Fun for kids of all ages, a parachute is a great tool for building motor skills, communication, and teamwork.
For ideas on how to get your kids moving, the book 3-2-1: Time for Parachute Fun! is the perfect starting place. Each entry includes instructions and illustrations, as well as vocabulary, objectives, and variations for each activity. Suggestions for games include:
- “Mushrooming” the parachute: Have children hold the edges of the parachute and walk in a circle so that the parachute rises. Once it reaches a sufficient height, children “mushroom” the parachute by stepping underneath it and pulling the edges down behind them as they sit, trapping the air underneath the parachute.
- Bouncing games: Children can practice teamwork and coordination skills by bouncing balloons on top of the parachute. They can try to keep the balloons in one place, or aim them towards an external object like a bin or target. Try to keep balloons from hitting the floor.
- Colour Swap (from pages 42 and 43): Spread the parachute flat on the floor, and help children to sit around the edge. Working around the parachute, ask each child to name the colour that they are sitting nearest. When everyone has spoken, call out one of the colours and the name of a child sitting near it. This child will run around the edge of the parachute to the next stripe with the same colour. The child sitting in the new spot runs to the next matching colour, and so on.