W A V E - Where one person puts hands up and person next to her follows action. (like the wave at a baseball game)
MUSHROOM - Everyone lowers the chute and then on the count of three raise their arms high once the chute is quite high - everyone takes 3-4 giant steps toward the center and pulls the chute behind them and sit down with their bottoms on the edge of the chute.
THE OCEAN - Try to let everyone who wants to have a turn 'in the ocean'. Everyone is standing and one or two children (shoes off) go toward the center and lie down - then all make waves - it's a neat sensation.
MERRY GO ROUND - Turn the body so that the chute is held with only one hand, walk, hop, jump, skip around holding the chute. It looks like a merry-go-round. It is also neat to let one lie in the middle and go for a ride - when everyone is holding with one arm and facing the same direction and walking.
RUNNING BY NUMBERS - If the chute is a large one...the kids love to run underneath and switch places with others - could number them 1 through 5 around the circle- and then call out a number. (Lots of screams for this one.)
BOUNCING BALLS - The canopy is held taut at chest height with 2 or 3 foam footballs on the surface. 3 or 4 children underneath the canopy have to try to knock the balls off while those around the canopy try to keep them on.
POISON SNAKE - Place four to six pieces of yarn or rope on the chute. By shaking the chute, try to make them hit the players on the other side. Keep track of who gets bitten.
POPCORN - Place a number of small plastic balls, beanbags, or small stuffed animals on the chute. Shake the chute to make them rise like popcorn.
PARACHUTE RUN - Have the children take turns running on the parachute as it lies on the ground, while the other children make waves. See how long the children can maneuver on the waves before falling down. The length of turns can be determined by songs that the children choose to sing (i.e. everyone's turn lasts the length of one song).
PARACHUTE TAG - Lift the parachute high overhead. Call one child's name and have her run (skip, hop, twirl or crawl) to the other side before the parachute comes down and tags her.
ONE HAND RUN - Have each child hold the parachute with one hand, extending the opposite arm out for balance. Run around in one direction, then change and run around in the other direction. A variation would be to use music as the cue for changing direction (i.e. direction can be changed every time the music stops).
CHUTE LIFT - Ask the children to lift the parachute high over their heads and down again. Talk about the soft sounds and breezes that are created. Move the parachute faster and notice the different effects.
BIG TURTLE - Have the children get on their hands and knees under a large "turtle shell" and try to make the turtle more in one direction. As a cooperative game, children have to work together to get the turtle to move. Variation: Have the turtle go over a hill or bench or through an obstacle course without losing the shell.
ROLLERBALL - Everyone holds the chute taut. Place a large ball near the edge. Try to make the ball roll around the edge of the chute. To do this someone starts the ball rolling. As it comes towards you, you lower the edge you are holding, and as it goes past you raise your edge. When all the players do this in synchronization it creates a wave going round the edge, pushing the ball round in front of it in a smooth, steady circle. It can not be done without concentration and co-operation! However, it is very rewarding for the group to eventually achieve a smooth, continuous motion. Once you've done this try speeding up - or change direction.
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