What are the benefits of parachute games?
Parachute games are great for children in the early years and can easily entertain a large group of children. These are great for children of all ages and abilities which makes them an incredibly popular purchase by early years settings. There are many benefits of playing parachute games, these include:
1. Promotes skills in all areas of the EYFS
2. Team Work
3. Turn Taking
4. Communication and language skills
5. Hand-eye Coordination
6. Following instructions
7. Sensory development
8. Gross Motor Skills
9. Fun, Fun, Fun
All of the below games can be simplified or made more complex depending on the age and stage of the children.
1. Washing Machine –
Place some items such as jumpers or teddies on the parachute. Ask the children to take a handle each and listen carefully for the instructions. The children must act like the washing machine and walk round in a circle, you can shout instructions such as ‘faster’, ‘slower’, or ‘change direction (stops the children getting too dizzy) After the clothes have been washed the children have to then tumble dry them. This can be done by encouraging the children to softly bounce the clothes on the parachute.
2. Cat and Mouse –
Children all sit on the floor holding a handle of the parachute. One child is then picked to be the cat and one is picked to be the mouse. The Cat must sit on top of the parachute and close his eyes while everybody counts to 10. While everyone is counting the mouse must hide under the parachute and crawl around underneath. After ten all the children need to shake the parachute to hide where the mouse is. The cat then opens his eyes and has to crawl around and feel on top to find the mouse underneath.
3. Popcorn –
This can be a simple ball game with ball pit balls on the parachute, and the children pretend they are popcorn kernels and try and pop them off the top. This can be done until all the balls have fallen off. Alternatively to add some challenge the children can count the balls and the pop them off stopping whenever the practitioner says to count how many are left or how many have fallen off. This can also be turned into adding and subtracting.
4. Songs and Rhymes –
Great for babies and children of all ages. Songs such as 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed can be done by placing teddies on the parachute, singing and then bouncing one off at a time. Babies can be placed underneath the parachute whilst practitioners gently move it up and down singing songs. Also songs such as the grand old duke of york are good to do while holding onto the parachute.
5. Fruit Salad –
Choose three fruits and then go around the children giving them the name of the fruit that they are going to be, try to keep the groups as equal in numbers as possible. The children stand shaking the parachute and listen for their fruit to be called out. When a fruit is called, the children have to raise the parachute while the children whose fruit has been called run underneath and swap places with someone of the same fruit. Fruit Salad can be called, so all the children swap places and the same time before the parachute falls to the floor. To simplify this game two children’s names could be called for them to swap places.