So, despite people asking, I don’t really play parachute games. I certainly have a parachute for family fun days or back garden parties etc but as a general rule I don’t really incorporate parachute games into my act.
So why am I writing them about here; well just because I don’t use them, does not mean I do not see their worth or understand how valuable they can be in a children’s entertainers’ toolbox of entertainment. As I said I have used these in the past and occasionally see them gathering dust in a school room corner somewhere. I’ve always found them to be a great success and a very familiar item which is always great with little kids who need simple instruction before playing a games.
There are several main advantages of investing in a parachute. One is its compact size – which the general recommended size is 5 metres in diameter but mine is somewhat larger for outdoor events. (It can always be rolled up around the edges to reduce its size),. It’s both compact and lightweight, and fits most village halls but is more of a push in somebody’s house, and something I certainly don’t encourage or recommend due to the sheer number of ornaments some people have…..
One thing to bear in mind before getting into the nitty of games and things you can do with a play parachute at a children’s party is the safety aspect. There are a couple of considerations before getting started and the first are the nylon handles usually dotted around the outer edge of the parachute. The beauty of the parachute is that it is very durable and won’t tear easily. It is built to with stand a lot of movement, friction, pulling and stretching. With a surplus of energy at times, children can, and quite rightly yank it from one place to the next with no consideration for safety. If any of them get their hands, feet or any other party of their body in the nylon handles dotted round the outside of the parachute this could cause serious friction, burns, bruising or worse.
My first tip is to cut these off.
My second tip before we get started is be conscious of the type of parachute you buy. I’ve already mentioned the size and the handles but the other consideration should be made to the hole that is sometimes in the centre of some play parachutes. Again, this throws up the same safety considerations required as the handles. As you, again do not want kids feet, hands or worse, heads in it as everyone is yanking the chute around. My suggestions is either to tighten it up (usually they have draw-string duffle features) or to buy a parachute which does not have this.
So with the safety considerations made first, next is getting into the fun! The games…. The main thing to remember about a parachute is that a parachute is not just a parachute…..it can be a magic carpet, island, house, ocean, outer space, ocean, ship or in fact anything, only limited by yours or the children’s imagination. With this in mind you can go a long way into creating your own games and can adapt you parachute to fit any theme or scenario and tie it in with a superhero theme, space theme, magic theme or more….
Next post will detail some of the games and fun you can have with parachute games and how you can tailor these to your particular theme at your children’s birthday party.