Roll Up, Roll Up… The circus has arrived in town! Well, Leigh-on-Sea. And when I say circus, I mean circus workshops for the half term.

So with half term upon us, parents around the UK are probably racking their brains thinking of ways to keep their little monkeys entertained and themselves sane. Well, as luck would have it, a fun and exciting circus workshop has popped up in Leigh.

Unfortunately as I write this, all sessions are fully booked and oversubscribed for this half term. But that didn’t stop me from popping down to Leigh Community Centre to have a peek at what goes on in these workshops.

Four workshops have been put together by a local lady called Avril, who has just come back from a 7 month stint in Slovakia teaching circus workshops to underprivileged children and the odd adults (myself included as Avril is also my sister). Using her experience from Slovakia and from her time teaching in Greenwich, each workshop has been tailored to the age group it’s aimed at, so all ages can enjoy the delights of the circus.

Yesterday’s session was aimed at 9-11 year olds and involved a quick game to get to know each other and “Stick In The Mud” for a warm up, followed by a short lesson in spinning plates. The excitement didn’t stop there, the children were then put into pairs or trios to practice “The London Bus”.

Seaside Circus Workshop

The children seemed to have a lot of fun standing on their friends’ backs and grasped the move quite quickly. Once this move has been mastered, they moved into groups of 6 to work on bigger and, in some cases, more adventurous moves. Some of which had to be curtailed back slightly. But all 12 children managed to piece together the famous human pyramid. Which they were all proud of, going by the smiles and laughter coming from each end of the hall.

Circus Workshop Human Pyramids

After a few more attempts at the pyramid and human surfing, they were allowed 10 minutes of free play and let loose on the available equipment: flower sticks, spinning plates and a pedal-go were the order of the day.

I can safely say, after an hour of climbing, running, spinning and pedalling, the children left happy and possibly slightly more exhausted or awake than when they arrived – while the adults went and had a rest. I would highly recommend the workshops to all parents with children between 3-11. It’s an hour of fun for the kids and an hour of rest for the parents.

For further information on future workshops and updates, see contact details below: