There’s so many exciting ways you can use a parachute! They’re a fun and versatile resource for developing gross motor skills and improving coordination through collaborative physical play.
Recently, we were lucky enough to work with Anita and Mark from Ace Early Years who put our YPO Parachute Kit to the test!
“We were very excited to take delivery of this amazing kit- it felt like Christmas unpacking it all! There was so much equipment inside, each with a burst of colour in every packet and box we opened!
With a variety of six different sized and textured balls, of which there were duplicate amounts totaling 17 balls in all, a set of six brightly coloured animal beanbags, a large parachute that comfortably offers space for 30 children, an activities and idea booklet and not forgetting a large blue hold-all to house all the equipment, we certainly weren’t disappointed. The children all gasped with “ooo’s” and “aaah’s” as we opened the bag.
The handy booklet included was a great source of ideas that even us as experienced practitioners needed! Our children loved the game ‘Volcano’ and actually worked together as a team being the volcano and lava collectors. This game caused great hilarity and plenty of screams, smiles and collaboration. The booklet explains in simple terms how to organise and execute each game/activity. The children certainly worked their upper arm muscles as well as hand/eye coordination in this game.
The different sized textured balls are a massive hit with the children - particularly the clear ball with a bell in it with so many potential challenge activities that can come from using just this ball and the parachute. The ‘Softee’ balls were a novelty as they feel smooth and soft! We used several of the games suggested in the booklet such as cat and mouse, going under the parachute as well as all working together to see how many balls we could fling off.
The kit not only brings entertainment and maximum engagement by all to any session but supports development of key skills such as hand/eye coordination, gross motor skills and developing upper body strength, collaboration, communication and language, following instructions, maths – shape space and measure/number are just a few of the benefits!
Without doubt this kit is a bargain; it’s bursting with so much equipment and colour. We highly recommend getting your hands on this kit for developing many skills, encouraging team work and collaboration as well as keeping your children active and being a vital piece of equipment in any setting.”
Note: Before you can get started, you will need to pump up the balls using either a good pump or bicycle pump which isn't included.
Activity idea: Parachute games
Here are some more ideas for getting the most out of your parachute play activities:
- Stuffed animals can be used to support a variety of different topics, and to bring songs and stories to life. You could ask your little learners to alter the tempo of the parachute (and the volume of their voices) to wake up the animals and get them back to sleep again.
- Balloons are brilliant for colour recognition games. Encourage children to work together to get all the balloons in a segment of a particular colour.
- Place a large ball in the centre of the parachute and get your little ones to hold it taut and take turns to lift the parachute just as the ball rolls past to keep it moving around the circle without falling off the edge or coming to a stop. The smaller the ball the harder it will be to control.