Best selling author and award winning P.E. teacher J.D. Hughes shares with us his best parachute game:
The Mountain Climber is one of many tricks you can perform with the parachute. I purchased my 45″ parachute from S&S Worldwide. It is very durable, made with a very strong nylon material and comes with a mesh center. There are 4 different colors or 8 of each color, creating 32 individual spaces. My classes are typically large so I allow students to double up and share colors when all of the colors are taken.
Instructions for The Mountain Climber
The key to the mountain climber is capturing and keeping all of the air inside the parachute for as long as possible. Try a few practice runs before allowing students to climb by instructing students to go up with the parachute and then down, but instead of squatting down to trap the air inside, practice lying down sideways on top of the parachute at the very edge of the parachute.
Now students are ready for the actual Mountain Climber. Note: before actually starting, remind students that there will be a hole left by the color (called out by the teacher) that begins climbing the mountain. It’s the job of those students lying at the bottom of the parachute to completely cover their hole and the hole of the climbers to eliminate, as much as possible, the air from escaping.
Begin the process of going up and then down and immediately lie down to trap the air inside. Next call one color to begin crawling/climbing up and on top of the parachute with the goal of reaching the center before turning around and coming back. Remind these students to move slowly and carefully and not to jump or belly flop on top of the parachute because it is only air that is holding them up. See the video below for an example:
About J.D. Hughes
J.D. Hughes has taught elementary physical education since 1995 in Douglasville, GA. He has received numerous awards including 2015 Georgia and Southern District SHAPE America Elementary PE Teacher of the Year and the GAHPERD Acknowledgement Award. J.D. provides a challenging yet developmentally appropriate physical education learning environment striving for motor skill and social skills development, physical fitness and cognitive awareness as recognized by SHAPE standards. He has published five books and produced four related DVDs including No Standing Around in My Gym, PE2theMax, PE2theMax II, PE² and HyPEd Up.
Check out his page on our site!
For more fun parachute games, check out our blog Parachute Basics – Introductory Games for Kids