Popcorn: Place a number of beanbags, small balls, or cotton balls onto the parachute. Shake to make them pop up like “popcorn”.
Ball Roll: Have the children try to roll balls into the hole in the middle of the parachute. (Or have children try to keep the balls from going into the hole in the center.)
Making Waves: Children can make small, medium, or large movements to make various types of “waves.” You can incorporate a story about a ship on the sea, weather, etc. &/or use your voice as a tool to emphasize directives.
Merry-Go-Round: Children turn their bodies sideways and hold the chute with one hand. They then walk around in a circle, making a “Merry-Go-Round.” For variety, children can hop, skip, jump, etc. You can stop music as a cue to reverse and go the other direction.
Parachute Tag: Lift the parachute high into the air. Call out two children’s names. They must trade empty spots by running under the chute, before it comes down on them.
Mushroom: Standing, lift the parachute waist height. Count to three – with “one” and “two” being small practice lifts. On three, all lift the chute overhead and crouch down pulling the parachute edges down as well. This creates what looks like a “mushroom.”
The Wave: Children put their hands up, one after another, in order – creating a synchronized “wave” like in the stands at a baseball game.
All Change: The Teacher calls out birthday months, pre-assigned numbers, colors, etc., and those children swap places under the chute before it falls and run to an empty space.
Shoe Shuffle: Count off. All of a selected number take off one shoe and throw it in the middle under the chute. On the count of three, raise the chute and the designated children have to run under and find their shoe before the chute comes down.
Flying Saucer: All take one step forward upon lifting the chute in the air. Upon command, all let go, and watch as it slowly floats.
Turtle: The parachute becomes a giant turtle shell with everyone underneath it on hands and knees. Everyone must cooperate and work together to get the turtle to move about.
Parachute Volleyball: Split into two sides of the parachute. One side tries to knock the ball off of the other side (half of chute), right past the other “team.” Play 3 points to win. Very energetic!
Parachute Tag: Lift the parachute high overhead. Call one child’s name and have that child run (or skip, hop, twirl or crawl) to the other side before the parachute comes down and touches the child.
Parachute Run: Have the children take turns running on the parachute as it lies on the ground, while the other children make waves. See how long the children can maneuver on the waves before falling down. Songs can determine the length of turns that the children choose to sing (i.e. everyone’s turn lasts the length of one song).