Parachute Games are Great Fun Indoors, Outdoors, or anywhere a group of children, teens or adults gather. Parachute Games are not only stimulating and fun, but they are a wonderful tool for building cooperation, social interaction, and active exercise!
|Parachute Games for Kids, Teens, and Adults|
What You Will Need
Parachutes can make out of 2 large flat bed sheets sown together, but a ready-made parachute is not expensive, can be used many time, is easily cleaned and usually comes with handles or cutouts for easy griping. We Suggest our 12 Foot Parachute with easy-grip handles.
- Several balls of different shapes and colors
- 5-10 (or more) Children, depending on the size of your parachute and your tolerance to Fun, Joyful Noise!
How to Get Started
Place the opened parachute on the floor
Have the children stand or sit around the edge of the parachute, depending on the activity
If the parachute has handles, the children will grasp the parachute firmly by the handles
If the parachute does not have handles, show the children how to gather several inches of the fabric into their hands and hold tightly.
Designate a person (older child or adult) as the Caller or Counter. It will be their job to give directions in a loud, clear voice.
Practice lifting the parachute in unison and lowering it together; it should billow out like a big balloon when rising and then collapse back to the floor when lowered. The called should say, “UP” and all the children should gently lift both arms together to make the parachute float up. When the caller says, “DOWN”, the children should lower their arms to the starting position. If a child is having difficulty, an adult could give some hand-over-hand assistance until they are able to perform the task independently. When the children are able to raise and lower the parachute in a fairly coordinated fashion, you are ready to try some of the activities below.
As the children raise and lower the parachute, the Caller will say the name of a child. The child will let go of the parachute and run under the parachute to the opposite side. When the child has reached the opposite side and take hold of the parachute, the Caller will name another child to run under the parachute. This can continue until all of the children have had at least one chance to run under.
The Caller will name a child to run under the parachute, but this time all of the children will bring the parachute down at the same time in an effort to “trap” or “capture” the running child under the parachute. Make sure that none of the children are “claustrophobic” ahead of time. The first child to be captured should be one you are sure will set a good example about being “trapped”. The game continues until each child has had a chance to be caught.
The children will stand or sit so that the parachute is taut. Place a ball in the middle of the parachute and see how many times the children can work together to flip the ball in the air and get it to land back in the parachute. You will need a person to run after balls that escape and pop out of the parachute. The Caller will help to coordinate the efforts of the kids by rhythmically calling “up” and “down”. The children should all count the number of successful bounces. (You might want to practice counting in Spanish, French, or another language you know).
Place 2 or more balls in the Parachute. Try to keep all of them in the middle of the Parachute as you pop them up in the air and catch them again.
|"Pop" the "Corn" by Lifting and Lowering|
Have the children stand with the parachute taut. Place a ball on the edge of the parachute and try to make the ball go around the perimeter of the parachute by having the child closest to the ball raise one arm and lower the other in order to move the ball toward the child next to them. Each child in succession will perform the same task, so that the ball will circulate. (Think “wave”) This takes a great deal of coordination and may not be appropriate for young children.
Get the Parachute moving up and down in a smooth fashion. The Caller will name two children who will then run under the parachute as it rises and change places.
Divide the parachute in half. The children on one side will compete against the children on the other side of the parachute. Each side will work together to lift their side of the parachute in order to make a ball roll off the opposite side. Each team will score a point when they make the ball roll off their opponent’s side of the parachute.
Have one child or adult stand under the parachute in the middle. The rest of the kids will sit under the parachute, tucking the parachute under their bottoms, thus making a Mushroom.
|Under the Mushroom|
We welcome your comments and other game suggestions. The goal is to have fun, develop cooperation, interact socially, improve gross motor skills, and get a good cardiac work-out!!Author: Trisha Roberts
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