Puppetry, Circus Arts, and Clowning

with Laura Geilen

While puppetry, circus arts and clowning by themselves are not therapy, the benefits they bring can be deeply therapeutic and transformative. Through these arts children (as well as adults) gain self-esteem, confidence and joy, finding new grounding and resilience with which to meet the world.

Puppets are a good place to start when exploring ways to reach young children with trauma and emotional issues. Children will engage with puppets with abandon when the adult in the room is getting nowhere. They are simply magnetic.

Circus arts activities, in their full range, increase and support the following important developmental movement, sensory and social needs:

  • Bilateral coordination skills
  • Muscle and core strength
  • Crossing the midline abilities
  • Brain and body balancing
  • Self-esteem
  • Teamwork
  • Ability to overcome fears
  • Communication with peers
  • Balance and flexibility
  • Focus and attention

Clowns have big emotions, big hearts and great empathy. They mess up, they make mistakes, but they are eternally optimistic. They remind us of what it is to be human. As teachers/ parents/therapists we can fortify ourselves tremendously by accessing our inner clown and the clown’s outlook.

In this workshop we will mix and lightly dabble in these 3 healing realms so naturally disguised as fun.

Laura Geilen teaches movement and games, circus arts, Spacial Dynamics® and clowning to adults, kids and special needs populations. She is drawn to teaching circus arts as they naturally and playfully provide a variety of challenges necessary for healthy child development. Seeing children grow in skill, self-confidence, social and spatial awareness is what has motivated her to offer camps and classes continually over the last 20 years. She enjoys bringing all people a renewed experience of their creativity, authenticity and aliveness through the transformative power of play.