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Help! Its the end of the year, brain is frazzled and could really do with some lovely new ideas for using small equipment (balls/hoops etc).Done lots of throwing/catching skills devmt and rotating around 'stations' of equipment. Anyone doing anything exciting to revive me & the kids?!! :o

PS anyone doing anything exciting with a parachute?(at school of course)

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Use the hoops as posts for a relay race. 2 hoops per team. Half team by one with one child in the hoop. At the other end is the other half of team with one in hoop. First child in each team runs to their other hoop and passes a beanbag to the other child who runs back with it to give it to the next child (who has moved into the hoop) Does that make sense?


Do you have bats to put the beanbags on for big-scale egg and spoon?


Skipping with hoops? Hulla round the waist? Rolling the hoops then throwing a beanbag into where it lands.


Have you rolled balls between cones?


Relay races in general. Remember the old party games where you have to pass a ball between your legs along a line and the back person runs to the front and starts again?

Tennis ball under hte chin passed to next under chin with no hands.

Football between knees passed to knees without hands.

3-legged races.


Acting out the bear hunt story getting children to use equipment to make scenery....

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Just the other day we were playing with hoops, rolling them between two cones when I showed the children my hoop recall trick.

I hold the hoop as if to roll it but throw it low and flick the wrist to rotate the hoop (toward me) as I throw it. This causes the hoop (on landing) to roll back towards me. The children were delighted and amazed when I beckoned the hoop with my finger and commanded it to "Come to me".


It sounds complicated and I hope I have explained it in a way that makes sense. :o

After a few tries one of my four year olds successfully did the same, he was really excited and showed everyone his new "trick". :D




p.s. best done with a small group as children tend to try and catch the hoop as it is rolling xD

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Parachute games are great for encouraging the children to work together. We use one successfully with 30 Nursery children at a time and they really enjoy it. We start by just holding the parachute while standing and imagine being on a beach on a lovely summers day. The waves are gentle so we all carefully flap the parachute in small movements. The wind gets a little stronger so we flap a bit harder and faster, and then there's big storm - so we really make the parachute move up and down fast. We then reverse the whole thing to calm down again.


We then practise what we call a "mushroom". Count to three together, then all raise arms (and parachute) above head, shouting "mushroom", then slowly pull it down again. The children really have to work together to get it to make a mushroom shape. With practise, they can make a tent. When they pull the parachute back down again, they pull over their heads behind them and all sit with bottoms on the edge. That way as the parachute comes down they all end up sitting inside a big tent.


Other games:


1. Swapsies

Call out 2 children's names from opposite sides of the parachute. They wave to each other so they know where they are, then we do "mushroom" and those two have to swap places underneath. Work your way around the parachute so that all children have a go.


Another version is to call out a particular attribute, eg "wearing orange", "everyone in red group" and those children have to run under the parachute whilst it is mushroomed and out the other side.


2. Cat and mouse

Choose one child to be cat and one to mouse. You could have two of each. The mice crawl around under the parachute. The cats crawl on top of the parachute. The other children holding the parachute crouch down and gently make it ripple. The cats have to catch (or just touch) the mice.


3. Balloon fun

Place a balloon in the centre of the parachute. Children flap the parachute trying to keep the balloon from floating away. Can also be done with lightweight balls - place a light-weight football on the chute surface and experiment with moving it. What happens when you shake the parachute, can you flip the ball off over people's head? Using a small ball (tennis ball) can you drop the ball through the hole in the middle, can you stop the ball disappearing? These demand fairly sophisticated co-ordination skills, but in short spells can be fun.


4. Bouncing Balls

Hold the parachute at chest height with 2 or 3 lightweight balls on the surface. 3 or 4 children underneath the canopy have to try to knock the balls off whilst those around the canopy try to keep them on.


5. Merry go Round

Turn sideways so that the parachute is held with only one hand, walk, hop, jump, skip around holding the chute. It looks like a merry-go-round.


6. Popcorn

Place a number of beanbags on the parachute. Children shake the chute to make them rise like popcorn.


7. Para-circle

You can adapt any circle game, fishes in the sea, I sent a letter etc. using the parachute to maintain the circle form. These sort of games consist of one or more children racing around the circle and back to their space, or any free space.

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We have great fun with the parachute - cat and mouse is our favourite game at the moment, bu there are a few there that sound great - I will be definately be trying them next week.


One thing I have done before is to ask children to make their own game out of sets of objects (in pairs or small groups). I found this worked when we had done lots of different games beforehand as children remembered those ideas and adapted them. We them played some of the games together. :D

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