Parachute Playlist & Plan
1. Introduction & Rules Since this was my first week, I introduced myself to the families and made sure to talk about the program. I had a few simple rules: Do not walk on the chute. When Miss Katie says touch the wall, please touch the wall. (This let me walk over the parachute to collect our materials without worrying about a kiddo lifting the chute up while I was on it.)
2. Warm-Up (A capella): Shake My Sillies Out This needs no explanation. We shook the chute!
3. Warm-Up (A capella): Ring Around the Rosie We walked around the parachute and dropped during “all fall down”.
4. Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It I got this idea from Anne and it was absolutely golden for getting the kids primed for following directions. We sang all her verses: clap your hands, stamp your feet, shake the chute, turn around (while holding the chute), pass the chute (to your neighbor), pull it high (above your head)
5. Book: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera I had the kids sit on the floor and we rowed our parachute back and forth as I sang this book out loud.
6. I Went Walking by Sue Williams This was a genius idea, if I do say so myself. As we held the parachute and walked around, I read the book. I wanted to have pictures of the animals taped up around the room, but I ran out of time before the program.
7. Recorded Music: Take the Sun by Caspar Babypants We raised the chute up and down.
8. Recorded Music: Old MacDonald by Wiggleworms This idea came from Lisa. I did use a different version of Old MacDonald, but I tossed puppets onto the chute as they were introduced.
9. Recorded Music: ABC Song by Baby Loves Jazz Band And since I also had a package of Lisa’s foam letters, I took Lisa’s ABC foam letter activity! I tossed the letters as I went. The song went very fast, so I had to be very fast!
10. Game: Letter Treasure Hunt I modified this game from the suggestions from Kid Activities. Right after the ABC Song, I got all the letters off the chute and hid them underneath. I sent kids three at a time under the chute to find the letter that their name begins with.
11. Recorded Music: Moving In a Circle by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael It was time for a prop break. I did this in the summer with the parachute and it was a hit again.
12. Recorded Music: Shimmie Shake! by The Wiggles We shook and shook until we nearly dropped.
13. Game: All Change This game came from a List of Parachute Games. I actually wound up skipping it due to time. I’m not sure it would have worked like I envisioned it for preschoolers.
14. Recorded Music: Hot Poppin’ Popcorn by The Wiggles Everyone who has done a parachute program has recommended doing a popcorn one. I used crumpled up recycled paper as our “popcorn”.
15. Game: Cover Up We were all ready for a break at this point and this game from Anne was perfect. Kids sat on the floor and I called out a body part that they needed to cover with the parachute. Funniest part? Nose.
16. Recorded Music: Jump, Jump by Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights We jumped and shaked and kids dropped the chute to spin while parents kept it up.
17. Recorded Music: Rolling Ball by Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael I bought these soft fleece balls last summer and used them again for this game. When directed, I tossed the balls on the chute and the kids rolling them around.
18. Game: Don’t Drop the Ball For this game from Kid Activities, I added a beach ball on the chute and challenged the kids to keep it up for a minute.
19. Recorded Music: Under a Shady Tree by Laurie Berkner The very last thing was letting the kids run underneath while parents and caregivers lifted the chute up and down to one of my favorite Laurie Berkner songs.
20. Big Finish: Parachute Fireworks This was an idea that Anne didn’t use, but I sure did. As kids arrived in the room, I asked them to color some scribbles and crubmle up a piece of paper. At the end, we counted backwards 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, FIREWORKS to close out the program!
How It Went
This was an amazing program!! It was a great launch to Discovery! and immediately made the kids feel at ease with me when I was crawling around on the floor playing with them. I had a few boys struggle to obey the “touch the wall” rule, but eventually they got it. The kids did get tired of shaking after each song, so I was so happy that I had planned games to break up the dancing/shaking.
Both books were HUGE successes to use with the parachute, although I did have one caregiver say that “I Went Walking” made her a bit dizzy. I’m so very grateful to my co-worker, Miss J, who ran door check and really helped with crowd control. It was so helpful having another staff member’s eyes on the parachute just in case a situation arose.