Parachute Pop-up

A perfect activity for younger children
Supplies
Large sheet or parachute
Soft toys, stuffed animals, beach balls, etc.
Setup

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.

Variations

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.

Tips

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.

Stats
Activity Length
5 - 15 minutes
Age
Toddler
Preschool
School-age
Competitiveness
Non-competitive (cooperative)
Difficulty
Easy peasy (fun and simple)
Indoor/Outdoor
Outdoors
Mess Factor
Clean and tidy
Noise Level
Semi-rambunctious
Number of Players
5 to 10
10 to 20
20+
Prep Time
5 minutes or less
Space Needed
Medium (a clearable open space the size of a 2-car garage)
Team Division
All together now! (everyone works together)