Looking at a parachute, you would probably think it’s not much more than some fabric sewn together. What if you could turn a parachute into a magical experience and engage even the most resistant person in the room? Brian Armstrong definitely added some magic into our Parachute Play Experience. He demonstrated how simple alterations to games we currently play can be made into powerful experiences that help with engaging playfulness.
Brian talked about the four defining points of playfulness, and how to easily move through them with a few simple supplies.
4 Points of Playfulness:
- Active Engagement
- Social Connection
- Internal Control
Before starting the activity, Brian pointed out a few different areas. He had a Safe Zone set up for anyone who may not want to participate. There was also a Sit-Out Spot where someone might go to engage in an activity by themselves while still observing the main group. Then, he had the main activity in the center of the room. He explained that these alternative spots are a great option for any participant who may not feel ready to be engaged with everyone. Though they are sitting to the side, they get to experience the session without feeling overwhelmed or over stimulated and they are encouraged to join at any time.
Brian demonstrated physical warm ups, activities that get the heart going and build the energy level, and a cool down to refocus and debrief after the activities. He included some simple alterations to Parachute Play including letting the participants pick how we were going to shake the parachute. In this case, someone chose a tornado which consisted of moving the parachute up and down while moving in a circle, which everyone loved and it was still very simple. This encourages creative thinking for the participant, and regardless of age or ability level, everyone can enjoy and feel engaged. Making just a few changes to games we currently play can help engage participants and encourage positive behavior.
Brian also included a story called The Snowy Day, which consisted of a young boy enjoying the newly fallen snow and a snow ball fight. He transitioned from the book into an activity that tied into the story to get us up and fully moving using the fleece balls and the super 90 Gator Skin balls.
This Parachute Play workshop was a perfect vehicle for encouraging teamwork as well as enhancing motivation and positive behavior, we couldn’t stop smiling and laughing while we were engaged in this activity and we all left feeling better about ourselves and more connected as a team.
Submitted by: Crystal Jeka & Amy Garvin, Account Representatives at S&S Worldwide