Ocean Week

Warm up Activity: Shipwreck

Students are taught the following commands, then asked to follow them.

  • All Aboard: Go to center circle in gym
  • Crows Nest: In center circle – jog in place, while “climbing rope”
  • Captain’s Coming: salute the teacher
  • Dance on the Deck: Do right/left arm swing with a partner
  • Crew Overboard: One partner lay on floor, the other partner pulls up with one arm – switch
  • To Your Cabins: Go to gym homes
  • Lifeboat: 3-4 students sit with feet in each others laps and row forward
  • Periscope: Lay down with one foot straight up and turn different angles
  • Swab the deck
  • Radar: Both arms up with elbows out and forearms and hands straight up – rotate from side to side with a “beep-beep” sound
  • Go to:
    1. Bow – Yellow Wall
    2. Stern – Red Wall
    3. Port – Green Wall
    4. Starboard – Blue Wall

Partner: Shipwreck

Everyone gets a partner. There may be group of three if needed. count down in 5 seconds

Students are taught the following commands, then asked to follow them.

  • Captain’s Coming: Salute your partner in sync.
  • Swab the deck: Sing or whistle the Song: It’s a Pirates Life for me
  • All Aboard: Horn Sounds (Sea Cruise) Everybody goes to the deck of the boat (middle of the gym) and balances themselves when the wave hit the boat.
  • Dance on the Deck: Do right elbow swing with a partner. Then switch and do left elbow swing.
  • Crew Overboard: One partner lays on floor flailing in the water. The other partner looks far below the deck and throws life preservers until they finally get one, then they are pulled up by the rope. Switch roles.
  • Birdy on a Perch: One person get down on one knee, while the other sits on the propped leg and acts like a bird. Song: Rockin’ Robin
  • Lifeboat: 2 sets of partners sit on the floor,  students sit with feet in each others laps and row forward while singing
  • Whirlpool: One partner puts their arms in front and makes a circle. The other partner spins inside the circle.
  • Periscope: Lay down with one foot straight up and turn different angles
  • Swab the deck
  • Radar: Both arms up with elbows out and forearms and hands. With a partner, try moving your arms in opposite directions.Rotate from side to side with a “beep-beep” sound

Warm-up Game: Predator vs. Prey (Floppy Fish) Tag

Parachute Games and Activities

  • Grip: Roll the chute under your fingers for a firm grip.
  • Do not use the handles (if you still have some that haven’t ripped off yet).
  • Cue: Shoe tops, Lift up, pull back, then, follow the  teacher’s  signal.

Ocean Waves:  Shake the chute

  • Big Waves: Students make big waves while music is playing, and freeze when music stops.
  • Elevator: Use large movements to make big waves. Use small movements 
to make small waves.
    Pull the chute as tight as you can at  ground level. On “elevator up”, lift the chute overheard while keeping it tight. On “elevator down”, lower the chute to starting position.
  • Popcorn Variation:Place 6 whiffle balls  on the chute. Shake the chute and make them rise like 
corn popping. This can also be done with foam or soft rubber balls.
  • Popcorn: Throw out beach ball, tennis balls, rubber chicken and rope (snake) and have the students shake the chute, popping them up in the air.
  • Variations, the stop and freeze:
  • Jump up and down with both feet off the ground
  • Jump on one foot, then other foot

Bounce Me: Divide class into teams, one on each side.

  • Make waves to keep a ball up.
  • The object of this game is to bounce the ball off the chute to go over the heads of the other team.

Ball Surfing:

  • Try to get a beach ball rolling all the way around the chute. Keep it as near to the outside of the chute as you can.

Housekeeping: One group throws the balls on while the others try to bounce the balls out of the parachute

Touch the Sky!

  • Try to work together to get a ball to touch the ceiling of the gym. Try a variety of balls to see what works best.

Merry Go Round: Students move around in a circle, while holding onto the chute.

  • Start the Music.
  • Students move in same direction with left hand holding chute.
  • When the music stops : freeze, change hands the hand that is holding the chute.
  • Turn then get ready to move in the opposite direction.
  • Locomotor Movements: Skip, Slide-step, gallop, grapevine,  move like a dolphin, a fish, a shark, etc.

Color Chase

Crawling Under:

  • Students grip the parachute with their both hands, while on their knees. Shake the chute to make ocean waves.
  • Teacher calls out one of the colors of the panels of the chute.
  • Everyone with that color being called will let go of the parachute, crawl underneath and find a new panel (same color) to hold onto.

Crawling Over:

  • Same as crawling under, except this time crawl on top of the parachute.

Panel Color Exchange

  • Teacher says, “Shoe tops, 1,2,3, lift up, pull back”.  Hold high enough for students to run under.
  • As players lift chute overhead a color group is called to exchange places under chute
  • Remind students before they go under that it is easier to go all the way through, then find your color panel.
  • Continue until all color panels have been called.

Climb the Bubble (Color panel style)

  • Teacher says, “Shoe tops, 1,2,3, lift up, pull back”.
  • Teacher calls out one of the colors, they will crawl forward and try to climb the bubble and deflate the chute.
  • Everyone else will, snap the chute down, put their knees on top of the chute, trying to keep the bubble filled.
  • Continue until all color panels have been called.


  • Grip: Roll the chute under your fingers for a firm grip.
  • Cue: Shoe tops, the  teacher leads the students while saying, “Go Ducks”,  – Lift up and pull back,  (note: when you see the chute is filled with air).
  • Then, students march 8 steps forward and 8  steps back with the music.
  • Variation: Everyone runs to the center and the chute will fill up with air and you’ll have a mushroom.


  • Grip: Roll the chute under your fingers for a firm grip.
  • Cue: Shoe tops, Lift up, pull back, pull back, pull back.
  • When the teacher sees that the chute is pulled back well:
  • Cue: Go under and immediately sit inside the chute, while keeping the chute tight.
  • Once inside, the teacher can let the class scoot forward and the chute will get taller.
  • Panel color exchange: When the teacher calls out a color, people sitting on that color can get up in the middle and exchange places, with other people with the same color.
  • Rocking Chair: One half of the chute leans forward, while the other half leans back, so that there is a rocking chair motion under the igloo.

Circular Sit-ups: One half does sit up forward, while the other half does the down position of the sit-up.

Swooping Cloud: This one works best outside. Everyone lifts the parachute up and then half of the people let go, while the other half try to run with the chute.


  • Kids stand around parachute and hold it high above their heads (a very taut parachute is needed so have the kids take an extra step or two backwards).
  • *When a number is called, those students become the mice.
  • *They must crawl under the parachute, trying to crawl out between the students still holding the chute and back under the chute as many times as they can.
  • *When you blow the whistle, students still holding the chute pull it quickly to the ground to see how many mice they can trap.


  • Students lay down on floor and pull parachute up to their chin.
  • They must have their legs straight out under the chute and legs together.
  • They pretend to be asleep with eyes closed.
  • Teacher walks around and taps one student on the shoulder–this student becomes the alligator.
  • Alligator crawls quietly under parachute in order to “eat” other students.
  • Alligator “eats” by quickly pulling the feet of another student. When a student is pulled under, they must SCREAM as loud as they can to warn others, and then they also become an alligator
  • Continue until all students are alligators, then start over.

Space Ship

  • Pull down together to the top of shoes.
  • Lift up chute.
  • On “Go”, everyone should let go of the chute together.
  • If done properly, the chute will hover off the ground like a space ship.

Shark Attack:

  • Class sits with legs underneath parachute.
  • One panel color will be the lifeguards. They will stay outside of the parachute and try save students that get pulled under by the sharks.
  • Another panel color will be the sharks under the parachute. Give each shark a frisbee to hold above their head under the chute.
  • When someone is pulled under the parachute by the shark, they will exchange the frisbee to the new shark.
  • The “old shark” will replace the person they pulled under on the outside of the chute.

Parachute Volleyball

Setup and Equipment:

  • Parachute
  • 15-20 beach balls or soft foam balls
  • 1/3 of students hold the parachute
  • 2/3 of the class spread out in general space around the parachute.


  • The class is divided into 3 teams.
  • All students hold on to the parachute, alternating order so that no player from a team is next to another player from the same team
  • Two teams then let go of the parachute and take 2-5 steps back away from the parachute so that one team is holding the parachute with the balls on the parachute when the game begins
  • When the music starts, the team holding the parachute begins to shake the parachute to get the balls on the floor.
  • The other two teams use the bump or set pass to hit the balls back on the parachute.
  • If a ball touches the floor the team holding the parachute gets a point. If a ball touches the floor it remains there.
  • Teams rotate after a minute or so.

Twister – One person in the middle of the chute

  • People on the outside of the chute, twist the chute up, then pull and untangle the chute and give the person in the middle a fun ride.

Air Conditioner – Cool Down –

Everyone stands around the chute:

  • When you call a color, that group crawls under the parachute, lies down on their backs with feet crossed and hands covering eyes.
  • Kids that are still around chute make fast waves to “cool them off”.
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