Kids love playing with parachutes! Like so many yoga activities, they encourage teamwork and cooperation, and build strength and coordination.
Photo by: Theoga
Here are 6 parachute games you can play with children:
- Popcorn: Introduce a parachute with this easy game! Have children stand around the parachute, holding onto its edges. Place several beanbags or lightweight balls in the middle, and tell children to lift and lower their arms as fast as they can to make the balls “pop” around the parachute. You’ll find this game is easy enough for preschoolers, and silly enough for grade schoolers!
- All Change: Get to know each other with this game! Children lift the parachute high in the air, and call out a fun category. It can be anything from a birthday month, a favorite food or color, or number of siblings. For example, “if you are an only child, switch now!” or “if you you like chocolate better than vanilla, switch now!” The children who fall into your category swap places by crawling under the parachute, and need to find a new place before the parachute lands on them. This game is a little fast for preschoolers, and usually better suited for children K-5th grade.
- Shark Attack: Children sit on the floor around the parachute, with legs stretched out in front of them, and the parachute held chest-high. One or two children are the “shark”, and crawl/swim around under the parachute. They “attack” the other children by pulling on their legs, and trading places. Try this with small groups of preschoolers, or larger groups of older children.
- Parachute Tag: Partner up the children with someone sitting across the parachute from them. Everyone lifts the parachute high into the air. Choose one pair, and have them switch spots by racing under the parachute before the parachute lands on them. Go around the group making sure each child gets a turn. This game works best with children K-3rd grade.
- Shoe Shuffle: Number kids off so that only a portion participate at a time. Have all children lift the parachute, and the select kids through one shoe onto the floor, under the parachute. Let the parachute settle, then lift it again! The kids with their shoes under the parachute need to scramble to the middle and get their shoe. The number of kids in each turn will vary based upon the age and group size of the class. Choose what works best for you, and don’t be afraid to switch it up! This game works for children of all ages. Challenge older children to try to get out before the parachute lands on them, younger kids will have fun crawling out with the parachute on top of them.
- The Wave: Children hold onto the parachute with both hands, and lift their hands into the air one after the other, creating a synchronized wave that goes around the parachute. This challenging parachute game requires teamwork and coordination, and is best for children K-5th grade.