No one's 100% certain, but juggling was probably invented back in the days of Ancient Rome, when guys called acetabularii used to do tricks with pebbles and stones and stuff like that. Later on, in the days of the Roman Empire, knife-throwers and jugglers were professional entertainers.

These days, experienced jugglers juggle just about anything, from knives and fire to plates and even swords!

If you concentrate while throwing stuff in the air and catching it again, you can juggle - it's as simple as that. Well, okay, it's not quite that simple - it takes heaps of practice. But you can get started if you follow our Hyperzine! 5-step juggling instructions...

diagram 1 1 Find three objects to juggle (you could try more, but if you've never juggled anything before, you could end up in some serious trouble doing this). They should be of equal size and weight if possible - ideally you should use juggling balls or other objects made specially for juggling (you can get these from toy or game shops). But tennis or golf balls will do just as well.

But remember: NEVER attempt to juggle anything that's sharp, breakable, alive or dangerous! Injuring yourself, your pets or someone else is not much fun at all.

2 Hold two of the objects (we'll call them balls from now on just to make things easier) in one hand (the right if you're right-handed, the left if you're left-handed), and the third ball in the other.

diagram 2 3 Throw a ball from the hand that's holding two from one hand to the other, throwing it about as high up as the top of your head. Just before you're about to catch it in your other hand (which, remember, has already got a single ball in it), throw the single ball across to the hand that just threw the first ball. get it? So you're basically just juggling two balls, throwing one up, and then throwing the second to make room for the first just before it lands, and then catching the second in the hand that threw the first. Phew! Still with me?

4 O.K., practice this for a while.

diagram 2 5 Now let's turn our attention to getting that third ball up there, since by now you're probably bored with just throwing two balls from one hand to the other. Do exactly what you were doing before, but now throw the second ball from the hand that's holding two just before the ball that was in the hand that was holding one comes down.

Now keep on going, making sure there's never a ball in a hand that's about to catch another ball - if there is, just throw it up to get things moving. It's hard to describe in words, and much easier to do - but hopefully you've got the idea.

Like everything else, juggling just takes practice and concentration - but before long, you'll be juggling like you born doing it!

Next Month: get the low-down on Ultimate, a team sport like no other!

Hyperzine 1 kids home

Kids' home || Projects || Hyperzine front page || Kids' map || Hillary Commission home