Happy Memorial Day everyone! Since today is “the unofficial start of summer” (nevermind that three weeks of school we have left) I thought I would write a post about some of the many things you can do with pool noodles. They aren’t just for pools, you know!
The first thing we tried out was a pool noodle marble racing ramp. I originally saw this on pinterest. In fact I think it was one of the first things I ever pinned! Only took me a few years to actually make it… I bought my pool noodles at the dollar store and used a serrated knife to cut one in half for our marble ramp. It was actually pretty tricky to keep the cut centered so that the marble would have a path on each half. I didn’t get it perfectly straight but it still seemed to work all right. Then I taped the halves together and made a finish line sign out of construction paper taped to two skewers. I brought it out in the yard for the kids to play with – propping it on a chair and placing the end in a cookie tray.
The boys were excited to try it out! We quickly discovered that it didn’t work well to have them race each other because it’s hard to let the marbles go at exactly the same time, so they ended up taking turns putting two marbles down at a time after predicting which one would win. My younger son lost interest fairly quickly but my older son put down all the marbles in the jar. While they seemed to enjoy it, they only played with it for about 10 minutes. I was a little disappointed that it didn’t keep their interest for longer, but then THIS awesomeness happened.
My older son said he wanted to build his own marble ramp inside, so I took the noodles apart and gave them each a half, along with a handful of marbles. They set their ramps all over the living room and ended up playing with them for almost an hour! They had a blast, and we squeezed in some education along with all that creativity by talking about what things seemed to affect the marbles’ speed, etc… So while it wasn’t exactly the “pinterest activity” I had intended it to be, it was still great!
I also originally saw this idea on pinterest. I think they were made as birthday party favors, and while they looked really cool they also looked a bit too adult labor intensive for my taste. So, here is my twist on the pool noodle light saber project.
I cut a pool noodle in half and used duct tape to make a handle on one end of each soon-to-be light saber.
I have the boys each a piece of white paper that was the right size to wrap once around the pool noodle. They drew their “controls” for their light sabers onto the white paper. It was fun to see what they came up with! This light saber features an on/off switch and it has a dial going from 0-13 so that you can set the strength depending on your enemy.
|Camera Shy Ready to Go!
I attached the papers to the light saber handles using clear packing tape. Now we can tell which one belongs to which kid, and they have the fun of “using” the controls they made. I like that these light sabers are a lot softer than the one we have from Target. Less crying is good.
|Their only complaint is that the light sabers are both blue. They told me, “Mommy, we
shouldn’t be fighting! We’re both good guys!”
Here are some other fun looking ideas we may try this summer:
Pool Noodle Flash Cards – Write letters or numbers on the noodle pieces and float them in your kiddie pool! (photo source
Pool Noodle Painting
– leave some noodles in circles pieces and some in half circles. Dip in paint an stamp away!
– I thought this looked a little complicated, but I’d love to have the kids string some of our DIY colored pasta
onto pipe cleaners to create the firework effect
– Cut up some pool noodles into different shapes and let your kids attach them with tooth picks! My boys would love this!
Pool noodles only cost a dollar or so each, and they’re really fun and versatile! Have fun noodling around this summer!