parachute play while changing the bed

This was a post from my Active Kids Blog idea. I thought I would re share it because 1. I love the picture of my Norah and 2. It truly is a simple fun way to get your chores done and have fun. Both girls still scream for “Bubbles” when I’m changing the bed or getting blankets out. 

Monday’s have become my laundry day. We sort all the clothes in the morning and I have both girls help me sort the clothes and we talk about matching and colors while we are at it. I have noticed that the pink/red pile has and continues to grow exponentially since having two girls. I usually try to change all the sheets on all the beds, exciting Monday I know. As my husband is a banker my day and a rancher/soon to be farmer by night our white sheets get a little dingy on his side of the bed so weekly washing is a necessity. There is something about clean sheets though, I absolutely love crawling into bed to clean sheets. When I was trying to make our bed with my two little helpers this afternoon Norah came to the opposite side of the bed and was trying to help. I started to get annoyed because I was trying to get one of my chores done so I could hurry up and check it off my list.  Instead, I took a step back and realized this could be a moment to have some fun — and isn’t that why I decided to stay home in the first place? To take advantage of these moments that I was home with them? Was it really going to matter if the bed was made at 4:00 or 4:30?  So, we started playing with the sheet lifting it up high and snapping it back down to the bed – this elicited giggles and soon Stella was over trying to get in on the game. Then we started making “bubbles” just shaking it really low and the sheet was rippling across the bed. Before we moved it to the ground we lifted it high and brought it back down with our heads underneath it. This was the highlight, I was under this fresh, clean sheet looking across to my sweet Norah who was smiling and laughing.
 We then took the sheet down to the ground and Norah and I made “bubbles” so Stella could try to jump on them. She didn’t quite get as into the bubble popping a Norah did so of course she  had to show her how it was done. Stella  still loved it and just stood on top of the sheet signing and saying “More”.
Last year we did a toddler gymnastics class and the parachute was always one of the favorite parts. They would take turns running underneath the parachute while it was up and her absolute favorite was when they could lay on their backs with their feet up in the air looking up at the bright colors of the parachute. There are quite a few benefits of  parachute play for children:  it strengthens their upper torso, reinforces following directions, encourages teamwork, improves rhythm and if there are multiple children can be a great way to practice sharing and taking turns. Searching online I found a few great games to play with your parachute (or in my case, sheet). I tried to find ways to use items you’d have around your house so you wouldn’t have to buy anything new and you could try it today! I also tried to list things you could do with one or two kids in case you didn’t have a bunch to hold on to the parachute.
* Take socks rolled in a ball, bean bags, balls, cotton balls (experiment with different sizes/weights) and shake to make them pop up and down.
*Put the balls, socks, etc. on the parachute and try to have them roll them all to the middle, then can you to try to roll them around the edge of the parachute?
* I want to try this one next time — To the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” 
When the parachute goes up
Stomp your feet
When the parachute goes up 
Stomp your feet
When the parachute is high and it floats up in the sky
When the parachute goes up stomp your feet
Then you can make up whatever you want to add (bend your knees, wiggle your shoulders, etc.)
If you want to check out the page more you can go to:
 http://www.childcarelounge.com/activity/parachute-play.php

The teachable moment for this Mommy today:  don’t be afraid to let unexpected moments of silliness,  messiness and play just happen for kids. And don’t be afraid to be silly and do it with them. We want our kids to not be afraid to try new things or to move in a silly way.  It’s OK if things don’t happen on schedule and like you are expecting – sometimes those are the sweetest memories.
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