Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas
- Parachute or old sheet
- Old towels or fabric
- Small- and medium-size balls
- Chart paper and marker
Objective: Children will practice large-- motor, cooperation, and prediction skills as they play this game.
In Advance: Explain to children that they will be bouncing balls on parachutes or towels. Ask them to predict how many times they will be able to bounce the ball as a group and in pairs. Record their answers.
- Bring an old sheet or a parachute and several balls to the playground. Invite children to take the ends of the parachute so that it is opened wide and taut. Place a ball on top of the parachute.
- Help children move the parachute up and down so that the ball bounces on top. Encourage them to count how many bounces the ball takes. How long can they keep the parachute in motion before the ball falls off?
- Invite children to place several balls on top of the parachute. Can they move the parachute and bounce several balls at once?
- Divide children into pairs. Give each duo an old towel or piece of fabric. Ask each child to hold one end. Place a ball on top of each towel. Can children work together to keep the ball bouncing on the towel?
- Encourage children to try to bounce their ball from their towel to another pair's towel. Count the bounces to see which ball stays in motion the longest. Ask the pairs of children to form a line with each holding their towels. Can they bounce the ball from one towel to another down the line? Can they keep several balls moving at once?
- As they play, record the actual number of times they have been able to bounce the balls on the towels. Compare these numbers with their predictions when you return to class. Ask: "Did you do fewer or more bounces than you predicted?"
REMEMBER: Encourage children to develop new games with the balls and parachute. Older children may enjoy thinking of more complex ways to play.
SPIN OFF: Follow the outdoor game with a picnic lunch and story. Children can bring a paper-bag lunch from home or make sandwiches before going to the park. Provide children with markers and crayons to decorate their paper bags. Bring along a favorite story to read to the children while they are eating their picnic lunch.
The Bears' Picnic by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Little Critter's The Picnic by Mercer Mayer
Monster Math Picnic by Grace Maccarone