A selection of games to play with a parachute See BB Anchors Pro-Pack Body B-8 See book Parachute Games
Everyone is spread out around the parachute holding on to the edge with both hands. Pulling the chute taut everyone bends down (knees bent) so that the chute is at ground level or just above. At the word “mushroom” everyone pulls the chute up with hands raised as high as possible – not letting go of the parachute – so the parachute fills with air like a mushroom and then it brings it billowing back to waist level. The chute will go higher still if everyone holding it takes a step forward as they pull it upwards. Try this several times.
Everyone makes a “mushroom” and when the chute is at the highest point certain boys swap places according to instructions from the leaders. For instance: everyone with a birthday in July swap places – and all boys with July birthdays run across under the chute while it is in the air and try to be in a new place by the time the chute comes back down again. (Do not worry if the chute comes down while the boys are underneath as they will come to no harm, but be aware of boys who may be afraid if it does!) Suggestions for “swaps”:- boys with brown hair, with names beginning with a certain letter, who watch a certain television programme, who had chips for tea, who are in certain class at school, etc. Alternatively go around the circle giving everyone the name of one of four animals e.g. lion, elephant, horse and grizzly bear. If the leader calls a lion all of the lions must run under the chute to the opposite side and find a new place.
Chute and Ball
Everyone hold the parachute tight and the leader puts a light ball on the chute. Can the young people toss the ball in the air and catch it on the chute. How many times can they do it before it comes off the chute?
Cat and Mouse
Everyone stands in a circle with the chute held loosely at waist level. Choose someone as the mouse and someone else as the cat. The mouse goes under the parachute and the cat (without shoes) goes on top of the parachute. The cat must try to locate the mouse, but those holding the chute are gently waving the chute to make it impossible for the cat to see the mouse. Both cat and mouse must stay with the chute and not run out! When the cat does find the mouse they join the circle holding the chute and another cat and mouse are chosen.
The young people mushroom the parachute, but this time when the chute is at the highest point everyone lets go and tries to avoid the parachute as it comes down.
Place a ball on the taut chute. Can the young people roll it from one side to the other. If they can, divide those holding the chute into two teams, those on one side of the chute being team A and those on the other team. Team A try to roll the ball into the half of the chute being held by team B, but meanwhile team B are trying to roll the ball into team A’s side of the chute.
The young people hold the chute in a circle and the leader puts on the chute as many balls of different sizes as they can find. On the word “Go!” the young people must try to throw the balls off the chute without letting go!
Everyone holds the chute with their left hands and ensuring the chute stays taut following the leader’s instructions. If the leader says, “Walk around,” the children walk in a circle holding the chute taut. The leader might says: walk backwards, skip, hop on one foot, jump with both feet together. The leader might also call “Change hands” in which case the boys hold the chute with their other hand and go in the opposite direction.
A selected young person sits in the middle of the chute and the others holding the chute walk round clockwise allowing the centre to stay still. On the command all pull the chute tight causing the middle to spin.
P is for Parachute and Prayer
This prayer could be said at the end of the parachute games while all the young people are holding the parachute or it could be sued while the boys are actually under the parachute! Get the young people to mushroom the parachute, but as the parachute comes down keeping hold of the chute, they take their hands behind them and gently sit down on the edge of the parachute, making the parachute into a sort of tent. After the prayer ask the boys which letter many of the words began with.
Dear God, thank you for parachute fun. Thank you for energy to play, for being picked in the games, for pulling and pushing and for passing the ball. Thank you for plenty of fun with my pals. Dear God, thank you for parachute fun. Amen