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Parachute Play For Outdoors


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Hi Everyone!

I am doing my EYPS full time and I am struggling with ideas of leading and suporting a team where I dont really work.

I have notice the staff don't interact with the children when they are outside, so I thought of planing a parachute game where the staff would be motivted to join in.

Any ideas of any games? indoor or outdoors? for 2 to 3 and 3 to 5 years old?


I am blanc at the moment.....any help?????

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The children will not be able to manage a parachute without adult support and I would suggest that you would be better to familiarise them with the parachute indoors where it is easier to handle. There is a very good book by Jenny Mosely but the name escapes me at the moment and my copy is at school! Otherwise try a google search as I am sure I have seen things online. There may even be some ideas here if you search!

Good Luck.

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See-Saw Pull: From a sitting position, have the children pull the chute back and forth in a seesawing


Make Waves: While gripping the parachute, everyone moves their arms up and down to make small

and large waves.

Bag Roll: Have the children try to roll balls into the hole in the center of the parachute.

Chute Lift: Ask the children to lift the parachute high over their heads and down again. Talk about

the soft sounds and breezes that are created. Move the parachute faster and notice the different





Popcorn: Start with everybody holding the chute stretched out. Throw as many soft balls as you can

find on to the chute. Then see how quickly you can bounce them off without letting go of the chute.

Alternatively you can have half of the children trying to bounce the balls off and half trying to keep

them on.

Bouncing Balls: Start as above and this time have two or three children under the chute. The

children under the chute have to try and push off the balls while everyone else tries to keep them


Rollerball: Everyone holds the chute taut. Place a large ball near the edge. Try to make the ball roll

around the edge of the chute. To do this, someone starts the ball rolling. As it comes towards you,

you lower the edge you are holding, and as it goes past you raise your edge. When all the players do

this in synchronisation, it creates a kind of wave going round the edge of the chute which pushes the

ball in a smooth steady circle. It can not be done without concentration and co-operation, but it is

very rewarding for a group to eventually achieve the correct motion. Once you have mastered the

correct motion try changing the direction or speeding up.

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Find different pieces of music, slow, fast etc. and move the parachute in time to it. The Blue Danube is good to use as this changes speed within the same piece. If you can, try and get hold of the music "Popcorn" by Hotbutter then the idea that Marion has posted is made even better. We use the balls for ball pools, Tesco's sell them and so do Early Learning. The children love it as the balls fly everywhere-adults need to duck for safety! It's a good exercise collecting the balls together. This is one of our favourites and we have to do it over and over again.


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With the 'littlies' you can just walk around singing 'Ring a ring a roses'.

With older children they can all hold a handle. Then you all lift it up and the adult calls 2 childrens names (who are placed opposite each other) and they have to run underneath and swap places before it drops down.

There is a little book on parachute play with lots of ideas in it.

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I went on a course by jenny mosley, it was great, one game we played was sharks, everyone sits on the floor with their legs stretched out under the parachute, holding on, no one is allowed to peak under the parachute, one child is chosen to be the shark, they crawl under neath and pull someone under, then they help pick someone else, this continues till everyone is under the parachute, the kids love it.. we also sang row row row your boat, rocking backwards and forwards holding the parachute with legs stretched out underneath...

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One thing I would say is, as Susan said, you need to let the children and staff get used to the parachute with some fairly easy things at first. We do the wheels on the bus, passing the parachute through our hands, we walk round with it singing, and we play games with soft toys. We put a small soft toy on the parachute and the children have to get it over to a named child.

The children also love to either sit or lie underneath it while the adults gently waft it up and down. Watch their hair as it stands on end with static.


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Grand Old Duke of York-singing and using chute as words say

Change-all hold in right hand and go in one direction, shake tamberine for speed, bang tamberine and children swop hands and change direction

Traffic lights-children hold a panel which becomes their colour.When you shout a colour they have to move on to the next panel of the same colour.

Going under-name 2 children from opposite sides of the chute.On the count of 3 everyone else lifts the chute and the 2 children go under and swop places.We played this game last year alot as it was something a child in an electric wheel chair could join in with sucessfully during PE

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Thank you everyone for all the great ideas! Cant wait to do it all! I had the idea of the parachute as the satff don't interact with the children, and I have tried other activities and they have all gone to a corner and left me alone to do it, as i had planned, so I now will make sure that without their support the game won't work.

Thank you again!

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