Parachute games are recreational activities that foster the spirit of cooperation and sharing within classrooms. It involves a large group of 20 to 50 children, who are the direct participants involved around the perimeter of a 15-foot parachute.
All you need is a parachute, which is available with many suppliers at cheap rates, and a large space to house the kids and adults while playing. Try to find a parachute which is divided into colored sections. This way, the children can be easily called in for the games, like calling out for the 'red people' or the 'blue people' is easier, when there are so many children around. Parachutes made of flame retardant nylon material are available in a number of sizes, usually 2, 3, 4, or 6 meters in diameter. Here is a list of some fun games, which will ensure that the children are entertained for hours
5 Fun Parachute Games for Children
Cat and Mouse
Ask the children to hold the chute, stretched out at about waist height. Choose someone as the mouse and ask him to go underneath the canopy while someone else becomes a cat and goes on top. The others in the group sitting at the perimeter, try to hide the mouse by billowing the chute up and down. Cats try to catch the mice, within 20 seconds, and the 'mice' have to come out when they are caught.
This activity involves getting the children to spread the parachute out and hold the edge while standing in a circle. Pull the parachute taut and on the magic word, 'Mushroom!', pull the parachute upwards. To fill the parachute with air and make it rise up like a giant mushroom, get everyone to take a couple of paces towards the center as the parachute rises.
The children are made to sit on the ground with their legs stretched out under the canopy and the canopy held at chest height. One person gets to be the shark and crawls under the canopy, quietly grabbing the legs of anyone around the perimeter and pulling him/her under the canopy. All those victims who get their legs grabbed, become 'sharks'. Watch out for the blood-curdling screams in this game!
Merry Go Round
Holding the chute in one hand, turn your body, and walk, hip, skip, or jump around with the chute in hand. It makes a great merry-go-round.
Place several items like balls, rope, frisbees, or anything else, under the parachute. Let the children make a rhythmic heartbeat with the parachute, by moving it in a wave. On command, one of the players dives under the parachute and grabs a nominated item before the parachute comes down on them. Once the parachute touches the players, they must put the item back for the next round.
Once you are done, hold the center of the parachute in your hand, twist it into a rope, and stuff it in its bag. What's special about parachute games, is that these games require co-operation and team spirit. In addition, these games can mold a group together before moving into other projects and is a wonderful means of exercise, social movement, and interaction. All the parachute games are sensory and involve touching and moving the parachute fabric. This helps develop creativity, coordination, verbal communication skills, and problem solving skills in children.
Although parachute games are simple and fun, try to avoid dangerous games that involve bouncing the players on taut parachutes. They could easily be bounced on hard ground as soon as the chute is slackened. Just try out these great parachute activities, to create unforgettable experiences and more importantly, to have FUN!