LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Saturday, 15 June 2013

How to Juggle in Five Easy Steps for International Juggler's Day, April 18, 2016

Grab your balls!
And learn to juggle!

If you’ve ever wanted to juggle then International Juggler's Day (April 18) or World Juggling Day (June 20, 2016), is the day to start.

Juggling is great for improving hand and eye coordination and is said to improve creative thinking by uniting the left and right halves of the brain. Here are five tips to get you started.

Sand-filled Juggling Balls
won't roll bounce away when
you drop them
1 - Invest in a set of soft leather, sand-filled juggling balls. They’re easy to catch and won’t bounce away when you drop them.

2 - Go outside where you won’t hit anything with a flying ball.

3 - Practise throwing one ball in an arc from hand to hand, with your hands a couple of feet apart, just above waist height, and the ball reaching head height. As you get used to it, begin moving your hands in a circular juggling motion with each catch and throw.

It takes balls!
4 - With a ball in each hand, throw the right ball in an arc towards your left hand. Just before it reaches your hand, throw the left ball to your right hand. Don’t place the ball in your left hand as that will make it harder to progress to three balls. Catch both balls and repeat until confident.

5 - Once you’ve mastered two balls, begin with two balls in your right hand and one in your left. Throw one ball from right to left. Before it reaches your left hand, throw the left ball to your right hand. Before it reaches your right hand throw the second ball to your left hand. Before it reaches your left hand, throw the ball in your left hand to your right hand.

Keep doing this and... hey, you’re juggling!

Jasper King
tries not to become a burnt
- a picture from
Circus Mania
It takes a lifetime of practise to juggle like Jasper King of the Chipolatas (left). Read his story and the stories of trapeze artists, sword swallowers, tiger trainers, clowns and showmen in Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus.

Click here to buy Circus Mania from Amazon.

"Circus Mania is a brilliant account of a vanishing art form."
- Mail on Sunday.


  1. Ok, so we have scared the dog and one of our juggling balls (left over from when the children were little) has just flown over the fence. I have to concede that even with these easy steps, my husband and I will never make it as jugglers!

    1. Bet you thought you'd never again have to ask your neighbours, "Please can I have my ball back?"