Want to do something special for your kids while they’re being kept from their favorite activities? Engage them in authentic fun parachute games!
All you need is a large parachute, (or smaller parachute, depending on the size of the group), a group of kids (roughly of the same age), and a few toys.
With only these simple things, you can easily make your kids feel happy and fit.
A large backyard or another safe area would be a plus, as concrete surfaces might be a bit too risky due to the high amount of motion required in these games.
What You'll Learn...
- 1 Benefits of Parachute Play
- 2 Play Parachute Size Chart
- 3 Things to Keep in Mind
- 4 Exciting Parachute Games for Kids
- 4.1 1) Take My Place
- 4.2 2) Treasure Hunt
- 4.3 3) Mission Impossible
- 4.4 4) Weatherman
- 4.5 5) Make a Goal
- 4.6 6) Popcorn
- 4.7 7) I Big or You Big
- 4.8 8) Tomb
- 4.9 9) Quick See-Saw
- 4.10 10) Spot the Spot
- 4.11 11) Parachute Rooms
- 4.12 12) Catch the Ball
- 4.13 13) Don’t Take the Ball
- 4.14 14) Fruit Partners
- 4.15 15) Swap Numbers
- 4.16 16) Shake Hands
- 4.17 17) Retrieve Your Shoe
- 4.18 18) Merry-Go-Round
- 4.19 19) Don’t Get Trapped
- 4.20 20) Alligator, Alligator
- 4.21 21) Beach Ball Off the Ground
- 4.22 22) Fleas Off the Parachute
- 4.23 23) Parachute Turtle
- 4.24 24) Put Teddy in a Swirl
- 4.25 25) Watch Your Tail
- 4.26 26) Shake Up the Fruit Salad
- 4.27 27) Snap, Crackle, and Pop Them Off
- 4.28 28) Keep Those Critters Away
- 4.29 29) Watch Out for Who is About
- 4.30 30) Nursery Rhymes
- 4.31 31) One Hand Run
- 4.32 32) Going to the Hairstylist
- 4.33 33) Color Finder
- 4.34 34) Ball Roll
- 4.35 35) Making Waves
- 4.36 36) Merry-Go-Round
- 4.37 37) Poison Snakes
- 4.38 38) Mushroom
- 4.39 39) The Wave
- 4.40 40) Rollerball
- 4.41 41) All Change
- 4.42 42) Bouncing Balls
- 4.43 43) Flying Saucer
- 4.44 44) Ball in the Bucket
- 4.45 45) Parachute Volleyball
- 4.46 46) The Canopy
- 4.47 47) Parachute Tag
- 4.48 48) Parachute Run
- 5 Tips for a Better Parachute Game Experience
- 6 Wrapping it Up
Benefits of Parachute Play
A parachute is a wonderful addition to the play equipment in any school, organization or child care center.
Beautiful and sometimes calming, a parachute can create soft, whispering sounds or loud, rippling noises, depending on how quickly it is moved.
Parachutes are usually made of brightly colored, lightweight nylon and are equipped with strong, reinforced handholds.
Why incorporate parachute play into your program? Because parachute games encourage cooperative, non-competitive play and reinforce turn-taking and sharing.
While most gross motor activities for a young child develop muscles in the lower body more than the upper torso, parachutes strengthen primarily shoulder, arm, and hand muscles.
When children work together to make the parachute billow, they also refine perceptual motor skills and develop a sense of rhythm.
Language activities can also be incorporated into most parachute games.
Parachutes are a lot of fun for both children and adults to play with, especially in large, grassy areas in the summertime.
The opportunities to encourage children’s overall development with this exciting activity make it an ideal choice for early childhood programming.
Benefits of parachute play include:
- Encourages cooperation
- Strengthens upper torso
- Differing abilities are non-issue
- Refines perceptual skills
- Reinforces turn-taking/sharing
- Develops a sense of rhythm
- Requires following directions
- Promotes social interaction
- Enhances language development
Play Parachute Size Chart
Things to Keep in Mind
Make sure that the choice is made as per the age and understanding of the group of kids. Supply a good amount of refreshing drinks and snacks in between so that energy is maintained as long as your little ones continue to play!
There is a significant advantage as well – fine motor skills drastically improve with the help of some of the parachute games mentioned in the following list.
A little bit of homework on parachute game organizers will enhance the whole experience for the growing minds!
Exciting Parachute Games for Kids
This list is known as the “ultimate” list because it includes all types of parachute games. Ball games are too exciting, and kids cannot stop playing with them.
The toys recommended are just for reference purposes.
You can use anything you find at home in times of urgency. Do not forget to add a touch of learning insights at the end of each round so that the games have an educational component.
Occasions to play these parachute games include birthday parties, post lockdown get-togethers, and weekend activities for fun!
1) Take My Place
Kids call each other’s names and exchange places. The player who responds last will be disqualified.
2) Treasure Hunt
Make the kids play a typical treasure hunt under the parachute. Prepare chits well in advance.
Remember, do not use complex words.
3) Mission Impossible
Kids try to make the neighboring player lose the grip of the parachute. Whoever is successful gets to take extra attempts.
Avoid playing this on concrete or other hard slippery surfaces, as a fall could cause serious injury.
Or, weatherwoman. One person is assigned this designation and made to stand in the center.
The parachute will be waved or moved as per the season or condition named.
5) Make a Goal
No goalpost or football field is required for the commencement of this fun game. A circle can be made in the center using a marker.
To further enhance the sportsmanship, cut out a hole so that the goal is made.
Place a number of bean bags, small balls, or cotton balls onto the parachute. Shake to make them pop up like “popcorn”.
Use a lot of colored balls and a giant parachute for this game.
Make sure you’re using a lightweight ball for Popcorn so that the kids do not end up hurting themselves. They should bounce the balls as much as possible.
7) I Big or You Big
Make two teams. Whichever team is enlarges themselves, the circle the most will be the winner. Do not allow any extra materials.
Use a parachute with stretchable material if possible.
A large table fan is needed for this game. Make sure it is placed at such a location that all of the air flows under the parachute.
The kids’ objective is to make the parachute rise as much as possible.
The final shape should resemble a tomb.
9) Quick See-Saw
The only difference is that the kids will make the see-saw. Two opposite ones will sit and stand alternatively, and the parachute will swirl accordingly.
10) Spot the Spot
Two kids will exchange places while the kid in the center is blindfolded. The former has to “spot” who has changed his or her “spot.”
If no one is recognized, the game will be repeated.
11) Parachute Rooms
The area under the parachute will be divided into four or five areas. A room name will be assigned to each of the areas.
The kids will choose which room they wish to enter and then act in accordance with the same environment.
12) Catch the Ball
One or more balls are bounced on the cloth, and the nearest toddler is supposed to catch it. If the ball drops on the ground, the expected catcher is disqualified.
As the game progresses, the number of balls can be reduced. They should be of different colors to enhance the recognition and scoring of the game.
13) Don’t Take the Ball
This is also referred to as “Cursed Ball.” This is the parachute version of passing the parcel.
The ball is passed by moving the parachute to and fro.
Both hands should be used to make this motion but touching the ball is not allowed. Make sure the ball is light enough to be moved from one area to the other.
14) Fruit Partners
Play this one in groups of two, named as a fruit. They move together to reach the other end.
If any other fruit can stop them, that particular child will take the game forward with their fruit partner.
This can be done systematically in alphabetical order. Try giving new names of fruits with pictures so that they can learn.
Elder children can be asked to spell out as well.
15) Swap Numbers
Each child is numbered according to the position. They move as per descending order in alternative rounds.
Whoever misses the counting is disqualified.
Other trends like even numbers, odd numbers, or prime numbers can be chosen.
16) Shake Hands
A lot of people consider this game to be an icebreaker as well. Two kids go under the play parachute and introduce themselves.
Then, they shake hands to invite the other two of their choice.
When all of them have introduced themselves, the next round can discuss hobbies or favorite food.
This game can be played for much longer time periods, to ensure that all participants get a chance to introduce themselves.
17) Retrieve Your Shoe
On a beat, one child throws the shoe under the parachute.
The next child has to get it back before the time is over.
Keep the timer at thirty seconds for ease.
In case one shoe is not retrieved on time, the subsequent child has to get back both of them, and so on.
If all the shoes are remaining, replay.
Songs are played, and this takes the form of a parachute-style ring-a-ring-a-roses. As soon as the music stops, the kid who stops last will be asked to perform an act.
In case the act is not performed, that kid will be disqualified. Make sure there is no cheating.
19) Don’t Get Trapped
One child sits in the middle. On every wrong answer, the parachute falls and traps.
If more than five correct answers are given, the child qualifies for the next round. Riddles in the form of questions can make this game even more entertaining.
A scorekeeper is a must for the swift progress of this game.
20) Alligator, Alligator
Kids lie down on their stomachs and crawl underneath to clear the distance. Do not touch the surface to ensure optimum speed.
Animal names like alligator or other terms like “Crawler kid” can be duly assigned.
The winner is the one who clears the distance in minimum time.
21) Beach Ball Off the Ground
They are supposed to keep the beach ball afloat on the parachute with mutual understanding and cooperation.
As soon as it nears one of the edges, the nearest kid needs to direct it towards the center, or else they lose the game.
22) Fleas Off the Parachute
Small objects are placed under the parachute, and one child places them atop. Others have to prevent this.
They can negotiate by offering exchange in place. Whoever collects the maximum number of objects is declared to be the winner.
23) Parachute Turtle
The parachute is in the shape of a turtle’s shell, and kids are required to maintain the shape. In case a kid fails to do so, they will have to stay in the shape of a turtle shell underneath the parachute.
Make sure the size of the parachute is large enough to accommodate all the children!
24) Put Teddy in a Swirl
A soft toy is kept in between two kids. These two kids then move together around the parachute.
In case the toy falls, whoever picks it first will get it.
Others continue to move in a circular motion while three main players take the game forward.
25) Watch Your Tail
One child stands in the middle below the parachute, and others need to avoid being touched by him or her. The one in the middle is the “hunter,” while all others are named “prey.”
The hunter kid can be blindfolded for more fun and enthusiasm.
26) Shake Up the Fruit Salad
A fruit ball is prepared, and the colors match the bright colors of the parachute. The one chosen is taken to be the attacking site for kids.
Two people given the name “banana” will be required to move once the word banana is uttered. This game requires a lot of teamwork, so it is a great teambuilding parachute game for all ages!
27) Snap, Crackle, and Pop Them Off
Candies or chocolates are placed on a smaller parachute. The kids’ objective is to collect as many as they can. The one collecting the highest number of eatables will be the winner.
Pack them to induce curiosity. Chips and other edible goodies can also be included!
28) Keep Those Critters Away
Keep strings or ropes at the center of the parachute. The kids have to avoid touching them.
In case two kids come in contact with them at the same time, they will be required to decide who touched first – a simple tiebreaking process.
29) Watch Out for Who is About
The kids stand in a circle while supporting the parachute. The shape of the circle should not be disturbed throughout the game.
Whoever moves first is out. Only one player can leave at a time.
30) Nursery Rhymes
Sound like a tedious game? It is not one. In “Nursery Rhymes”, kids are supposed to recite poems and move the parachute in the motion corresponding to the words or phrases.
For example- “up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky” can have an upward motion.
31) One Hand Run
The parachute is supported with one hand, and the other is used to stop the kid who is moving around from running away. Whoever can stop goes for the second round.
Tackling is not allowed, and only one hand may be used at any time.
32) Going to the Hairstylist
Kids are supposed to move the parachute the way a hairstylist brushes the hair. This way, static electricity is generated.
This is a great parachute game for older children as well.
Make sure the weather is not stormy while this game is being played!
33) Color Finder
This one is for younger kids only. The parachute is spread out on the floor, and each kid is assigned a different color.
Whoever defaults is supposed to begin all over again.
Make sure the kids are able to learn how to recognize each color by the end of the game.
34) Ball Roll
Have the children try to roll the balls into the hole in the middle of the parachute. (Or have children try to keep the balls from going into the hole in the center.)
35) Making Waves
Children can make small, medium, or large movements to make various types of “waves.” You can incorporate a story about a ship on the sea, weather, etc. &/or use your voice as a tool to emphasize directives.
Children turn their bodies sideways and hold the chute with one hand. They then walk around in a circle, making a “Merry-Go-Round.”
For variety, children can hop, skip, jump, etc. You can stop music as a cue to reverse and go the other direction.
37) Poison Snakes
Place three or four jump ropes onto the chute. Shake the parachute to keep the snakes from “biting” (touching) you.
Standing, lift the parachute waist height. Count to three – with “one” and “two” being small practice lifts.
On three, all lift the chute overhead and crouch down pulling the parachute edges down as well. This creates what looks like a “mushroom.”
39) The Wave
Children put their hands up, one after another, in order – creating a synchronized “wave” like in the stands at a baseball game.
Try to keep a small ball rolling only along the outer edge of the parachute around the circle. As it comes toward you, cooperatively lower your edge.
As it passes you, raise it.
41) All Change
Call out birthday months, pre-assigned numbers, colors, etc, and those children swap places under the chute before it falls, and run to an empty space.
42) Bouncing Balls
Have one or two children under the parachute trying to hit the balls as they touch the surface, knocking them off the parachute (from underneath).
43) Flying Saucer
Everyone takes one step forward upon lifting the parachute in the air. Upon command, all let go and watch as it slowly floats.
44) Ball in the Bucket
Break into two or more “teams.” Each team will have a different colored soft ball (or balls.)
They will try to keep their color ball from going into the middle circle while trying to get the other teams’ color of the ball(s) into the hole.
45) Parachute Volleyball
Split into two sides of the parachute. One side tries to knock the ball off of the other side (half of the chute), right past the other “team.”
46) The Canopy
Squat down with parachute flat on the ground. On the count of three, stand up and stretch arms above head, creating a canopy.
47) Parachute Tag
Lift the parachute high over everyone’s heads. Call one child’s name and have her run (skip, hop, twirl or crawl) to the other side before the parachute comes down and tags her.
48) Parachute Run
Have the children take turns running on the parachute as it lies on the ground, while the other children make waves. See how long the children can maneuver on the waves before falling down.
The length of turns can be determined by songs that the children choose to sing (i.e. everyone’s turn lasts the length of one song).
Tips for a Better Parachute Game Experience
This play parachute games list has all the popular games, and will ensure hours of fun for the little ones!
While kids enjoy each one depending on the enthusiasm and size of the group, make sure safety is ensured throughout the parachute activity.
Since toddlers might indulge in verbal or physical fights in case the result does not come out in their favor, it is advisable to keep a first aid kit and other cooling-down ideas handy.
Parachute games are simply the best way to help a preschooler, kindergartener, or toddler utilize their free time while learning something new.
Wrapping it Up
While many of the parachute games mentioned above are engaging due to the very nature of excitement, kids need to be informed about the rules quite clearly and aptly.
A better reinforcement technique is to plan for the top three prizes. Consolation can be included if the budget permits.
If certain toddlers and kindergarteners are overactive, the parachute games can be further modified based on the individual’s needs.
Even parents, teachers, and other people can participate in parachute fun with the kids to ensure that no mishap occurs. These parachute games do not require much work and are easy to incorporate.
I hope you enjoyed this article about the best parachute games for kindergarteners and toddlers!