Parachute games encourage cooperative, non-competitive
play and reinforce turn-taking and sharing.
submitted by penny willett on March 18, 2006
Size of Group: 6-8 (lower funtioning resident)
Equipment: parachute or large circle divided into sections, bean
bags, various actions on cards
Objective: self esteem, memory recall
1) Place residents in a circle
parachute with simple actions in each section (say a nursery
a cheer, yell your name 3x's)in the centre.
3) take turns tossing the bean bag and either the person does
the action or we all do it together Hint; put actions on both
sides of cards to make it more interesting
Ripples and Waves
Simply have everyone start shaking the parachute up and
down... start gently. Gradually increase the intensity. Yell,
"FREEZE" to stop the action!
Call out birthday months,
numbers, colours.Participants swap places under the chute
before it falls to
earth. Make sure that the those who remain around the
edge allow the canopy to fall rather than pulling it down
Cat and Mouse
Everyone holds the chute stretched
out at about waist height. Someone becomes a mouse and
Someone else becomes a cat and goes on top. The rest of
the group try to hide the mouse by moving the chute up and
down. (Note: this activity can be hard on the knees... a
nice soft grassing ground is the best place to play this
very active. Also make sure the cat is crawling on
all fours and not running upright).
On the count of three participants
raise their arms, lifting the chute over their heads, pulling
the chute behind
them sitting down with their bottoms on the edge of the
chute. It's good to practice
this so that the group can learn to work effectively as
a team and get the chute really high. It won't work without
co-operation. This is a nice quiet activity.
Variations on Mushroom
Once the basic mushroom is mastered try experimenting.
1) Everyone mushrooms and then runs to the center, still holding
2) Everyone mushrooms, then lets go, especially outdoors on
a windy day!
3) Everyone lets go at exactly the same time. If there isn't
any wind, the chute will retain its perfect mushroom shape
and rise straight up in the air. Indoors it may go up to
the ceiling. To get this right it's best for someone to shout "One..
Two.. Three.. Go!", or similar, immediately after the "Mushroom!" instruction.
For everyone to let go at exactly the right instant will
take practice and concentration.
Place a number of beanbags (or other objects) on the chute.
Everyone shake the chute to make them rise like popcorn.
From a sitting position, have the group pull the chute back
and forth in a see-sawing motion.
NO PARACHUTE? Helen Melloy suggests using a sheet