Homemade Monday: Parachute Play

imagesThis week’s Homemade Monday post is inspired by a visit to our Jackson Township branch for storytime. The children’s librarian had a special treat for babies, toddlers, and parents. After a few songs and stories, she pulled out the parachute and let the children use their senses to look, touch, and hear as they moved the parachute up and down. So in today’s post you will see some rhymes you can use at home with your child. You don’t need a fancy parachute to do these. A light towel, blanket or sheet works just fine.

There is a song called “The Scarf is on My Head” that I typically sing with lightweight shear colorful scarves. So I adapted it for the parachute. You could change it depending on what prop you are using. 

The ‘Chute is on My Head! (to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”)
The ‘chute is on my head, the ‘chute is on my head!
Hi ho the dairy-o, the ‘chute is on my head!
The ‘chute goes up and down, the ‘chute goes up and down!
Hi ho the dairy-o, the ‘chute goes up and down!
The ‘chute goes fast and slow, the ‘chute goes fast and slow!
Hi ho the dairy-o, the ‘chute goes fast and slow!
The ‘chute is on my head, the ‘chute is on my head!
Hi ho the dairy-o, the ‘chute is on my head!

Itsy-Bitsy Spider
This one is a real arm-workout.

If You’re Happy and You Know It
If you’re happy and you know it, lift it high!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake it fast!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake it slow!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake it low!

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
(sit on the floor, hold the parachute tight and row back and forth)

Hickory Dickory Dock

For the next song, you can use any lightweight ball (the kind you would find in a ball bin at an arcade in the 80′s or 90′s), fabric block, or small lightweight stuffed animal. Wave the parachute slowly as you chant the rhyme, and then when you get to the end of the song, lift it high in the air to make the blocks bounce high in the air. Children love watching the blocks fly and land on the floor. You’ll probably find yourself doing this one several times.

Popcorn!
Put the oil in the pot and make it real hot.
Put the popcorn in and begin to grin.
Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, POP!

For the next song, you can also use the lightweight block, ball or stuffed animal.

Toast in the Toaster
I’m toast in the toaster
I’m getting very hot
Tick tock, Tick tock,
Up I pop!

Repetition is the key literacy skill here, and you will definitely repeat the rhymes many, many, many times. You will also find this a great workout for large muscles. The children also have fun with sitting under the parachute as it goes up and then down on top of them. Don’t leave them under it for more than a couple seconds as you lift it high above their heads. If you are doing this will babies, don’t put the blanket on top of their faces, but let them feel the light breeze that is created when you bring it up and down near them. 

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