For whatever reason my kids think it's fun to get those little parachute army men. Well however they string those little toys, they are ruined after one launch it seems.
We made our own parachutes out of recycled bags from the stores.
First get a plastic bag from the store. Lay it flat on the table. Get a large bucket. Trace a circle from the bucket onto the bag. Cut out the circle. Use some thin string, and cut four pieces about 12-16 inches long. Tape all four pieces to the edge of the circle in what would be like a N, S, W, E pattern.
Tie the other four ends together. Wrap around your own little action figure. We wrapped it around his chest, and were able to launch him many times without it tangling so much. I think we will be making these more often, as they are cheap and doesn't matter if they get ruined eventually. :)
See how big of an item you an launch, and what size of a parachute you need for it to fall nicely.
Have fun experiementing.