Parents, have you met Jordan Sabo yet?
He’s an Edmonton-grown juggler, magician, and arts educator, known as Pinwheel Circus.
This summer, Jordan taught circus skills and the performing arts to all of the kids at Kepler Academy. He helped children in our program build physical literacy, cognitive development, and social-emotional skills.
Jordan combines years of professional experience as a dance teacher to create fusion classes for kids that activate body and mind. He said this summer will be a long-lasting memory for him, as it was so wonderful working with all of the children. We asked if we would share the magic behind his circus classes — the learning intentions and outcomes he focused on, based on each age group.
Read on to learn more!
Stargazers and Explorers
For infants (Stargazers) and toddlers (Explorers), I focus on exploratory play and manipulation with circus props. In Kepler’s own words, even everyday activities are an adventure at this age!
Our smallest students enjoyed grasping, collecting and shaking specially-weighted juggling balls. They also had opportunities to organize the balls into colour coordinated bins that were then emptied for some extreme silliness.
This class featured “Bunny”, the friendly classroom playmate. Little Stargazers & Explorers found success interacting with Bunny and passing the balls back and forth. Together they learned values of sharing and teamwork.
We explored basic motor activities hopping like bunnies, and Bunny even let students pet her soft fur to explore texture. Be careful though, Bunny loves to give kisses and they are very tickley!
Navigators and Pioneers
Preschoolers (Navigators & pre-k Pioneers) are full of wonderful energy. Once they get their feet on the ground, boy do they love to move! This is why I made this class all about building strong muscles, coordination and respiratory function.
Using juggling scarves, we explored throwing mechanics in a safe and fun way. Responding to a variety of stimuli like music, tempo and speed, the young ones moved and grooved their bodies. It takes a lot of work being this silly, so we took breaks and watched some of my favorite juggling and magic tricks.
Classmates had the opportunity to practice their classroom etiquette, responding as a unit and working towards a single goal as a class. Kids catch on to these concepts quickly.
Pioneers and Stellars
As I like to put it, this is the “I did it!” age in development. Building that confidence in kindergarteners (Pioneers) and school-age kids (Stellars) in a creative way is important in this class, as well as fine motor skills.
Spinning plates and learning magic tricks challenged their minds as well as their bodies. My favorite aspect about this group is that I can introduce more complex topics in my teaching, such as the importance of patience and practice in building skills. We also participated in activities in pairs or groups and practiced our respect for others.
Thank you for such a whimsical summer, Jordan.
Follow Pinwheel Circus on Instagram for more fun!