- Short description
- A whole variety of games to play with a large parachute!
- From 10 minutes to 30 minutes
- Whole section
- Both indoor and outdoor
- Fun at the Pond: The First Twelve Years, Scouts Canada
Getting Ready to Play
- To start, lay the chute flat on the ground or floor. The children sit around the outside, holding the edge with both hands. At a signal, they all stand up and raise their hands above their heads. The chute gradually fills with air and "lofts" up.
- To deflate the chute, the children sit down and bring the edges to the ground. The air gradually escapes from the centre hole until the chute lies flat again.
The children hold onto the edges and inflate the chute. Still holding on, they walk under the chute to the centre and then back to their original positions. Or, have them meet in the centre and then all let go so that the parachute gently floats down to cover everyone.
Under the Waves
For this game, place leaders evenly among the children. Raise the chute to waist height and use a gentle flutteing motion to start the waves. When it's in motion, call out three or four names at a time and the children can take turns walking, hopping or skipping under the floating chute to the other side and back to their spots.
Divide the group into teams, giving them a name, and scatter them around the chute. Hold it at waist level and start it fluttering. When a leader calls out the name of one of the teams, those children lie on the ground in a star shape, face up under the chute. The other continue to flutter the chute to give them an airwave.
Have the group sit around the chute with their legs underneath it, toes toward the center. Make sure everyone's knees are bent, and their feet are flat on the ground. Tell them to hold onto the edges and pull the chute taut. Then, have them lie back and pull themselves up again with the help of the taut parachute. Encourage cooperation. Help the children help eachother by asking one side to hold tight to the parachute while the other side does a group sit-up. Their knees should remain bent and feet on the ground.
The children inflate the parachute and take three giant steps towards the middle. The result will be the formation of a balloon shape that gradually deflates. Whrn this happens, the children take three giant backward steps to their original places.
Walking on the Pond
To walk on the pond, half of the group gets on top of the chute while the others make waves by holding the edges and moving their arms gently up and down. The wind rises and waves grow stronger as those around the edge reach for the sky and then touch their toes. Meanwhile, the children on top of the chute run across the waves. Gradually, the wind dies and the pond becomes calm, then freezes. Those who have been wave-walking quietly tiptoe off the pond and change places with those who were the wave-makers.
Make a mountain by inflating the parachute, pulling ti quickly down to the ground and kneeling on the edge. Two or three children then "climb" the moutain on hands and knees. When they reach the centre, they climb down the mountain and return to their original places. By then, the parachute will have deflated. Inflate it again and let another few children go mountain climbing. Continue to do this until everyone has had a turn.
This game needs a lot of group cooperation and leads to a lot of giggles. Choose one child to "hide" under the parachute near the centre. The hider stands straight with their arms by their sides. The rest of the group inflates the chute and tries to bring the centre hole directly down over the child's head.
Rock the Boat
Have the children sit around the chute, hold onto the edges, and then crawl under it. Facing the centre in a circle, have them pull the chute down behind their backs and sit on it. To rock the boat, have the children put their legs flat on the floor and gently push back on the chute. Rock one way, then the other. You can play any kind of quiet circle game under the parachute. You may even choose to eat lunch under it.
When it's time to pack up, ask all the children to stand around the parachute and roll the edges carefully towards the middle. In no time, they will meet in the centre and the parachute will be ready to put away until your next parachute day!