Friday, May 24, 2024

Parachute Ball Games

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 5-11

Most of these games can be played with balls of different kinds: Tennis balls; footballs; beach balls; and even a giant earth ball. Different-sized balls will change the way in which the game goes, so feel free to experiment.

Chute Ball:

Parachute Games

This game is best played with an earthball (a large beach ball). You simply place the ball in the middle of the chute, and by pulling upwards and outwards, throw the ball as high in the air as possible.

Competitive chute ball:

Mark a line across the diameter of the chute. Have equal teams hold the edge of the chute on either side. Throw a ball into the middle. The aim is to get the ball off the chute on the other team’s side of the line and stop it from coming off your own side of the line. (i.e. to throw it over the other team’s heads). You mustn’t let go of the chute or touch the ball with any part of the body. Keeping a score is optional.

After several minutes of wild flapping and little progress, the group should realise that coordination and strategy are needed to flick the ball off the chute.

Popcorn:

Popcorn

Start with everybody holding the chute stretched out. Throw as many softballs as you can find onto the chute. Then see how quickly you can bounce them off without letting go of the chute. Alternatively, you can have half of the children trying to bounce the balls off and half trying to keep them on.

Bouncing balls:

Bouncing Balls

Start as above, and this time have two or three children under the chute. The children under the chute have to try and push off the balls while everyone else tries to keep them bouncing.

Rollerball

Everyone holds the chute taut. Place a large ball near the edge. Try to make the ball roll around the edge of the chute. To do this, someone starts the ball rolling. As it comes towards you, you lower the edge you are holding, and as it goes past, you raise your edge. When all the players do this in synchronisation, it creates a kind of wave going around the edge of the chute, which pushes the ball in a smooth, steady circle. It can not be done without concentration and cooperation, but it is very rewarding for a group to eventually achieve the correct motion. Once you have mastered the correct motion, try changing the direction or speeding up.

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