Watching videos and movies with people falling from high altitudes and activating their parachutes mid-air is fantastic. Children of all ages love watching that – especially toddlers who are just discovering the world.
That’s why playing with a parachute can be so much fun. Here, we’ll show you some of the best parachute games for kindergarteners you can try at home.
Why Should Kindergarteners Play with a Parachute?
Parachutes may seem like no more than simple pieces of fabric. But there’s more to them than that. A group of toddlers can get tons of advantages from playing with one, like:
Strengthen Motor Skills
Playing with a parachute is almost an entirely physical activity. At young ages, running, jumping, dancing, crouching, and general physical movement with a parachute is extremely helpful.
Improve Social Skills
Making kindergarteners communicate with each other with the right games can be incredibly nourishing socially, pushing them to develop their skills useful in the future.
Learn & Develop Intellectually
From simple letters and numbers, colors, countries, cities, animals, plants, and everything in between – parachute games can be a starting point for kids to learn what they should at this stage.
Have Tons of Fun!
The main reason a parachute can be such a useful toy is teaching all kinds of stuff while being a lot of fun. Whatever the actual game, kindergarteners can have a blast with a parachute.
11 Parachute Games for Kids to Play in Kindergartens
Now that you’ve learned about the advantages, let’s learn what these parachute games for kids are:
1. Colored Balls Competition
Nothing is more fun than having children compete with each other in teams. In the right way, it prevents confrontation and makes them have lots of fun – as an introduction for more advanced team sports in the future. Here’s how this one goes:
- Start by making the kids grab the parachute and hold it at hip level. They have to be of a similar height for a better experience.
- While the kids grab the parachute, make teams. There should be two or three teams. Then, you need to add balls of different colors depending on the number of groups.
- The game’s focus is for the children to agitate the parachute so that the balls of the other team(s) fall out.
- Whoever manages to get rid of the other team’s colored balls wins the game.
This game works to socialize kids, measure their competitiveness, and see how well they can work in teams. Suffice to say, it can be a lot of fun.
We’re going to start with the most benevolent and easiest of games. The mushroom is all about getting the kids moving and breaking the ice.
It’s as simple as this:
- Make the toddlers grab different parts of the chute, preferably from the handles. Each kid should be in a different position.
- Then tell them to life the chute so it’s all over their heads (their arms should be extended above)
- Give them a sign and tell them to bring it down now. The air between the floor and the chute will make it look like a mushroom.
- Next, make them do the same but fast. Whoever stays out of the mushroom loses.
This game could be utterly non-competitive if you want, and it works as an excellent starter for most backyard parties.
3. Parachute Turtle
A game about coordination and a lot of movement, a parachute turtle is super-fun and can be used as a racing game. Here’s how to play it:
- Tell the kids to grab the parachute from the inside, but separated, so they’re holding a different position.
- Once children are below the parachute, tell them to crouch without letting go of the parachute.
- In this position, the chute above their hoods will make them look like a turtle. They have to walk in this position.
- If you want to add some more fun, make two or three groups of children do the same. But instead of walking mindlessly, tell them that whoever reaches a certain point wins a race.
It could be beneficial to break the ice, make kids have a lot of fun, and more importantly, push them to do some exercise in the process.
4. Merry-Go Round
Like the famous “Simon Says,” the activity teaches kids to follow instructions and act rapidly to them (in a fun way!) while still moving a lot. Here’s how it works:
- Tell the kids to grab the parachute from the borders. They should be well-separated and looking the same way, so they can run in a circle without stumping with each other.
- In this position, tell them to run in a circle slowly. But in the process, start telling them different commands like walk, crouch, stand, sit, jump, and so on.
- Whoever can’t follow the command they’re told, loses and has to get out of the game. That’s why it is also a listening game they can get a lot from.
- To make it harder, you could add speed and confusion, giving them commands in different ways, making them switch directions, and changing positions so they can’t always follow them easily.
The game will make even the most serious and timid of kids have a lot of fun. Be aware, though, it can be incredibly competitive (SO BE CAREFUL!)
5. Position Swapping
Teaching kids stuff is not easy – especially in kindergarten. But you can make them play a game where they need to know them to enjoy. That’s where position swapping enters into play. It goes like this:
- Tell the children to grab the parachute from different places on the border. They have to be standing for the game to work.
- In this position, start assigning a number, color, or animal to the kids. But you have to assign the same one to two or three kids at once. The focus is to form a team that identifies with such numbers, animals, or colors.
- Each team will have to run and swap position when their number, color, or animal is yelled. The adult or teacher can yell at two teams at once, so the game gets even more entertaining.
- These teams need to swap positions before the parachute touches the floor. The team that loses is out.
You can use many other things to play, like cities, countries, fruits, vegetables, and just whatever. It will be tons of fun either way!
6. Shake Hands
A similar game to swapping can be the shaking-hands game. Instead of working as a teaching mechanism, this one is more of an ice-breaking game. It can help children get to know each other better and bond. Here’s how it works:
- The kids should be grabbing the parachute above their heads so that it will need to travel for a few seconds down before it touches the floor.
- Now, you can use colors, numbers, animals, or whatever. But we recommend using their own names instead.
- When the teacher or adults says two of their names, these two children have to let go of the parachute, go below it and shake hands. Then, they have to come back and grab the parachute from the same place as before.
- If the parachute touches the floor, they have to leave the game. You can add variations of the elimination method (or have none at all)
It’s super fun, makes children exercise, and helps them know each other better. Children who struggle to socialize may find this one especially useful.
7. The Sea Treasure
Another game that could be both a learning tool and a direction-taking exercise is the sea treasure. Like it sounds, it’s about making children go fetch a treasure under the sea (the parachute). It’s pretty simple:
- Bring a set of treasures (toys, shapes, balls, colored objects, etc.) that children can fetch. Place them under the parachute.
- Now make the kids grab the parachute and hold it at chest level (so they can still crouch below). Tell them to agitate the parachute, so it looks like sea waves.
- In this position, they will already have some fun. But you can make it even more entertaining by yelling one of the kid’s names and tell them to fetch something specific from below.
The focus is to confuse the kids and make them fetch different stuff. This could be a lot of fun. More importantly, it will help them understand directions more quickly, teach them shapes, about toys, and a lot more.
8. Cat & Mouse
Some of the most entertaining games are often the ones that make kids compete with each other. Even as toddlers, the adrenaline and rush of competing can be incredibly helpful. It could also work as a socializing activity. The cat and mouse game is precisely that:
- One child will be the mouse. The others will be the cats. Exactly as it sounds, the cats will try to catch the mouse from under the parachute.
- But there’s a catch. They need to grab the parachute while the mouse stays under it. Once you yell one of the cat’s names, they have to go and catch the mouse.
- If they can’t catch the mouse within a certain amount of time, they become the mouse. This will keep on forever.
- In the process, the kids that hold the parachute will have to wiggle the fabric to make it harder for the cat to catch the mouse.
This can be an excellent ice-breaking activity to assess their competitiveness and their ability to socialize and play without getting mad.
9. Rhythmic March
Purely physical activities are always worth trying with toddlers. This one adds a lot of singing and dancing, which children love as well. It goes like this:
- The toddlers should be grabbing the parachute. This time, they should be holding it in a way they’re all looking in the same direction.
- Then start singing, preferably a nursery rhyme or a kid’s song they can also sing. At this moment, they should march around while grabbing the chute.
- You should then change the lyrics and/or make the children move with the song’s rhythm. This will help them develop motor skills and obviously have a lot of fun.
There’s no loser or winner in this game. It’s all about having fun, singing, dancing, and running.
10. Color, Number & Animal Quiz
Are kids just learning the basics of numbers, animals, and colors? What better to test their knowledge than to quiz them directly? Here’s where a parachute gets entertaining and useful at teaching:
- Make the children step around the parachute. Because the chute is made of different colors, you can command other children to step on a specific color.
- To make it more exciting, you can assign a number to each kid. Once you say the number and color, that kid needs to jump into the parachute color.
- And for the cherry on top, you can make them produce an animal sound once they step into the right color.
The game is tons of fun, doesn’t require winners or losers, and still helps them learn a thing or two. There’s nothing to lose.
11. Retrieve the Shoes
The kindergarten stage is when more children learn basic stuff like how to tie their shoes and dress themselves. Retrieve the shoes is one of those games that helps them learn basic things like these. Here’s how to make it useful:
- First, start by making the toddlers take their shoes out and place them on the grass or patio concrete.
- Every kid should be holding the parachute. They should be in a circle position, obviously. The chute should be at about shoulder level.
- At this position, assign a number to two kids. This will be a team. Each team will have to go below the parachute and put on their shoes when their number is called.
- It’s fun because they will have to run and put their shoes on command (some will have to learn to tie them up in the process). But it is also a practice for numbers. And more interestingly, it can be a team game.
One of the most physically-exhausting and helpful games out there with a parachute is also pretty easy to play.
Don’t let toddlers get bored at a party or get home without exerting all their energy out. With these parachute games for kindergarteners, you’ll also have tons of fun to enjoy with them.
It’s not easy to break the ice and make children play with each other in some cases. But with games like these, it will be a piece of cake.
Because these games can be highly competitive and physical, an adult needs to be always close just in case.
We recommend trying them all nonetheless. They’re tons of fun and incredibly nourishing in many ways!