(It could be worse!)
Using the parachute as an aid to storytelling. You have the attention of all because they are holding, the chute. Tell the story using the parachute as an aid. E.g. the following story from the New Testament.
‘One day Jesus and his friends went out in a boat on the sea of Galilee, little waves lapped at the shore (all create small ripples in the taut chute). They all climbed into the boat and set out into deeper water, the sea was like glass, not a wave anywhere. (chute held taut and motionless.). The disciples, used to boats, soon settled down, but then a gentle wind began to blow ruffling the smooth water (chute gently moves.). Slowly the waves got a bit bigger, just a little tiny bit around on a rough sea (suit actions to story). Jesus struggled to his feet, the boat was pitching up and down. He looked at the boisterous waves and told them to be still, he commanded the wind to stop, and suddenly all was calm (chute held taut). The disciples were amazed, they had been frightened of the storm, but now they felt frightened of Jesus as they realised just how powerful their friend was.’
You will find that the children soon get the idea of following the story and they will almost automatically stop the storm actions at the appropriate time. You can add details, like hauling on ropes or rowing with appropriate actions. You can illustrate Peter’s faith by a person walking on the chute surface.
Another example is Jonah’s story – listening to parachute instructions – listening to God; obeying instructions – Jonah didn’t; a storm at see, as above; man overboard, under chute; Jonah inside the fish, para-sight; out to Ninevah shade of the week etc.
It is possible to twist all sorts of stories to use the parachute. However, a good idea soon palls if it is used continuously, and you need to be wary of using a parachute rather than telling the story, so it is very much a case of first find your story and then see if it is appropriate.by