Recipe for Fun!
There are so many games for kids to play with a parachute. And it’s no wonder why! It’s an unusual toy that floats magically in the air, changes the colors of light passing through it, and gets kids working together for cooperative play. Read on for fun Parachute games or invite your kids to invent their own!
What size Parachute do I need? When you shop for a parachute, make sure you are getting one with a diameter appropriate for the number of children who will be using it. Families with a few children can get away with a smaller parachute that is 3-5 feet in diameter, while school groups may want to opt for a Parachute that is 20 or 30 feet in diameter.
Pay attention to the number of handles when you are shopping for a Parachute, kids need to hold on with one hand and younger kids with less developed motor skills need to use both hands to hold on.
What if I don’t have a Parachute? You can substitute a flat, king or queen bed sheet or lightweight blanket for a Parachute, but for Parachute Games like Popcorn, kids may have trouble holding on to bedding and a Parachute with handles is a better option.
How to play the Popcorn Parachute Game:
- Invite the kids to bring a ball, small toy or lightweight plush toy to the game.
- Lay the Parachute on the ground and place all the toys and balls in the center of the Parachute.
- Have each child pick up one of two of the Parachute’s handles.
- As the leader, let the children know to lift in unison on the count of 3.
- Once lifted, each child needs to flip the parachute up and down.
- The toys in the center of the Parachute with begin to “jump” up and down like popcorn being popped.
- The object of the game is to work together to keep the toys jumping and prevent them falling off the Parachute.
How to play the Under the Sea Parachute Game:
- Put a variety of small toys in a box.
- Place the box under the Parachute.
- Choose one player to be the Diver. They will stand outside of the circle until they are called.
- Have each player pick up one or two Parachute handles.
- On the count of three, have the players generate “waves” in the Parachute by moving their arms up and down.
- Each player takes a turn telling the Diver which toy to retrieve from the “Treasure Box” under the sea.
- The Diver rushes under the Parachute, sifts through the box and emerges from the water.
- The game can either continue with each child holding the Parachute getting a turn at instructing the Diver, or another child can take their turn as Diver.
How to play a game of catch with multiple Parachutes:
- Divide the children into 2 equal groups
- Lay two Parachutes next to each other.
- Place a ball in the center of one of the Parachutes.
- Have each group lift their Parachute in unison on the count of three.
- Each group works together to toss the ball from their own Parachute to that of the other group.
- The groups toss the ball back and forth.
- The object of the game is to successfully catch the ball using the Parachute.
- When one team fails to catch the ball, the other team wins.
A fun STEM skill-building twist: Ask kids to predict how balls and toys of different weights will behave within the Parachute. It’s an early lesson in mass and gravity!
What do kids learn from the Parachute Game? Working as a group towards a common goal is a valuable life skill that children learn from games, including the Parachute Game. Not only does each player have to literally hold up their end of the play, but they also have to communicate effectively and coordinate their movements to compliment that of neighboring players. Kids also build gross locomotor skills during play with a Parachute and develop hand-eye coordination. Kids will use a bunch of muscles as they test the effect of different movements on the movement of the Parachute.