Before you begin
- You might need some extra adults to help everyone shake the parachute.
Play cat and mouse
- Everyone should sit down in a circle around the parachute. They should all hold onto the parachute (using the handles, if there are any), and they should be spaced out evenly around the edge.
- The person leading the game should choose someone to be the mouse. The mouse should crawl under the parachute.
- The person leading the game should choose someone else to be the cat. The cat should take their shoes off, then crawl on top of the parachute.
- The person leading the game should say ‘shake’ and everyone sitting around the parachute should start shaking it to make waves that hide the mouse.
- The person leading the game should say ‘mouse’, and the mouse should start crawling around under the parachute.
- Once the mouse has had a chance to disappear among the waves, the person leading the game should say ‘cat’. The cat should start crawling around the parachute trying to find and gently tag the mouse.
- The mouse should keep crawling around trying to escape the cat until the cat tags the mouse.
- Everyone should go back to their places and everyone should repeat steps one to seven to play again with a different cat and mouse.
During this game, the cat and mouse used their problem solving skills and stuck at it to find (or hide from) each other.
Once the game’s finished, encourage everyone to reflect. You could ask questions, for example:
- Do people think it was it more difficult to be the cat or the mouse? Which did they prefer being?
- How could the people shaking the parachute have helped the cat or the mouse?
- Active games
The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed. Take a look at our guidance on running active games safely.
- Contact games and activities
Make sure everyone understands what contact is acceptable, and monitor contact throughout the activity.
- Not everyone will be comfortable crawling around underneath the parachute, and that’s OK – there’s not a lot of space, and it might be a bit dark too! Explain what the mouse has to do before you ask people if they’d like to have a go. You could also let people try being under the parachute for a few seconds before deciding if they want to play a game as the mouse. If people don’t want to be the mouse, they could still have a turn at being the cat.
- The cat could be blindfolded so they have to feel where the mouse is. If you blindfold the cat (or ask them to close their eyes), everyone around the circle should be aware to make sure the cat stays on the parachute and doesn't injure themselves.
- The game can get noisy quickly if everyone’s excitedly trying to help their friends. If anyone doesn’t like noisy games, you could play it without talking – people could use one hand to shake the parachute and the other to point out where they think the mouse has gone.
Everyone should be able to take part in this activity. Encourage different methods of playing, such as the cat or mouse rolling, to make sure everyone can take part.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.