Parachute Games for PE

Parachute Games for PE

Parachute games in physical education classes represent an innovative and fun way to captivate students, especially as alternatives to rainy day games or when looking for something new. These activities are not just about fun; they are crucial in fostering a well-rounded development in your children. Parachute activities bring a unique blend of excitement and learning, making them an ideal choice for days when outdoor activities are not feasible or when a new fun game is needed to be thrown in the mix. They offer a versatile and inclusive option for kids of various ages and abilities, combining physical fitness, cognitive skill-building, and social interaction in a dynamic PE class environment. The importance of these games lies in their ability to cater to a broad spectrum of developmental needs, making them a valuable addition to any PE lesson plan.

The beauty of introducing a new parachute game is its capacity to engage kids in a team play atmosphere. These games are particularly effective in building teamwork and communication skills, as participants learn to work together towards shared goals. For younger children, parachute games are a fun and colorful way to develop motor skills and coordination, while older children benefit from the strategic and complex play these games offer. Parachute games stand out among rainy day games and regular PE activities for their ability to ignite creativity and imagination. They provide a refreshing change from traditional sports, ensuring every kid, regardless of their athletic skill, can participate and enjoy. This inclusiveness is key in creating a sense of community and belonging in the classroom, making parachute games the ideal team based party games.



1. Shark in the Water (Ages 5-7)

Equipment: Parachute, Small and Large Balls

The game "Shark in the Water", also known as "Popcorn" or "Fish Frenzy",  is an exciting activity that involves a large parachute and several soft balls. In this game, students gather around the parachute, holding the chute's edges waist height. They create 'waves' by moving the parachute up and down in a rhythmic motion. The soft ball, representing sharks, are placed on the parachute. The objective for the students is to work together to keep the sharks moving on the surface of the parachute without letting them fall off. This parachute activity requires students to coordinate their movements and work in unison, providing an excellent opportunity to develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. The rhythmic nature of the game also introduces young students to the concepts of rhythm and timing, which are fundamental aspects of physical coordination.

"Shark in the Water" is a wonderful way to introduce teamwork and cooperation among younger kids. As they focus on keeping the foam balls in motion, they learn the importance of working together and synchronizing their actions for a common goal. These types of cooperative group games also provides a safe and fun environment for students to engage in physical activity while learning the basics of motion and force. The excitement of keeping the 'sharks' in the water captivates their attention, making the learning process enjoyable and memorable. This fun parachute game's simplicity makes it easy for young children, even preschoolers, to understand and participate in, ensuring that every student is actively involved and engaged.

Other names: "Popcorn" or "Fish Frenzy"

2. Color Call (Ages 8-10)

Equipment: Parachute, Speaker and Music playing device

"Color Call" is a dynamic and colorful game that requires a large parachute with different colored sections and a music player. As music plays, students shake the parachute to create a billowing effect. When the music stops, the instructor calls out a specific color. The students standing by that color section must then quickly run, or crawl, underneath the parachute to the opposite side before it collapses. This game is particularly effective in improving auditory processing and reflexes, as students must listen carefully to the music and the color call, then react swiftly to the instructions. It also a fun way to aid in the development of quick decision-making skills, as students have to quickly choose the best path to the other side of the parachute.

In addition to physical agility, "Color Call" is a great tool for cognitive development. It helps children in learning and recognizing colors, which is an important aspect of their cognitive growth. The game also enhances their listening skills, which are crucial for following instructions and developing attention span. Physically, it promotes agility and speed, essential components of physical development at this age. The game's fast-paced nature keeps the children engaged and excited, making it a fun way for the kids to learn and stay active. The combination of music, movement, and color recognition makes "Color Call" a comprehensive and enjoyable party game that students look forward to.

3. Parachute Volleyball (Ages 10-12)

Equipment: Parachute, Large Ball (Beach Ball)

Parachute Volleyball is an innovative and engaging game that combines the classic elements of volleyball with the unique dynamics of parachute play, making it a favorite in PE classes for middle school students. In this game, a large, colorful parachute and a soft ball, or beach ball, are used to create an exciting team sport. The students are divided into two teams, each holding the edges of the chute on opposite sides. The objective of "Parachute Volleyball" is to use the parachute to volley the ball back and forth over an imaginary net in the middle. The challenge lies in controlling the ball’s movement using the parachute, requiring the students to work together as a team.

This game is particularly effective in promoting teamwork and communication among students. As they maneuver the parachute to keep the small ball aloft and send it over to the other team's side, they must communicate and coordinate their actions. This cooperative aspect of Parachute Volleyball is crucial for building social skills and fostering a sense of unity among the kids. Moreover, the game enhances their motor skills, agility, and coordination, as they have to rapidly adjust their positions and movements to respond to the ball’s trajectory.


  • Scoring will be similar to volleyball with "ins" being on the parachute and "outs" being off the parachute
  • If the ball rolls off your parachute then it is the other teams point
  • If it lands on the other side of the "net" on the ground then its your point

* Your goal of how many points to win can be determined on player skill and time available *

Variation: To increase the difficult increase the number of balls at a time on the chute or the distance that the ball must travel on each volley. 


4. Parachute Island Adventure (Mixed Ages)

Equipment: Parachute

"Parachute Island Adventure" is a unique and inclusive game that brings students of various ages together in a cooperative and imaginative play. The game uses a large parachute and various props, such as items for treasure hunts or materials for storytelling. The parachute is manipulated to create a dome-like 'island', under which the students gather for their adventure. This could involve a treasure hunt, where students search for hidden items under the parachute, or a storytelling session, where they create and share stories in this imaginative space. This PE game fosters creativity and encourages students to use their imagination, which is a crucial aspect of cognitive development.

The inclusive nature of "Parachute Island Adventure" is one of its key strengths. It allows students of different ages and abilities to participate and interact in a shared space, promoting social interaction and communication. This interaction is vital for building social skills and fostering a sense of community among students. The game also provides an opportunity for older students to take on leadership roles, guiding and assisting younger ones in the activities. This cooperative environment encourages empathy, understanding, and teamwork, making "Parachute Island Adventure" not only a fun activity but also a valuable learning experience. The versatility of the game means that it can be adapted to suit the interests and abilities of the students, ensuring that everyone is engaged and included.

"Parachute Island Adventure" is a very open-ended activity that will allow for some teaching opportunity and cognitive development of your students. Creating a dome shape of the parachute by lifting it in the air and then quickly pulling it down and sitting on the inside offers creatively stimulating environment for everyone. Be creative and allow the participants to lead the fun. 

These innovative parachute games offer a dynamic and inclusive approach to PE classes, transforming the traditional perception of physical education. Each game, from the strategic Parachute Volleyball to the energetic Shark In The Water, is designed to engage every child in a meaningful and enjoyable way. These games are more than just PE activities; they are a platform for cooperative play and learning. They teach valuable life skills such as teamwork, communication, and strategic thinking, all wrapped up in an atmosphere of fun and excitement. 

They not only bring excitement into the PE curriculum but also create memorable experiences that children carry with them. These games break down barriers, encourage inclusivity, and promote a healthy, active lifestyle. So, let’s spread the enthusiasm for these parachute games! Whether it’s the cooperative play or the lively competition, each game offers a unique opportunity to make PE classes the highlight of every child’s school day. Get ready to unfold that parachute and dive into a world of fun, learning, and endless possibilities!

Parachute Games for PE

Michael Pettit

About the Author

A wellness advocate who is currently studying to be a Physical Therapist. Michael is an editor and contributor to our PE newsletter!

Back to blog