10 to 60 players. Playground; gymnasium; parlor.
This may be made a very amusing game for young children. One is chosen for ringmaster and stands in the center. If he can flourish a whip like a true ringmaster in the circus, the interest of the game will be enhanced.
The other players form a circle around him without clasping hands.
The ringmaster turns and moves around in a circle, snapping his whip at each flourish, and calling the name of some animal. The players in the circle immediately imitate the animal, both as to its movements and cries. For instance, for a bear they claw or run on “all fours,” or climb and at the same time growl; for a frog they may hop or swim and croak.
The list may include the hopping kangaroo, the snarling and springing tiger, the humped and swaying camel, the balking and braying donkey, the flopping and barking seal, the scratching and cackling hen, the ponderous and mooing cow, the neighing and galloping horse, etc.
The ringmaster at his discretion may announce, “We will all join the circus parade!” whereupon all of the animals should gallop around the circle in characteristic movements, each choosing an animal that he likes to represent.
Excerpt from the book:
GAMES FOR THE PLAYGROUND, HOME, SCHOOL AND GYMNASIUM BY JESSIE H. BANCROFT
New York, THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 1922