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Several of these parachute games can also be played with a large flat bedsheet in a pinch. These are best suited to groups of 6-15 players, depending on the size of your parachute.
This warm-up game is a great way to introduce the parachute to new players.
Have the players spread out around the parachute and grasp the edge in both hands. On the leader's signal, they beging moving their arms up and down in small motions, then bigger, then very big, and back to smaller motions. To help the players visualize the waves, invent an ocean that starts with calm seas and sunshine, but then the wind picks up and a storm hits. Then the storm dissipates, and the sea grows calm again.
For this game, all the players spread out around the outside of the parachute. Players together raise then lower their section of parachute, each time making it reach a little higher in the air. When the leader sees it reach the highest point, the signal is given and the players step under the chute, then sit on the inside edge. The players are now inside the "mushroom".
It is important that while in the mushroom, the players stay around the edge of the chute. When the chute looses it's air, lift the chute and step out again.
To play this game you need to use a parachute with different coloured sections (or see variations below for other options).
Players spread out around the chute and grasp either side of a colour panel. They begin making waves (unison up and down, not random wiggles) and the leader shouts out a colour. The players on that colour must run under the chute while it is up and switch places before the chute drops again. Ensure that the players holding the chute let it fall and don't force it down. To make it more interesting, the leader can call out two colours. It is important that the players stay in control to avoid bumping into one another under the chute.
Variation: Assign numbers, days of the week, months of the year, etc. to pairs of students and call those out instead.
For this game, choose 1 or 2 players to be the "mouse/mice" and 1-3 players to be the "cat(s)".
The mice crawl under the parachute and try not to be caught, while the cats crawl around on the top (crawling--the parachute is too slippery to be walked upon!) and try to tag the mice. The remaining players spread out around the outside of the parachute holding on and making waves to make it more challenging for both the cats and the mice.
Either when a mouse is caught or when the players have reached their time limit (2 minutes works well), then new cats/mice are chosen and the former ones make waves.
To play Popcorn, you will need several soft, lightweight balls or sponges. Pingpong balls work well, as do lightweight golf "practice" balls.
Players spread out around the outside of the chute and grasp the edges with both hands.
Begin by making gentle waves, then the leader starts todding the balls (or sponges) onto the top of the chute. These will pop around with the waves of the chute. Play until all of the balls are off the chute, or make teams on either side and try and score a point by getting the ball off on the other team's side. Replace all balls after each point is scored and play up to an agreed upon score.
Variation: Use just one ball, and challenge the players to roll it around the parachute in a circle without letting it fall off. This is trickier than it sounds!
One person sits on the centre of the parachute. The remaining players hold on to the edge of the chute with one hand and all face toward the right. The players walk around the centre person until the centre person is all wrapped up, then they face inward and walk backward (pulling the chute with them) as the centre person is spun around.
One player is chosen to be the shark. The other players sit in a circle around the parachute with their legs straight in front and under the parachute. The shark(s) crawl under the chute and try and pull the players' legs so that they slide completely under the chute. Those players become sharks now.
Variation: assign a lifeguard to walk around the outside of the chute and "rescue" people from being pulled under. Remind the players to be gentle!