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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Pool Noodle Fun for the Whole Year by Trisha Roberts

Activites for yearround fun with Pool Noodles

Pool Noodle Activities
Center hole Pool Noodles
   Pool Noodles are fun summer pool accessories, but they can be used in lots of other fun ways throughout the year.  Purchase some extra noodles now for making exciting activities and games for later. Here are some suggestions to get you started.  You and your kids will have fun making up more games to play outside or inside on rainy/snowy days!

·       JUMPING:

o   Preparation:  Cut 2 pool noodles into fourths using a large, serrated knife (like a bread knife).  Place them on the floor in parallel with 15-20 inches between each noodle. 

How to cut Pool Noodles
Cutting Pool Noodles with a Serrated Knife

o   Play: Have your children start at one end and jump between the noodles.  You can space the noodles farther apart for older children or as young children progress in their jumping abilities. Older children can hop between the noodles or perform sideways jumps.

Juming over Pool Noodles

o   Variation: A more advanced activity is jumping over a raised line or pole.  Make a “Hurdle” by securing a ruler or other stake/dowel rod several inches through each end of the Pool Noodle and then elevating the Pool Noodles by passing them through the rungs of a chair. Have children jump over the hurdle, using both feet for take-off and landing.
Jumping over Pool Noodle Hurdles
Pool Noodle Hurdles


o   Preparation:  Place Pool Noodles in parallel, forming a path or "roadway" or stake Pool Noodles into the ground and use caution tape between the poles to form paths. Make arches with Pool Noodles staked in the ground or attached to Traffic Cones for taller archways. You can place traffic signs at intersections and cross walks to teach biking safety and add fun to your course. 

Pool Noodle Course with Traffic Signs

Pool Noodle Bike Course with Arches
Pool Noodle Scooter Board Course

Pool Noodle Biking Course

o   Play:  Have the children sit on scooters and propel themselves through the course using just their feet.  Have children on their tummy over the scooter and use their arms to navigate the course. Children can ride their tricycles or bikes through the course.

      CHAIR HOCKEY: (a great Party game for 8 or more children)

o   Preparation:  Cut noodles in half; you will need a noodle for each child.  Line up 2 rows of chairs facing one another and spaced about 6 feet apart. Inflate 2 12-inch balloons of different colors. (It would be good to have 1 or 2 balloons as backups in case the balloons pops)
o   Play:  Have the children sit in the chairs facing each other and holding their noodles.  Each row is a team and will be assigned a balloon color.  Two Game Moderators stand at either end of the rows and release the balloon between the chairs.  Each team tries to bat their balloon with their noodles and move it down the row of chairs and out the other end.  The first team to get their colored balloon down the row scores a point. Children must remain seated (You could consider subtracting a point for getting out of their chair.  This keeps chaos to a minimum!).  They can bat either colored balloon to thwart the other team or make progress moving their own balloon toward the goal.  Moderators are available to return any escaped balloons to the field of play.  Game ends when one team scores 10 points.

Chair Hockey with Pool Noodles
Pool Noodle Chair Hockey

·       LACING:

Pool Noodle Discs
o   Preparation: Make sure to purchase a pool noodle with a hole running through the center. Using a serrated knife, cut a pool noodle into 2-inch discs. Find a long scarf or strong cord; feed the scarf through the hole in the disc, and tie a knot in the scarf to secure it to the disc.
Pool Noodle Lacing
Lacing or Stringing Pool Noodles

o   Play:  Have your child push the loose end of the scarf or strong cord through and disc and slide it all the way to the end to join the secured disc.  Continue to feed discs onto the scarf until all the discs have been attached.  Children will enjoy taking them back off one at a time.  This is an excellent way to improve hand strength and eye-hand coordination.  You can practice counting, colors, or sequencing as well!


o   Preparation:  Cut a pool noodle in half. You will need a balloon or ball. Set chairs, traffic cones, or other stable objects on the floor with ample space to move around.
      If you are playing outside, take Pool Noodles and bend them to make an arch, securing them to the ground by pushing them onto tent stakes or sturdy sticks pushed several inches into the ground. (You can also buy an inexpensive packet of “shims” from the hardware store that work well)

Making Pool Noodles into Hoops and Arches
Make Pool Noodle Hoops and Arches

Pool Noodles to bat ballObstacle Course with Pool Noodles

o   Play:  Children will start at the beginning of the course and use their noodles to bat the ball or balloon around the obstacles and through the arches in the course.  For extra fun you could clock their time with a stopwatch and work on increasing their speed with each repetition.

Pool Noodle Arches Obstacle Course

·       BOWLING:

o   Preparation: Cut several Pool Noodles in sixths, making sure that the bottoms are even; place 10 Noodle “Pins” in the classic bowling pin triangle shape (1 in the front row, 2 in the second row, 3 in the third row, and 4 in the back row). You can make “Bumper Guards” by placing a Pool Noodle on either side of the “Bowling Alley” if your little ones have difficulty rolling the ball down the lane. Provide a large beach ball or playground ball.

Bumper Guards using Pool Noodles
Pool Noodle Bowling Pins
Pool Noodle Bowling Pins

o   Play:  Children stand at the end of the “lane” and are given 2 turns to roll the ball toward the pins to knock them down. Older children can practice their math skills by adding points or they can calculate and record actual bowling scores. (Learn to Score Bowling here)


o   Preparation:  Cut a Pool Noodle in half lengthwise.  The two halves can be tapedtogether with a decorative masking tape or laid side by side.  Elevate one end and secure it to a chair or couch.  Let the Finish Line be the floor or another lower surface.  You can make a “Finish Line” sign and attach it to the pool noodle with wooden skewers!

Race Track with Pool Noodles

Car Track with Pool Noodles

o   Play:  Take 2 Matchbox cars (or other cars of similar size) and place one in each side of the groove formed by the half noodle.  Race away!  

o   Variation:  Marbles can also be used to roll down the tracks.

·       RING TOSS:

o   Preparation:  Take 5-10 Pool Noodles and bend them into a circle, securing them together with duct tape to make a throwing ring. Cut a Pool Noodle in half and push it onto a stake secured in the ground to make the target pole.  If playing indoors, use a traffic cone or similar object for the target.

Taping a Pool Noodle into a Hoop

Making a Pool Noodle Ring Toss

o   Play:  Children stand and throw the Noodle Rings over the cone.  Start close to the target/cone and then gradually increase the throwing distance by moving the children farther away.

·       “JAVELIN" THROW:

o   Preparation:  Form a circle with a Pool Noodle and secure with duct tape.  Tie a thin rope around the circle and suspend it in the air so that it hands at shoulder height or a little above. Cut 4 or more Pool Noodles in half.

Making a Pool Noodle Javelin Throw Target

o   Play:  Children stand several feet away from the suspended circle and try to throw the “Javelin” through the target.

These are just a few ideas to get you started.  As always, we welcome your ideas and suggestions to share with other parents and care providers! 

 Have Fun!

Author:  Trisha Roberts
Copyright © 2016 TNT Inspired Enterprise, LLC, All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.


  1. All those toys are very good and nice to see useful in educational also.

  2. Didn't know pool noodles are so versatile! Love the biking obstacle course idea:)