Parachute Games

Why parachute games?

You would think that 16-18 year old females would have no interest in parachute games, but I have yet to teach a class that didn’t love them.  They are fun, novel, and not intimidating – as no one in the class is a parachute game expert!  Some of the activities also teach cooperation, communication, and problem-solving, which is great for team-building and class dynamics.  The key is to keep the students wanting more – switch it up before they are bored and limit activities to 30 minutes or so.  That way they will be looking forward to doing it again in the future.

Students also think that it’s fun to do the activities in novel locations; and this seems to be the one time that they actually like having other classes being able to see them.  You can play anywhere that there is enough space overhead.  We’ve played in the gym, in the student commons, in the entrance to the school, in the field.  Since there isn’t a lot of gear, walk to a park or forest clearing and play.

Below is a list of MANY games.  Choose a few and have fun!parachute


Always be sure to check the ground underneath the chute.  Outdoors, dry grass is the best play surface. Wet grass can be slippery.

Space children evenly around the edge of the chute.

Watch for hang nails – they hurt when they get caught on the parachute!

Remind children to play safely – listen to instructions, watch where they are running, and work with their classmates – cooperation is key for many of these activities


Storing Your Parachute

A parachute is best stored by holding the center in one hand and then twisting the chute loosely into a rope.  They can then be stuffed it into a bag or sack.




This is a good warm-up.  Players hold the parachute with one hand and walk, run, hop, skip, move backwards, dance, hold the parachute high or low, etc. in a circular direction.  Be creative with your movements and have fun.  Switch it up regularly to keep it entertaining



Players try to “pass” the parachute around in one direction without crossing their hands.


Take a Break

Players hold the parachute tight and all lean backwards.



Students spread out evenly around the chute and hold the edge. Pull the chute taut and crouch down. On the count of three, everyone stands and pulls the chute upwards causing the chute to fill with air and rise like a giant mushroom.

p3Variations:  1. Everyone mushrooms then lets go.  2. Everyone mushrooms, takes one step in, and sits down pulling the chute behind them and sitting on it, making a dome everyone is sitting in.  3. Everyone mushrooms, runs to the centre still holding the chute (and can let go).   4. Everyone mushrooms, then teacher calls out category (ex. everyone with a cat), people that fit that category have to switch spots at least two spots away and then sit down with parachute under their bottoms.


Tent Pole

When you have “mushroomed” and made a “tent”, one person is selected to be a tent pole and stands in the middle, holding the centre of the chute as high as possible. The tent-pole person calls out someone’s name and goes and sits down in that person’s place. The person called has to rush to the middle and take up the role of the tent-pole before the chute comes down. Repeat the procedure as long as you feel like it.

Variation: Jellyfish: all of the seated people sway about as much as possible for the tent-pole to stay upright.  From the outside, the chute should look like a gigantic quivering jellyfish.



The chute becomes a giant turtle shell with everyone underneath on hands and knees. The idea is to make the tortoise move about, but remain all in one piece. Once it starts to move well, the tortoise can tackle an obstacle course, appropriate to the ability of the participants.


Upside-down tent

An alternative way to make a tent is to have everyone lie on their backs under the chute, heads to the middle with their feet up in the air. Stretch the chute tight and tuck the chute under your backs so it holds your legs up. You can bring in a soft ball and use your hands to bounce it around inside the tent.


Air Conditioning

the chute stretched out and have about a third of the people lie on the ground under it (heads near the middle). The rest mushroom the chute up and quickly pull it down again repeatedly.  Air rushing in and out cools those underneath like a giant fan, and the sensation of watching the chute rise up and then come down on top of you is very strange.


Circular Sit-Up

Have students sit along the edge of the chute with their legs underneath.  Have one side lean backwards and the other side lean forwards. Repeat until you see a seesaw effect.  To make it harder, instead of doing the up and down motion, have the students do a circular motion from the waist. The parachute will move accordingly.


Crossing Over and Crossing Under

Number students, making sure that each number has two students attached to it.  Now have students kneel and make rough waves.  Call out numbers; with one student to crawl on the chute and the other student with the same number to crawl under the sheet and make a statue.


Mouse Trap

Assign numbers to students.  Have students stand around the parachute and hold it as high as they can – you will need a taut parachute so that the players can take a few steps backwards.  Now call out numbers. The numbered kids have to become the mice and crawl under the parachute.  The rest of the players have to hold the chute as the mice try to come out of it.  When you blow the whistle, the players holding the parachute have to pull it to the ground quickly to trap the mice.


Cat and Mouse

parachute2Hold the parachute up slightly and make waves. Choose 2 or so “cats” who will be on top of the parachute and trying to tag the two or so “mice” who are under the parachute.  Players must crawl – be mindful of the mice; no jumping on them!

Variation: Use pool noodles to tag.


Cat and Mouse II

Place a piece of “cheese” in the center of the circle under the parachute. The parachute is held at shoulder height for this game. One person is chosen to be the cat and another to be the mouse. The cat starts off next to the cheese and the mouse starts off on the outside of the circle. The mouse must get the cheese within 30 seconds and the cat must catch the mouse within 30 seconds. The group holding the parachute is divided into two teams, every second person is on the cat’s team and the rest on the mouse’s team. The group counts to 30. The cat team scores 1 point if the cat can catch the mouse before 30 seconds is over and the mouse team scores 1 point if the mouse gets the cheese before 30 seconds is over. No score if the count of 30 is reached if neither the mouse is caught or the cheese stolen. The next two players go in.



Students pretend that the parachute is the ocean and move the parachute to the ‘weather report’ they hear.  For example, if you say, “The weather report says that today will be a slight breeze over the Pacific Ocean.” How would it look?  Students will respond by making small waves in the chute. Continue on, with windy, snowy, tornado, etc.



Have students lie on the ground and pull the chute to their chin. Their legs should be straight under the chute and together.  Students pretend to be asleep, keeping their eyes closed.  Tap one of the players on the shoulder – they will become the alligator.  The ‘alligator; now has to crawl under to eat the sleeping students by pulling his/her feet.  The student has to scream as loud as possible to warn others. After being eaten by the alligator, the player will also turn into one.  Continue the game until all the students turn into alligators.


Shark and Lifeguards

3-4 students are sharks and travel under the chute, 3-4 are lifeguards and try to save the others. The remaining students are the swimmers and sit with legs under the chute. Sharks try to pull them into the chute if successful they also become sharks. The lifeguards try to rescue them by grabbing one of their arms and pull them away. If a shark is pulled out from the chute they must let go. Play till you feel it is time to call new sharks and lifeguards.


The Class Picture

Have students hold the parachute, with hands separated on the chute.  Tell them to lift the chute, take three steps to the center and place the parachute behind their neck and then lie on their tummies while bringing the hands with the chute together under their chins.  When done correctly, you will see the cute faces under the chute.


Scavenger Hunt

Collect a variety of items in various colors.  The group moves the parachute in a rhythmic up-down wave. A player’s name and an item is called out, the player must enter underneath the chute (crawl, dive, run) do whatever it takes to collect the nominated item before the chute comes down and touch them. If the parachute touches a player before they successfully exit from underneath the chute, they must place the item back under the chute. The aim is to collect all of the items in the shortest possible time, then to better that time or to compete against another team.


The Big Spin

p2One student will sit in the middle of the parachute.  The rest of the class will hold the parachute with one hand and walk around until it gets smaller – the parachute should not go above the seated students’ shoulders.  Now tell students to pull the chute and the student in the middle will spin

Safety note: make sure that the student in the middle doesn’t have any pre-existing neck/back injuries and tell the pullers not to pull too hard.



Number Chase

Assign a number to each student and have them hold the parachute with their right hands and walk in a clockwise direction.  The player whose number is called has to let go of the parachute and run around until they gets back to their original spot.  The other players continue walking while the rest run around.  After all the numbers are called, tell the kids to hold the chute with their left hands and walk in the clockwise direction.  The kids will feel like they are traveling around the parachute.


Fruit Salad

Give each student the name of a fruit in the sequence- apple, mango, banana, and strawberry… apple, mango, banana, strawberry and so on.   Students will waft the parachute up, down and slowly, together.  As you call out a fruit name, the players with the name will run to exchange their places.  Continue the game until all the fruit names have been called out.


Shake Hands

Have all the players hold the parachute way up high above their heads. Call out two names and have these two players run underneath the parachute, shake hands, then run back out before the parachute comes down. Continue doing this until all the players have had a chance to run under the parachute.


Going to the Hairdresser

Have students hold the edges of the parachute-with one child sitting under it.  On signal, pull back and forth on the parachute as if they are washing hair.  The child’s hair beneath the parachute becomes statically charged because of the rubbing.  On signal, swing the parachute up so the child’s hair goes up and stays up!  The more often the hair is “washed”–the more ‘charged’ the head of hair becomes.


Shoe Shuffle

A selected number of students take off one shoe and throw it in the middle. On the count of three, raise the chute, and the designated children have to run under and find their shoe before the chute comes down.



Students make big waves while music is playing and freeze when music stops. Variations while making big waves to music and then freezing–jump up and down with both feet off the ground; jump on one foot; other foot; make big waves while holding parachute behind instead of in front; kick feet under chute one at a time to see if you can touch with your toe; one hand on chute and one hand behind your head; make waves back and forth instead of up and down; etc


Space Ship

Lift up chute. Pull down together to the top of shoes. On “Go”, everyone should let go of the chute together. If done properly, the chute will hover off the ground like a space ship.


Colored Chute

With a colored chute, the students are matched up by color and when called they must climb up the mountain as it falls to the ground (the procedure is lift, pull down hard, kneel on chute, and others climb.


Parachute with Scooters

Place 4-5 scooters under the parachute and call a number. They will try to get on the scooter and get out before the chute lands on them




Chute Ball

Place the ball in the middle of the chute and by pulling upwards and outwards, throw the ball as high in the air as possible.


Competitive Chute Ball

Mark a line across the diameter of the chute. Have equal teams hold the edge of the chute on either side. Throw a ball into the middle. The aim is to get the ball off the chute on the other team’s side of the line, and stop it coming off your own side of the line. (i.e. to throw it over the other team’s heads). You mustn’t let go of the chute or touch the ball with any part of the body. Keeping score is optional.

After several minutes of wild flapping and little progress the group should realise that co-ordination and strategy are needed to flick the ball off the chute.


Super Chute-Ball

Divide into 2 or more teams depending on how big your Group and/or parachute are.  All participants hold on to the parachute, alternating order so that no player from a team is next to another player from the same team (e.g. a player from team 1 is next to a player from team 2, who is next to a player from team 3, who is next to a player from team 1 etc.).

Two teams then let go of the parachute and take 2-5 steps back away from the parachute so that one team is holding the parachute with the balls on the parachute when the game begins.  When the music starts, the team holding the parachute begins to shake the parachute to get the balls on the floor.  The other two teams use the overhead or forearm pass to hit the balls back on the parachute.

If a ball touches the floor the team holding the parachute gets a point. If a ball touches the floor it remains there.  Teams rotate position every minute.


Parachute Quake

One team gets into position around the parachute, standing and holding with both hands.   Balls are thrown onto the parachute and the team is told to go at the start of the clock.  The team works together shaking the chute to get all the balls off the chute as quick as they can.  Rolling balls off is not allowed; these balls are thrown back on.  The team with the best time wins.


Ball in the Bucket

Break into two or more “teams.” Each team will have a different colored ball (or balls.) They will try to keep their color ball from going into the middle circle, while trying to get the other teams’ color of ball(s) into the hole.


 The Wave

Everyone stands evenly spaced around parachute holding it taut.  A large ball is placed on chute near the edge.  Start the ball rolling, players need to lower their edge as the ball approaches and then raise their edge as the ball goes past.   When done in synchronization it creates a wave that pushes the ball around the circle.  It cannot be done without concentration and cooperation and is a very rewarding group exercise when accomplished.

Variation: Use a smaller ball or more balls, speed it up, or change the direction to make it more difficult


Roll a Ball to a Friend

Place a ball on top of the parachute and have the players roll the ball back and forth to each other. For example, you could tell a specific person to roll the ball to someone that you name. This game encourages cooperation, as the players will have to work together for the first player to get the ball to their friend.



Make a group of at least ten players.  Give 4 to 5 players a ball. The ball should be small enough to fit through the hole in the middle of the chute.  The rest of the players now have to make a mushroom.  The players with the balls now have to attempt to throw through the hole of the parachute.  Change the players after a few attempts.



Start with everybody holding the chute stretched out. Throw as many soft balls as you can find on to the chute. Then see how quickly you can bounce them off without letting go of the chute. Alternatively you can have half of the children trying to bounce the balls off and half trying to keep them on.


Bouncing Balls

Start as above and this time have two or three children under the chute. The children under the chute have to try and push off the balls while everyone else tries to keep them bouncing.



Place four to six skipping ropes or pool noodles on the chute. By shaking the chute, the children try to shake them off.

Variation: shake the parachute so that a snake doesn’t “bite” (touch) you





Interlocking Gears

Divide students into two groups. Give each group a parachute. The groups have to stand close to each other.  Now one group has to walk in the clockwise direction, and the other group has to walk in an anti-clockwise direction.  When the groups come to the point where the two parachutes meet, they have to take hold of the other parachute and leave the one that they are holding. Basically, they have to join another circle. It will appear like they are walking in a giant eight figure.  After some time, tell the player to walk in the other direction.


Parachute Toss

Each team gets a parachute with all members evenly spaced around the parameter, standing and holding the chute with both hands.  Place the ball on one parachute and then the team tries to propel the ball into the air and land onto the other teams parachute.  Pick a word to spell such as “team” or “work” and assign a letter to each team that misses the other teams chute.  Once the word is spelled start again with a new word.  Use words appropriate to your occasion.


Parachute Quake II

Each team gets into position around their parachute, standing and holding with both hands.  Balls are thrown onto the parachutes and the team is told to go.   The team works together shaking the chute to get all the balls off the chute as quick as they can.  Rolling balls off is not allowed; these balls are thrown back on.  The team that gets all of their balls off first wins.


To The Moon

Everyone takes a spot around the parachute and gets into a kneeling position holding the parachute taught.  Have someone place the ball in the middle.  On count, have everyone simultaneously stand up pulling the parachute upwards and outwards.  See how high the group can get the ball in the air – the team that gets it highest/furthest wins.  Add the requirement that they need to catch it to make it more difficult


The Wave II

Everyone stands evenly spaced around parachute holding it taut.  A large ball is placed on chute near the edge.  Start the ball rolling, players need to lower their edge as the ball approaches and then raise their edge as the ball goes past.  When done in synchronization it creates a wave that pushes the ball around the circle.  It cannot be done without concentration and cooperation and is a very rewarding group exercise when accomplished.

Can be played as a team challenge with the winning team being the one that makes 1. the fastest circle 2. the most complete circles 3. timing how long a team can go without messing up