10 Great Games to Play with a Parachute

Kids playing parachute gamesParachute games are always a delight kids look forward to. This colorful activity is a wonderful way to keep kids active outside as well as indoors, and can be a great lesson to show them the importance of teamwork. The best part is that any number of kids can participate. In fact, the more, the merrier! So gather everyone around for an afternoon of fun with 10 of our favorite parachute games.

Parachute Tag
Have children lift the parachute as high as they can overhead. While the parachute is up in the air, call one child's name and have them run to the other side before the parachute comes down and tags them out.

Mushroom
With kids running in a circle or making waves with the parachute, start calling out names of vegetables like celery, broccoli, corn, etc. Every once and a while yell out “Mushroom!” Once said, have the kids make a mushroom with the parachute by lifting it as high in the air as they can. Once in the air, kids now take turns calling other kids by interests or colors they’re wearing (ex. “Wearing white socks!” or “Have a ponytail!”) to run across to the opposite side before the parachute comes down on them.

Number Switch
Start this game by putting the children into groups by numbering off. Signal the children to raise the parachute and then one of the group’s numbers, like “3!” When the children’s number is called, have everyone in that group run under the parachute to switch places before they get tagged by the parachute on  its’ way down.

Popcorn
With kids holding the edges of the parachute, toss light plastic or foam balls on top. Tell the children to start popping the balls up by making waves with the parachute. Add more balls throughout the game to see how many can stay in the pan before one falls out. For more fun, select a few kids to go under the parachute to try and knock the balls out of the parachute while the others try to keep the balls in.

Snake Bite
Great if you have any extra craft supplies lying around! Split your kids into 2, 3, or 4 teams and have each team grab the parachute on opposite sides. Toss a few chenille stems or thick pieces of yarn into the middle of the chute. Have kids start shaking the chute with the aim of trying to get the pieces to touch players on the other side. Once touched that player is out of the game. The last team standing is the winner!

Weather Report
With kids holding the edges of the parachute, have them start to make waves like the ocean. Start yelling out a weather report for the ocean saying things like “there’s a slight breeze” or “the ocean has miraculously frozen up” or “Beware of tornadoes and hurricanes!” Have kids demonstrate with the parachute what each of your weather reports would look like. For even more creative fun, before you start have the kids name their “ocean”.

Sunken Treasures
Find an empty box to use as a treasure chest and put toys, odds and ends, or stuff from the kids in it. Place the full box under the parachute in the center. Have the players make waves with the parachute like it is an ocean. Send a diver or two to retrieve items from the box that you call out.

Shark Attack
Pick a kid to be the shark. Everyone but the shark sits around the outside of the parachute, holding it to their waist over their legs. The shark then crawls around under the parachute and pulls unsuspecting kids under the parachute. Once under, the kids become sharks, too.

Parachute Kickball
Separate your group into 2, 4, or 6 teams. Have the kids, standing together in each of their groups, grab the parachute and hold it tight with both hands at waist level. Roll a ball under the parachute and have the kids try and score goals by kicking the ball out from under the parachute passed opposing teams. This game works best when your parachute has large portions of colors to help section off each team.

Merry-Go-Round
Great for a large group! Lay the parachute flat on the ground and let one or two kids sit or lay down in the middle of it. Have all the other kids grab the edges of the parachute, pull tight and start walking or running in a circle turning the kid in the middle. Try and lift the kids in the middle off the ground for even more fun! Just be sure not to drop the parachute all at once to avoid hurting the kids in the middle with the sudden drop.

Watch a video to see how to play a few of the games mentioned here!

The most wonderful thing about play is that you have the chance to invent your own fun-filled games just by goofing around! For even more outdoor games, check out Backyard Summer Fun to find a whole host of awesome activities kids are sure to enjoy.