Parachute play is a perfect activity for younger children, it helps develop skills such as teamwork and timing. In this game children watch as their favorite toys dance up and down in their air. Children love catching and retrieving wayward stuffies as they bounce over the edge.
AgeToddler, Preschool, School-age
Number of Players5 to 10, 10 to 20, 20+
Team DivisionAll together now! (everyone works together)
DifficultyEasy peasy (fun and simple)
Indoor or OutdoorOutdoors
Space NeededMedium (a clearable open space the size of a 2-car garage)
Mess FactorClean and tidy
Prep Time5 minutes or less
Game Time Length5 - 15 minutes
1. Collect the toys that will pop-up and down in the parachute. If you are having a themed party, I would suggest creatures of that theme. For example, in a penguin party use blow-up or stuffed penguins. Make sure that the toys you choose, are soft, lightweight, and will not hurt anyone.
2. Lay a sheet (or store bought parachute) on the ground.
3. Ask each player to lay their toy in the center of the sheet.
4. Spread the children out along the edge of the sheet so there is an even number of them on all sides.
5. Have players FIRMLY grab hold of the edge of the sheet with both hands.
How to Play
1. On "Go" everyone begins raising and lowering their arms.
2. You can repeating verbal cues such as "Everyone up!" "Now everyone down!" to help create a rhythm for everyone to follow.
3. As you do so, the toys will start popping up and down on the parachute.
4. The object is to see which animal will stay inside the parachute the longest. However, if players get excited and retrieve the animals, it's fine.
1. If you have a large group divide in half. Have half of the players hold the sheet, and the other half form a large circle around them. As the stuffies fly off, have the outer circle retrieve them and throw them back onto the sheet. See if the players holding the sheet can ever "clear the sheet" of jumping critters.
2. Have the animals do the high jump. Have everyone holding the sheet bend down low, with their hands on the ground. Have a team leader count out 1...2...3! On 3 everyone should raise their hands over their heads as quickly as they can - the stuffies will hit the ceiling!
3. Free for all. Just let the kids go wild raising and lowering their arms...making a veritable ocean of stuffies.
1. It's good to have lots of adult hands on board when playing with little children, as they tend to need a bit of guidance and can sometimes wander from the task at hand. A good number of adults can help to aid the process of getting started, thereby facilitating a quick start, which means you will lose less players to other distractions.
2. Use little songs to help develop a rhythm for the sheet.