I loved when we had parachute day in gym as a child – and I can still remember some of the parachute games we played as a class. With the kids being on electronics SO often these days – I was thinking this summer it might be fun to get a parachute and teach them some of those games!
You can pick up a parachute pretty inexpensively on Amazon in either 6′, 12′ or even 20′ size – and use it with your family, the neighborhood kids or have a fun surprise for Vacation Bible School! Here are some of the best games we ever played – I’d love to hear if you have more ideas!
Top 10 Parachute Games for Kids
Lift the parachute into the air and yell out two children’s names – who have to run under and trade places before it comes back down. This can be done with more than two children – for instance call out “Red shirt!” or “Black Shoes!” to determine which children have to run.
Have all the children pop their handle up into the air filling the parachute – and let one child run in and sit on the ground in the middle. Then have all the children softly bring their handles to the ground to create a “bubble” around that child until it comes all the way down. (This is so fun!) Take turns until everyone gets a chance.
Try to roll a ball all the way around the outer edge of the parachute, with everyone assisting it by either lowering or raising their corner as it comes by. As they get the hang of it – yell directions like REVERSE! and see if they can get better and better.
4. Hot Air Balloon:
On the count of three, have the kids lift the parachute up above their heads, take a big step inward and then bring their handle down behind them and hold it there. (We used to sit on ours!) While the parachute descends – you can throw in an extra challenge if you like – try to sing a certain song before it touches you, or recite something funny.
5. Hair Raiser:
Have the kids raise the chute all the way up above their heads and call a few children to come to the center and sit. As the parachute lowers, tell the kids to ripple the chute over and over, making waves on the sitting children. Try to keep it right at head-level and nice and tight (to build up static electricity). Then have the kids raise the chute up slowly, keeping it tight, and watch the hair rise!
Put several small beach balls, balloons, or other soft objects in the parachute and have everyone “pop” them up and down. If your parachute has a hole in the middle – you can make that an objective. If you have different colored balls – you can divide the parachute holders into teams and each team tries to bop their balls into the hole first.
7. Shaky Snakes:
Put a few jump ropes into the parachute and have them shake it in a way to keep the “snakes” from touching them.
Have everyone sit on the ground with legs under the parachute – and shake to create “waves” on the surface of the chute. Choose one person to be the shark and crawl under the parachute. It should be hard to tell where they are because of the rippling surface. If the shark tugs on your feet – you take his place as the new shark and disappear under the chute with a loud scream. (The old shark takes your place).
9. Shoot the Moon:
Put a ball into the center and as a group see just how high you can “shoot” the ball into the air using teamwork and tightening the parachute tension. Do this with water balloons as well!
10. Ball Escape:
If you have a big crowd this is a good one! Have some kids hold the parachute with several balls on it (this is like ball jail) and others be the “ball guards”. The kids holding the parachute try to pop the balls OFF of the chute to help them “escape” – while the ball guards quickly pick them up and toss them back onto the chute. Have a timer set to go off or whistle after a few minutes – and whichever team has more balls in their zone loses.
***Keep in mind that more competitive games where children are really yanking their handle for any reason may result in damaging your parachute sooner – so decide if those are worth it or not!
You may also want to check out this fun Glow in the Dark Ring Toss game you can make from Dollar Tree supplies!
And take a look at Paul’s post on Backyard Camping Ideas – that’s such a great birthday party theme!