Best Parachute Activities and Songs
In 2022, we added a new product to our creative movement prop line, the Small Play Parachute for Kids. Since then, it has quickly grown in popularity and we have loved seeing everyone's excitement over it. Seeing as it has been several months since we introduced the parachute, I thought it was about time to share some parachute activities and song ideas that you can use to make parachute play, even more, fun and educational.
Keep reading to learn about the benefits of parachute play and get parachute activity ideas to use in your next session, circle time, or during at-home play.
Plus, I'm going to share a list of songs to use with the parachute from a new resource that I am beyond excited to tell you about!
The Benefits of Parachute Play for Kids
We all know that children learn very well through play, imitation, and exploration — music and movement combine these using a range of different senses. Music and movement activities improve coordination, gross and fine motor skills, cognitive development, strengthen imagination, and so much more. To learn more about the benefits of music and movement activities, you can check out one of our other blog posts here.
Music and movement activities are even better when paired with creative movement props. Props are used as an aid to reinforce or support movements, concepts, skills, imagination, and creativity in the music space. What happens when you incorporate parachute activities into your music and movement time? What unique benefits does the parachute offer?
- Teaches children to listen and follow instructions well
- Encourages cooperation and teamwork
- Reinforces turn-taking, sharing, and promotes social interaction
- Promotes communication and language skills
- Helps develop a sense of rhythm
- Introduces physical activity as fun
- Assists in developing hand-eye coordination, balance, and mobility
- Teaches problem-solving
Our small play parachute is 30" wide with four handles, making it perfect for one-on-one use, for three children and an adult, or four children with an adult supervising. And, you still get all of the same benefits with the smaller version as you do with the full-size one. Having the smaller parachute also allows you the option of one-on-one time with a child that the large parachute cannot give.
If a child has certain skills that need improving or issues that need to be further addressed, but can't be done in a group setting, the small parachute allows you to work with the child one-on-one while still getting the amazing benefits of parachute play.
Benefits of Parachute Play for Kids & the Best Parachute Activities and Songs - www.BearPawCreek.com Click To Tweet
Here is a great video shared by DiscoverDance Education on Instagram that showcases the size of the parachute and one of the ways it can be used. In the video, it is being used by an adult and early teen.
"In 2018, DiscoverDance and Bear Paw Creek teamed up to create the DiscoverDance Prop Collection. Over the years, DiscoverDance has had the honor of testing and incorporating all of their props into the DiscoverDance program.
Their latest creation is the small play parachute for kids. It is perfect for toddler hands, small classes, or caregiver and tot pairings. It’s easier to maneuver due to its size and weight, and it’s quieter for those children who are sensitive to the loud noises a large parachute produces."
-Andrea Trench, DiscoverDance
There are so many different parachute activities out there as well as music to go with them. Here are just a few of our favorites that would work well with the Small Play Parachute!
1.) Popcorn: Put soft or very light balls on top of the parachute, like these. Everyone involved should stand and hold a handle. Shake the parachute and quickly move it up and down, the balls will look like popcorn popping! To add a fun challenge for older kids, place an even amount of two colors of balls on the parachute. For example, you could use six red balls and six blue balls. If you have four kids around the parachute, then divide into two teams. If you are working with just two individuals, each person is on their own team. The red team wants to shake the parachute while keeping their red balls on and getting the blue ones off. Blue team tries the opposite.
2.) Don't Drop the Balloon Ball: This is similar to the Popcorn parachute activity and the well known game "The Floor is Lava", but is a little bit easier for younger children. Take one of our Balloon Balls (they come in several fun patterns) and place it in the center of the parachute. Slowly begin to move the parachute up and down, side to side, try to get the Balloon Ball to spin around, but don't let it hit the floor! The goal is to keep it on the parachute while moving it around. This helps reinforce the skill of concentration, communication, and teamwork while you work together to keep the ball from touching the ground.
3.) Catapult: This could also be done with the Balloon Ball or, you could even try using a bunch of the small soft balls linked above. Place the ball in the middle of the parachute then everyone goes, '1, 2, 3, LIFT!" The idea is to throw the ball as high as you can in the air. If you're indoors, can you hit the ceiling? For more of a challenge, add some weight. You can throw some of our Bean Bags on the parachute and try to get those to catapult as high as possible. It won't be as easy as the Balloon Ball or soft balls!
4.) Merry-Go-Round: Have everyone turn sideways and hold a handle. They walk around in a circle to create a "merry-go-round". Change it up and have them skip, hop, or march around in a circle. Play around with the music, you can pause it, cueing the participants to switch directions. This would be a great activity to incorporate with music that varies in tempo. When the music goes fast, try to make the merry-go-round go as fast as possible! When it goes slow, try to walk in slow motion.
Keep reading for a list of songs that will go perfectly with these parachute activities.
Songs to Use With the Parachute
Have you ever heard of Children's Music with Nancy Kopman? I hadn't until a few months ago! Nancy Kopman is an Early Childhood Educator, recording artist, performer and music curriculum builder. Her "Music With a Purpose" is used by educators, therapists, caregivers and families worldwide. Nancy's songs and classes (both in-person and online) focus on movement, connection and learning together while having fun. She currently has six albums available for purchase, both as downloadable and physical CDs. You can check them out here.
Several weeks ago I reached out to her asking about her blog post, Parachute Games and Songs for Young Children. This led to a conversation about different ways we could collaborate with each other, since her music fits so well with our creative movement props. We now have several projects in the works and are beyond excited about this new partnership! Be sure to to follow Nancy on her social media pages and also check out her Patreon community. You can also find her music on Spotify.
Nancy sent me a list of her favorite songs to use with the parachute that I will list below, they would also work very well with our Stretchy Bands!
- "Shake, Shake, Shake", from "Senses" (written specifically for the parachute)
- "Walk Around", from "The Seasons" (see the song in action with a large parachute here)
- "Bicycle", from "The Seasons"
- "Breath In, Breathe Out", "from "Wonderful You" (nice slow movements with a parachute as you breathe in and out)
- "Horses", from "Senses"
- "Popcorn", from "I Am A Tree"
- "In and Out", from "I Am A Tree"
I hope all of the parachute activities and songs shared will be fun additions to your music class, circle time, music therapy sessions, or during at home play. Music and movement, especially when paired with creative movement props, is such a fun way of teaching children very important skills and we are honored to play a part in that!