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Why should you include your parachute in your activity planning? Regular use of a parachute can improve perceptual, social, and physical skills. Also, playing with a parachute requires cooperative play; there is absolutely no competition involved. Furthermore, parachute activities help children develop their sense of rhythm.
Playing with a parachute is fun for children and adults. There is something particularly appealing about this toy that remains somewhat magical, regardless of one's age.
The parachute available on our online store is made of colourful lightweight nylon. It boasts eight reinforced handles and measures 3.5 m (10 ft). It also comes with a nylon storage bag.
You can order it here: http://www.educatout.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=202_164&products_id=96
Here are a few simple parachute games that are perfectly adapted to young children:
Popcorn-Use the parachute to create small waves. Set a few tennis balls on the parachute and watch them bounce up and down.
Rolling balls-Set a few small balls on your parachute and encourage children to try to make them fall through the hole in the centre of the parachute.
One-handed race-Ask children to hold the parachute with a single hand, stretching their other arm out to keep their balance. Run around in circles in one direction, then change hands and run in the other direction. Another simple formula would be to use music to indicate when it's time to change direction. For example, every time the music stops, children must change direction.
Making waves-Children hold the parachute and move their arms up and down to create waves.
Raising the parachute-Ask children to lift the parachute high above their head before bringing it down again. Encourage them to pay attention to the sounds and the wind the parachute produces. Have them move the parachute much faster and notice any changes.
Mushroom-In a standing position, have children hold the parachute at waist level. Count to three as children slowly raise the parachute a little bit higher. At three, the parachute should be above their heads. Children must then quickly bring the parachute back down, holding it tightly behind their ears as they lie down on the floor. This will create a mushroom effect as the parachute falls to the ground.
Cat game-Have children raise the parachute high above their head. Invite one child to run, hop, or crawl from one side of the parachute to the other before the parachute comes down on him/her.
Pizza-Have children stretch the parachute flat out, holding it over their head. Encourage them to turn towards the right or the left before releasing it in the air.
Parachute race-Children take turns running on top of the parachute while the others shake it to create waves. See how long each child can last before falling down. Have children sing a song. When the song is over, it's the next child's turn.
Back and forth-Children sit around the parachute, holding the edges. Encourage them to move it back and forth.
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