Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Exploring wind with a parachute

 Today was a beautiful day...we went outside, and as usual, I made a trip to the "outdoor" bin, which I use to keep instruments, chalk, watering cans, Frisbees, balls, squirt bottles, bean bags, streamers, the parachutes, garden tools, plastic dress up clothes, and more. I rotate the items in no particular order...Sometimes things come out with a special request, other times the children seek out their favorite items on their own.
Fun with recycled packaging materials...as you can see, the children used it to create a train!

Role playing is just as important outdoors, as in. 
Here you see a glimpse of the one of our outdoor bins in the background.
Last week was Box week, and after the box had finally fallen apart, the children pulled it over the slanted tree, and made a "tree fort!"

Inspired, today I brought the parachute out to drape over the slanted tree as a tent, but it was just too windy. The parachute started to fly, and I attached it to a branch to stabilize it. Naturally, the children couldn't resist running and jumping underneath it. 
I started asking some open-ended questions...

"What's do you think is making the parachute fly?"
"Which way do you think the wind is blowing...how do you know?"

...and then I let go of the parachute, making it flatten into a pencil shape as it was blown by the wind. The children yelled out, "Oh no!" It was the perfect opportunity to have them work those problem-solving skills. I said, "Uh-oh...the parachute fell. I wonder how we can make it fly again...?"
I watched in amazement as the children worked together, solved the problem on their own("We have to pull it!"), and played cooperatively. Marvelous! 

Happy playing!


  1. Such fun! A good reminder of how nice it can be to take different things outdoors.

  2. @ Monica...so true! My ideal goal is to have permanent outdoor stations for dress-up, mud-pies, weaving, music, art, water, and bubbles.

    But it is still important to mix things up once in a while, and even more important to take cues from the kids.

    They will often surprise me by taking my planned activities into a different direction.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. I love it when you see the kids overcome problems together - our kids did this recently at preschool with a really long length of rope. I think I will have to get the parachute out and see what happens :)

  4. Jenny, I'm looking forward to seeing what your kids do with the parachute. I've played games with them, but this was the most fun we've ever had with the parachute...simply enjoying the wind!

  5. Wonderful! Those parachutes are great, aren't they? We borrowed one from our school for Princess Pea's birthday party last weekend. It 'made' the party!
    Thanks for linking up on Outdoor Play! Hope to see you next week too!


Thanks for you comment! Happy playing!

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