Touch The Rainbow
Parachute games are great for team building and teaching cooperation. As opposed to many sports and games that encourage competition, at the heart of parachute games is a wonderful, cooperative spirit. Whether you are working with balls, bean bags, or just your own bodies, players have to work together to achieve a common goal. With the games listed below, you can use any size play parachute, but 16’ or more will work best. So grab onto a handle and get ready to touch the rainbow!
Surf the wave
Begin by having each child hold onto a parachute handle and pull the parachute taut. Have a player place a beach ball on the edge of the parachute. Using cooperative skills, work as a team to move the ball along the edge of the parachute all the way around the circle. Players will have to lower and raise their arms to get the ball to surf along the “wave.”
This is a fun icebreaker game that can help players learn each other’s names. With all players holding onto a handle, inflate the parachute. Call out the names of two players. Before the parachute falls, the players race to swap places. Alternatively, you can also call out favorite colors, favorite foods or birth months and have everyone who falls into the category switch places.
Load up the parachute with a gangload of lightweight colorful balls. (Ping pong balls also work well for this activity!) Have the players shake the parachute to “pop” the popcorn. Try to pop the popcorn as high as you can without letting any “kernels” drop to the ground.
All players grab parachute handles and inflate the parachute as high as it will go into the sky. Now, working in unison, everyone squats down on their knees and pulls the parachute behind them so that the parachute stays inflated like a mushroom.
This game requires two parachutes. Divide the players evenly into two teams. Place a soft ball in the center of one parachute and work as a team to toss it onto the other chute. See how many times you can toss the ball back and forth before it touches the ground.
Use the parachute to forecast the weather. Have one child be the weatherman and make a forecast. For example, “Today, high winds will sweep the plains.” The rest of the players have to use their imagination to try to make the parachute reflect the weather report. Other weather ideas might include snow, hail, gentle breezes, raining cats and dogs, tornado, etc.