top. These animals masks are made with brown grocery sacks as the base. Eyes, ears, etc., from colored construction paper are glued on.

To prepare the bags, slit up about 4” at the four corners of the bag’s open end. Slip bag on the boy’s head. The clipped portions will fit down his back, on his shoulders and onto his chest. Cut off the front flap but leave the other three. Mark positions for the eye holes and nose. Cut out the eyes, leave the nose uncut.

To assemble the elephant, glue ears in position on side of bag. Draw face features. Glue trunk and tusks in place.

For the lion, glue mane to the front. Glue ears at top corners, center topknot between them, leaving jagged edge free to curl away from face.

For the monkey, glue ears to side of bag, staple top edges of bag to shape head. Add face features.

Clown Face Makeup

Longhorn Council

White base options:

1.       Mix equal parts of liquid face cleansing cream and sifted powdered sugar.

2.       Using a fork, mix one tablespoon shortening and two tablespoons cornstarch until creamy.

3.       Or, cover face with Vaseline and powder with several applications of talc or cornstarch. Be sure not to breathe while powdering.

Rubber noses are available at many novelty or craft stores.

Eyebrow pencil, lipstick, and eye shadow may be used to enhance the features. Eyebrow pencil darkens or changes the shape of the eyebrows. Exaggerate the mouth with lipstick and outline with eyebrow pencil. Add yarn hair or silly hat to top off your clown character. A section of panty hose, knotted at one end makes a good skull cap in which to cover your own hair.

Popcorn Neckerchief Slide

Longhorn Council

Materials: Film canister, pipe cleaners, red or white adhesive vinyl, marker, cotton balls, plaster, popped corn, clear acrylic spray.

1.       Cover the film canister with red or white adhesive vinyl.

2.       Make two small cuts in the back to insert a pipe cleaner ring.

3.       Make a sign “POPCORN” and tape to front of can.

4.       Put one or two cotton balls in can and pour a small amount of plaster over them for weight. Let dry.

5.       When dry, glue popped corn in the top part of the can. (Use enough to make sure popcorn will stick.)

6.       When dry, spray with clear acrylic spray.

The Look-Around Clown

Longhorn Council

Materials: Plastic drinking cup (colored), plastic foam ball, ice cream stick, felt, rickrack, chenille sticks, glue and scissors.

1.       Dip an ice cream stick in glue and push it into the center of a plastic foam ball.

2.       Poke a hole in the center of the bottom of the drinking cup, large enough so the stick can turn around.

3.       Decorate the head and body with pieces of felt, rickrack, and chenille sticks.

4.       Put the ice cream stick into the cup through the hole. By holding the stick with your hand inside the cup, you can move the clown’s head up, down and around.

Button Nose Clown

Longhorn Council

Materials: Felt, yarn, pompoms, glue and scissors.

1.       Cut out a circle from felt. In the center of the circle, cut a slit that is large enough for a shirt button to go through.

2.       Glue on pieces of yarn and felt to make a clown face, hair, and hat. (Do not give the clown a nose.)

3.       Button the clown to your shirt through the slit in its face. The button will be the clown’s nose.

Salt Box Clown

Longhorn Council

Cover salt box with construction paper using glue or tape. Cut hole in top large enough for neck of light bulb. Glue in place. Paint (enamel) face on. Glue or tape ears. Cut strips of construction paper for arms and legs. Bend ends of legs up to form feet. Hat can be egg cup or cone. Glue crepe paper ruffle around neck. Buttons can be cotton balls or real buttons. Put hand inside salt box to move.

Clown In A Box

Longhorn Council

Cut toe of sock and stuff with rags, nylons, paper, etc. Insert tube, gather sock around it and tie. For the nose, pull a bit of sock to one side and tie with string. Paint on a face or sew on scrap materials for the features.

Make a costume with hands. Add a ruffle around the neck and attach head to costume. Get a small box that is just large enough to put hand in and cut out the bottom. Attach string to inside lid of box. Down through the box and attach a finger. Pull the string to close and lower puppet. Reverse for jack-in-box effect.






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