We are all familiar with group parachutes, but have you tried activities with two person parachutes? Alyssa Dabbenigno, a Physical Education teacher from Virigina, shares with us this fun activity using our Spectrum Connect-a-Chute Pack of parachutes as two person parachutes. Participants will learn to work together, practicing throwing, catching, and retrieving.
Two-Person- Outfield Scramble
Divide the class into TEAMS, preferably teams of 4 (Example: Flyers, Eagles, Capitals, Nationals, and Pirates)
- Two members from each team will be selected to hold the Parachute.
- Their job is to work together to “CATCH” the pop flies using the 2-person parachute. (The ball may not bounce or be rolled)
- Catchers may move side to side but can not cross the black line to get closer to thrower!
- IF they catch the pop-fly they must try to transfer the ball into the team hula hoop/basket (as shown be hind catchers in images) WITHOUT using their hands! (each pop-fly is a “run/score”)
- One member from each team will be selected to be the “Thrower”.
- Their job is to go through the 5 Steps of an Overhand Throw using the parachute as their target. Staying behind the cone they may throw 1 pop-fly at a time.
- The last member of the team is the “Retriever/Ball-boy/girl”.
- Their job is to run back to the bleachers where all of the objects (gatorskin balls, yarnballs, and rubber frogs) are scattered around. They may pick up one object at a time and RUN to the “Thrower”. Hand them the object – DO NOT roll or throw.
After each round rotate the players! Everyone should get a chance to throw, catch, and retrieve! (Add in a fitness component: while the “thrower” is waiting for a ball they are doing squats, jumping jacks, lunges, etc.)
By now you’ve realized the kids love parachutes. If this is your first time using the parachute, head over to our Parachute Basics post and start there. For those of you looking for a few new ideas, let’s add some balls and other accessories to the parachute fun.
First, which kind of balls should you use? It really depends on the game, but something safe, not too hard, and not too heavy. Here are a few of our favorites:
Now for the Games:
- Start with players stretching the chute out. Throw as many of the items, like listed above, onto the chute.
- Holding the chute tightly have everyone bounce the balls like popcorn as quickly as they can off the chute.
- You can evenly play with two teams, One side trying to keep the balls on the chute, which the other works to try and get them off the chute.
- Gather a ball or two that fits through the center hole.
- Participants will take turns trying to roll the ball into the center, through the hole.
We have so many different parachutes to choose from at S&S Worldwide! If you haven’t already purchased one, you’re missing out! However, once you do have your parachute, it is time to start having some fun! Below are a handful of ways to introduce the parachute to a group of children and get them working together as a team. Once you get the basics down, you’ll be ready to move onto more difficult and coordinated games.
The Basics of Parachute Play
- Have children evenly spread out around the parachute and hold the edges.
- Have everyone gently tug on the parachute, holding it low between knee level and the ground.
- On the count of three,in unison, raise the chute upwards. It should fill with air, rising up like a giant “mushroom”.
- Work on getting the mushroom as high as possible, having each child take a step or two into the center, eventually running to the center while still holding the chute.
- If all children are synchronized and let go of the chute as it is in the air, it should maintain its mushroom shape and rise.
- Have children evenly spread out around the parachute.
- Students should all turn sideways, facing the same way with one hand on the parachute.
- Now walk, jog, skip, jump and gallop around in a circle. Switch directions and hands from time to time. The chute should look like a merry-go-round. Continue reading
Rolling out the parachute on a sunny day is a great way to pull people of all ages and abilities together. Doing it with a smile, open expectations, and joy is a recipe for fun with both caretakers and the children they love. When S&S Worldwide was invited to participate in the Field Day with The Administration for Children Services New York City, we couldn’t have been more excited and ready to hit the road. We are aware of the needs of the youth served by ACSNYC and the work done every day by the staff, so this was a wonderful opportunity to fulfill our purpose to improve the social fabric by helping people play and learn.
The afternoon began with the expectations that staff would be exposed to a play group that focused on four key areas; social connections, internal control, active engagement, and JOY. Each activity was done with the parachute, Gator Skin balls, and Toss N Talk About Movement Ball. Each activity and the equipment used was predictable and safe, teaching the staff the value of predictability in the lives of the children they serve.
The only rules of our day – be safe and have fun.
The children were allowed and encouraged to lead the adults by telling us what they wanted from their time with the parachute; whether it was the opportunity to go under, go on, or just do crazy shakes of the parachute as a group. After some “AWESOME” shakes and some big shakes, Continue reading