A good friend called me earlier this week asking to “pick my brain” for activity ideas to play with children at a family reunion. Now, I have to tell you that I LOVE when people call asking for creative help ’cause it makes me feel smart! (ha) But, seriously, I sometimes feel I lack in that department so it really does make me feel good that people think I’m creative. So, anyway, I got to brainstorming, and had to go WAY back into the dusty files in my brain to come up with some good ones (over 6 years since I taught elementary school; only 3 since preschool). My husband also taught elementary school PE when we first met (it’s the very first thing I fell in love with!) so he was a great help, as well!
Here’s one I shared with her that your children may enjoy. A great party game or perfect for a family reunion. Now, I would recommend this one for elementary school-aged children, as it’s a little physical (please monitor your children closely). But, honestly, this was their very, very favorite parachute game. And for my local friends, any time you want to borrow my parachute, give me a holler! (sorry no pics–haven’t played this one in YEARS!*)
Sharks and Lifeguards (I’m sure I had a much more fun name for the game back then…)
You may want to have them take their shoes off, but it works fine with them on, too (so funny when a shark will throw a shoe out!). I usually choose 2 kids to be sharks and 3 to be lifeguards (this was for 26 or so children). The sharks go under the parachute on their knees, the lifeguards walk around the parachute (you’ll get it here in a minute). The rest of the kids sit down with the parachute in their laps and their legs sticking straight out under the parachute. They can hold onto the side. The “sharks” try to pull those children under the parachute (they seriously look like sharks under the water). If a child gets pulled under, they become a shark and get to attack others. The lifeguards try to keep children from being pulled under by pulling on the other end. I always had a rule that they could not tug on clothes or heads. Arms, torso and legs were fine. You play this until most or all children have been pulled under. Then begin again.
*If you play this and take a picture, let me know. Maybe we can feature it on this post!