Nothing beats a parachute party! It’s our favorite part of going to Gymboree or My Gym. So why not bring home the fun?
ALEX’s Super Parachute Party is great outdoor play at a backyard BBQ with friends or birthday party, and is serious fun for the kids. It comes with small plastic balls that you can toss in the air and use to play different games.
Here are eight parachute games the kids will have a blast playing:
1. Ball Poppers: Place the small plastic balls on top of the parachute. Have the kids hold the edges of the parachute and shake it up and down to make the balls bounce up and around. See how high the balls can pop without falling off the parachute!
2. Trading Places: Lift the parachute high into the air. Call out two children’s names. When their names are called they try to trade places by running under the parachute to their new spot before the parachute comes down on them. You can also assign each child a color or number to call out and test their attention as well.
3. Ball Roll: Place the balls at one end of the parachute and try to roll them to the other side without them falling off. This game requires teamwork!
4. Waves: Create “waves” of various sizes like the ocean by how much you shake the parachute up and down. Create a story, or provide direction in keywords like duck, duck, goose as the indication to change from small to medium to large waves.
5. Musical Parachute: Test balance and work on coordination by having the children turn their bodies sideways and hold the parachute with one hand while walking, jumping, or skipping to music. You can also challenge them to walk backward and start and stop as the music is turned on and off. Call out new directions as the music starts up again.
6. Snakes: Put a bunch of jump ropes on top of the parachute. Shake the parachute up and down while trying to keep the snakes (jump ropes) from biting (touching) you.
7. Edge Roll: Have the kids work together to try to keep a ball rolling along the outer edge of the parachute without it falling off.
8. Ball Toss: Have a couple of children get under the parachute and try to hit the balls and knock them off from underneath as the other kids holding the parachute try to keep them on!
As a mom, I like these games because they add a little bit of structure and organization to what can sometimes be pure craziness. The occupational therapist in me loves them because they work on so many great developmental skills.
They help build attention, coordination, social skills, and team work, which are a necessity for success in the classroom. Kids also learn directionality and spatial awareness by running through the parachute.
Have fun and be sure to let us know which game was your favorite!
Dana Elliot is an occupational therapist who has worked in the pediatric field for 7 years. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy she settled in Charlotte, NC with her husband and now two daughters. Dana specializes in gross and fine motor development and sensory integration. Her passion is sharing everyday ways parents can foster their children’s skills and help them to thrive, which you can find on her blog, Embrace Your Chaos!