57 Comments

by Tamsyn

April 8, 2016

parachute

Classroom or Family Parachute Giveaway

Few items require the teamwork of a parachute, and even fewer are as fun to use.  I have searched and studied reviews and have chosen a 10' parachute for one of our lucky readers. 

This post contains affiliate links.  🙂

Teamwork through Gross Movement

Parachutes are so fun!  Children love the bright colors and the opportunity to participate in an activity circle.  In fact, one of the biggest issues a teacher will have is not getting children to participate, but to maintain order as children become a little too excited.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to teach the kids a poem or song before bringing out the parachute, as the kids will be distracted by the desire to play once they have the parachute in their hands.

There are a myriad of games one can play with a parachute, but since this IS a music website, I will be focusing on poetry and singing games.

One poem my children are very familiar with comes from Sparkabilities, a video series for babies that we enjoy, so I adapted it for the parachute.  In the original, the parent moves a baby's limbs according to the actions.  We had to say the poem very slowly to be able to use it with the parachute, but they didn't mind.

"Up and Down, Up and Down,
Up and down and up!
In and out, in and out,
In and out and in! (take a step inward then outward)
Switch, switch, switch, switch,
Switch, switch, switch. (move hands up and down quickly.  If holding two handles, switch hands up and down, creating a jiggling motion.)
And around, and around, (move in a circle)
Other way, other way. (change directions)

Using a Parachute to teach music

Ukulele giveaway ends 4/8

Not only is parachute play great for encouraging teamwork and physical movement, but they're great for learning music as well!  Things like steady beat and performing on cue are taught, but I find it most valuable as an overarching sense of musicality is internalized as children sing and dance together.

The two singing games I played with my children yesterday were "Ring around the Rosies" and "London Bridge".  "Ring around the "Rosies" is pretty self-explanatory.  Sing and dance in a circle, and pull the parachute down to the floor when you all fall down.  The video below adds a second verse, "Cows are in the meadows eating buttercups.  Ashes, ashes, we all stand up."  Children pretend to eat buttercups and then pull the parachute up at the end of the verse, preparing them to sing again.

parachute

For London Bridge, we pulled the parachute up and down during the first verse.  When we got to "Take the key and lock her up", we invited one child to sit in the middle and experience the parachute going up and down over them as the rest of us continued to move the parachute up and down.  We could have continued with the rest of the verses, but my kids only really know the first two so we simply sang the 2nd verse multiple times in a row until everyone who wanted a turn had the opportunity.

Don't stop there!  There are dozens and dozens of singing songs and games to choose from.  I've found a video to get you started, as well as a few websites that may be of interest.

Parachute Play with Babies and Toddlers

Musical Parachute Play

Pinterest Ideas​

Notes and Observations

Parachutes come in many different sizes.  The smallest ones are about 6-feet and are best for small preschool groups.  I have seen them as big as 20-feet, which is best for very large groups of children.  The one I selected is 10-feet, which to me "just right".  Baby bear would agree.  I've wanted to get a parachute for a long time and our family is finally getting big enough that I can enjoy parachute play with my children alone.  But even without 5 kids in tow, this is a good size for a play-date or extended family get-together.  It is also large enough for small preschool groups or classroom rotation.  There are 12 handles, but more children can play along by grabbing a spot in between, or by taking turns running under the parachute while others do the not-so-heavy lifting.

There were several 12-foot parachutes on Amazon, but they didn't have as good reviews as the 10-foot one, and I was impressed by the quality when it arrived yesterday, so I am happy with our choice and feel confident that our giveaway winner will be happy too.  Good luck!

Enter the giveaway and learn more below.  We will be purchasing the prize for the winner.

Find out more about the 10' parachute the winner will receive on Amazon.  Giveaway ends Friday at midnight, April 15th.  Winner gets (1) parachute.

Giveaway Rules

About the author 

Tamsyn

My name is Tamsyn and I love music. I got my bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from USU. I spent many years teaching private piano lessons until I had children of my own. I have attended several children workshops on how to teach children music. I really like the Kodaly method, but have adapted a lot of different techniques for my own children.

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  1. I played with a parachute in grammar school back in the 60’s I would love to play again with all my grand daughters

  2. This was always my favorite part of physical education class when I was a youngster! I’m so glad to see it still around for my kiddo’s to enjoy as well! It’s nice to know that some things stand the test of time!

  3. This is such a great thing for kids. They love to play with them and especially to run under them. It’s such a carefree thing that they inadvertently learn so many things from.

  4. What a fun giveaway – it sure brings back great memories for me. In addition to gross motor skills, the parachute also exercises the imagination!

  5. This is a great! Playing with a parachute in gym class as a kid is one of my favorite memories from school. I would love for my kids to get to experience it too!

  6. I love all the fun activities that I’ve seen for using the parachute in music class. My kids LOVE to move to music and I know that parachute would really give us a great variety of movement opportunities!

  7. Would love one of these! I had one with my oldest but he’s 11 now it’s long gone. I have a 2 year old and a4 month old to play with it now

  8. I am not entering this giveaway only because I literally just bought one that arrived yesterday!! I have wanted to add a parachute to my collection for while now and finally just did it. Dang I should have waited 1 more week! I agree with you that there are endless options for musicality and fun with a parachute! I love your giveaways! They are always great things I want to add to my home!

  9. I loved parachute play in school, and have been thinking about getting one for home for a while now. I loved the parachute songs video!

  10. I love parachutes also for having children imitate what they hear either in what they sing or a recording – large, flowing movements, short choppy ones. Bigger for fortes, ripples for fast scales, etc.

  11. I LOVED this in elementary school and I think my nieces would too!!! (I forgot to enter my info in my previous comment)

  12. Our music teacher uses a parachute during class. The kids love to run underneath while singing London Bridges.

  13. My older children’s pre school had one of these and when I worked in the classroom they absolutely loved it.

    I’d love to win one of these for my son’s grammar school. They have been trying to get more things for kids to play with on snow days.

    The budget cuts in our state have severely effected our public schools and I hope I will because I will be donating this to my Son’s school.

    They need more play! Thank you!

  14. I will never forget “parachute day” back in elementary school. It was the most exciting, fun gym day of the year! I know my 3 kids would absolutely love this just as much as I did.

  15. I am a PE teacher and I know so many activities to do with the parachute and would love to have my own to teach the neighborhood kids.

  16. I had and always played with my parachute when I was little and loved it. I would love to win this for my daughter and her friends to play with.

  17. This would be perfect for our homeschool with a large family I can think of all the fun we would have together. Music is such a special thing in our life, we have an autistic son that connects to music and loves to hum tunes all day. He is awesome! Thanks for a chance to win and ways to enrich children with music!

  18. I remember playing this in school when i was younger we had such fun this would be great fun for my son and my grandsons…including myself…

  19. Playing with the parachute in school was my favorite time of the week! I’d love to share this with my girls!

  20. Oh I remember playing in school growing up. They are so much fun! I would love to win one…we would have so much fun with it!

  21. I remember playing with one of these as a kid and LOVING it! If I win I plan to donate it to my childrens’ preschool!

  22. This is awesome! There are so many different things you can do with this with kids. I love making learning fun!

  23. I loved playing with these in gym class when I was a kid! 🙂 I homeschool my kids so this would be an awesome thing to have at home!

  24. I saw and was involved in parachute play and singing with my granddaughter’s preschool. It was very fun for all.

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