Three ideas (two for parachutes and one tag game) for K-3 kids.
Submitted by Martha Larson, Arlington, Virginia.
Here are three ideas for your K-3 students. The ideas have proven to be very helpful to our program. Please give ‘em a try!
1.) “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”: Here’s a nifty parachute activity for your primary Special Education students. The students sit around a small parachute (8′ diameter) and grasp the parachute with their hands.
Words: “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream,” (Actions: Students alternately pull back and lean forward as if rowing a boat.)
Words: “Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, ” (Actions: Shake the parachute)
Words: “Tommy …” (Actions: Lift the parachute overhead and hold it up. The teacher calls the name of a child in the circle. That child moves under the parachute and sits in the center.)
Words:”Is but a dream!” (Actions: The parachute floats down so that it drapes the child sitting in the center. “Tommy” will then return to his original position. Repeat the song until every student has a turn.)
2.) Color-Coded Parachute Fun: Do you have a multi-colored parachute? Our parachute has four color segments of red, green, yellow, and blue. We use this variation to reinforce color recognition with your students. Sing “Row, row, row your boat,” as before, but on the word “life” substitute the name of a color.
Example: “Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, blue is but a dream.” All of the students holding on to the blue segment will move under the parachute and sit in the center. Play so every student has several turns.
3.) Beam Me Up Scotty: This is a fun tag activity for your K-2 students! Use poly spots, or flat ring “Olympets” (available from Handy Manufacturing Company, PO Box 130, 702 South 3rd Avenue, Marshalltown, Iowa.)
Select two or three taggers. The taggers are “aliens” and will have no spot or ring. Pick a player to be Captain Kirk. The rest of your students start out this activity by standing inside a ring or on a spot.
On “go,” everyone leaves their rings or spots and begins running from the “aliens.” When a player is tagged by an alien, that child must go to a spot or ring and assume a “frozen statue” position.
He or she may not move unless “unfrozen” by Captain Kirk. When a player is released by Captain Kirk, he or she can re-enter the game.
If a runner wants to be safe, s/he can stand inside a ring or on a spot and Jump 3 times while saying “Beam me up Scotty, beam me up Scotty, beam me up Scotty!” (Explain to your students that Scotty is up in a spaceship and can magically make them disappear.) After the 3rd jump, the player must leave the spot and begin running again. Be sure to remind them to really look “frozen” so that Captain Kirk will know that they need help!
I hope that you are able to use these three ideas. We have found the activities to be some of our students favorites!