Get Creative with Pool Noodles

Get Creative with Pool Noodles

You know how everyone uses pool noodles in pools to play? What’s up with that? Slapping water at your sister’s face is so 1990; get with the times and utilize those old pool noodles in an innovative or fun way.

Heh these tips are also helpful if (like me) you happen to have over a dozen pool noodles in your house after a Dr Seuss birthday party

What to Do with Pool Noodles

Pool Noodle Wreath Core

Pinterest is rife with beautiful holiday wreaths and the basis for all of them is a circle. One of the easiest things to work with is foam core, but buying it from a hobby store is more money than it’s worth. Cut a length of pool noodle, make a circle, and duct tape it down and your wreath base is done! Get to crafting!

Pool Noodle Door Jam

Slamming doors can be obnoxious and potentially damaging, especially when you have little kids with little fingers. Take a piece of pool noodle about 10 inches long and cut it lengthwise. The result should be a slit that will fit over your door width, which if placed high on the door will keep it from closing, banging, or annoying your family and out of the reach of nosy babies.

Ideas on reusing pool noodles

Car Seat Balance

When we bought our minivan, we didn’t realize that the bucket seats in back were not going to work well with car seats.  Go figure.

Because of the incline of the seats, they only just barely are balanced properly and when our daughter was first born, her head would immediately slump forward. Our only safe solution was to use a pool noodle. Now I need to note that you should NOT try this tip without making 100% sure it’s safe for your situation – which is why I recommend checking in with your local car seat safety inspection site.

We took a small section of pool noodle – about 9 inches – and placed it under the front of the car seat to keep her head in the best position for safe, comfortable car rides! Again make sure the balance ball on the car seat is in the safe, green zone if you attempt this.

Boot Shape Saver

I only own three kinds of shoes – flats, running shoes, and boots.

As someone who lives thrifty, it’s rare for me to buy new shoes (except for that one incident with a cat…) so keeping my boots tall and beautiful requires some reinforcement at times. Luckily pool noodles are about the perfect width for this process. Top them with a decorative bow, poof, or handle for easy removal and a cute accent for when they’re just sitting around.

Truffula Trees

Ah, the very reason I had to come up with this list in the first place! For my daughter’s 2nd birthday, I created a forest of Truffula Trees for her Dr. Seuss-inspired bash! Pair tissue paper flowers with brightly colored pool noodles and wrap them up diagonally with equally bright duct tape. They’re beautiful, fun, and great decorations for a playroom even after the party is over!

Dr Seuss party ideas on a budget

Pool Noodle Forts

Taking equal lengths of pool noodle and binding them together with tape (using foot long lengths of noodle for the corner braces) can give you the perfect shell to drape a sheet or two over. This creates a big, airy, SAFE fort for you to hide from your kids in. Or for your kids themselves. Whatever you prefer.

Trampoline Safety

A trampoline is a lot of fun until someone falls off or misjudges their jump and lands on the spring coils. Can’t do much about the first but the second is an easy fix with pool noodles! Cut short lengths, long enough to cover each coil, then slit the noodle pieces and slip them on. Soft, foamy, and pretty sturdy, they’ll keep your kids contusion-free (at least from the springs).

Balloon Battles

Everyone knows that “keep the balloon off the ground!” is one of the most entertaining post-party games, regardless of your age. Know what makes it even more fun? Using pool noodles to do so! You could even take it a step further and create a soccer-like game, in which you have two teams trying to knock the balloon into a goal. The options are limitless and the kids will surely go to bed happy but exhausted!

DIY pool noodle ideas

Pool Noodle Sprinkler

First, cap the end of a pool noodle; a large plastic lid and a lot of duct tape is good for this. Next, skewer lots of holes in the length of the noodle. Then, insert a garden hose and turn it on. The water will spray out of your skewer holes and make for a fun summer cooling-off station!

Pool Noodle Painting

Pool noodle DIY ideas

The composition of pool noodles, along with their small size when cut into pieces makes for the perfect stamp for little hands. Cut them into 2-3 inch long sections, grab some fingerpaint and a white poster board from your local dollar store, and you’ve got yourself a good 30 minutes of frugal fun for the kids!

Pool Noodle Bed Bumper

When transitioning into a big-kid bed, our little guy had trouble with moving and rolling around in bed. A solution was to bind about 8 half pool noodles together and it turned into a colorful, fun, and most importantly SOFT headboard for our little guy.

Homemade Race Ramp

Kids love to send their toy cars flying down an incline, but we’re always looking for something better than a poster board. By cutting a pool noodle in half lengthwise, you have to equal race tracks for your little kids’ little cars to zip down, and you can make the tracks longer and longer with the addition of more noodles.

DIY Paint Brush Holder

Cut a short length of pool noodle, and then cut it lengthwise to create a slit that you can slide your paint brush into. This is especially handy if your kids are a bit neurotic like mine and not only refuse to use their fingers to finger paint, but need a new brush for each and every color.

Pool noodle DIY ideas

Noodle Fights

We don’t typically allow for any sort of “weapons” in our house (i.e. Nerf guns and the like) but let’s face it – I have a 5 year old boy and he’s going to use a pool noodle as a sword. So when I saw these handles on Amazon, I had to get ’em. We cut off about 8 inches of pool noodle and then attached them with ease to the handles. The kids love to play pirate with these and should one of the noodles break, they’re easy to replace!

See on Amazon

Pool noodles are surprisingly useful, aren’t they? And this is just a small sampling of the various DIY pool noodle adventures!

Have you ever used pool noodles for something other than poolside fun?

Comment below, I’d love to hear about it!

pool noodle ideas

Throw a Frugal Dr. Seuss Party

Throw a Frugal Dr. Seuss Party

Looking for easy Dr. Seuss birthday party ideas? Dr. Seuss may seem like a cliche party idea, but when Target has a bunch of Dr. Seuss goodies in their dollar bin, what’s a thrifty guardian to do?! So in July of last year, my daughter’s 2nd birthday theme was settled….7 months in advance. Yay for being prepared!

Dr. Seuss birthday party ideas and DIY tips for throwing a cute toddler or child's party on a budget. Throw a birthday party and save money. Learn how to make a Truffula tree, Seuss food, hop on pop, and other frugal party ideas.

 

My daughter turned two this past weekend and luckily she didn’t care much what her decorations looked like, provided there were cupcakes and balloons. So Dr. Seuss it was. Now when I hopped on Amazon to find some decorations, I immediately had to click away (no matter how much I love to shop online!)

$8 for some Dr. Seuss balloons and $23 for a Thing 1 toddler top?? Errhm. No.

I decided to make use of my thrifty skills – and love for crafting – and make all of our decorations. And OH. MY. GOODNESS. I have never been more pleased with myself. I’d also like to note that every single thing I created was made from goodies purchased at the dollar store. #humblebrag

Dr Seuss party ideas on a budget

Dr. Seuss DIY Ideas

My first big project was going to be somehow disguising the weight machine we have in our foyer.

Yes, I said in our foyer.

We got it for free and it definitely helped in my mission to get paid to lose weight! The only downside being that the only place it fit was in our entryway.

“Hello, welcome to our home! Mind the barbells…”

Given that the machine is over 6ft tall, I knew I’d either have to just roll with it or figure out something to cover it really well. So decor piece #1 was…

DIY Truffula Trees

These things were a bit tedious to make but actually a LOT of fun.

You’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper (5 sheets worked well for me)
  • Ribbon or twist-ties
  • Pool noodle
  • Colored duct tape

Simply fold the pieces of tissue paper into an accordion, tie a ribbon around the middle, cut about an inch into each fold, and then fan out! For the “trunk of the tree”, simply wrap tape around the pool noodle and use the last bit to secure the flower to the trunk. Easy to make and a great way to WOW your guests…especially if you have a giant weight set to cover up in the entrance way to your house. (Just me? Weird.)

I had the toddlers paint a few poster boards and used those to make a sort of fort to prop the trees up. The extra trees were placed throughout the house – yes, extra trees. I may have went a bit overboard.

Dr Seuss party ideas on a budget

One of my favorite things about this theme is that the look/feel/font of Seuss is always a bit askew. As someone with ZERO artistic talent (seriously, my 3 year old draws better than me), I very much appreciated my lack of talent as a strength here. We live in a VERY old house – like fully expect newspapers mentioning Lincoln when we finally tear out the walls – so there are many spots in which we have wallpaper peeling or plaster crumbling. I.E. Nothing a poster board with an inspirational Dr. Seuss quote couldn’t cover!

Dr. Seuss Food Ideas

One Fish Two Fish… – Multicolored gold fish in a cute little plastic fish bowl.

Dr Seuss party ideas on a budget

Go Dog Go – Hot dogs cooked in crescent rolls (also known as pigs in a blanket)

Hop on Pop(corn) – we did a popcorn bar for this one. Giant bowl of hot air popcorn with half a dozen topping options: cinnamon sugar, parmesan, butter, garlic salt, and of course MILK DUDS! Yum.

Dr Seuss party ideas on a budget

Green Eggs and Ham – deviled eggs with a bit of blue dye added to the yellow yolks and some rolled deli ham. Easy peasy and delicious!

Lorax – I drew a quick little yellow mustache, a set of eyes, taped them onto a plastic cookie jar, filled it with every child’s favorite snack (CHEESY POOFS!) and VOILA! The Lorax.

Dr Seuss party ideas on a budget

My husband – ever the witty man – did contribute one idea: Yerdle the Turtle soup. Luckily, I’m the one who does the party planning.

Dr. Seuss Birthday Outfit Idea

Once again, I’d like remind you that ALL of this can be found at The Dollar Store. For my daughter’s outfit, I used a red tutu I’d already made for the 4th of July last year and then I bought a red t-shirt. Grabbed a bit of white fabric paint, made myself a nice little circle, grabbed a black permanent marker, and suddenly…she was THING 2! Forget spending $20+ on an outfit when she looked oh-so-stinkin’ cute in one I made for barely $1.

Go Dog Go - Hot dogs cooked in crescent rolls (also known as pigs in a blanket)

Overall, throwing a birthday party – no matter your child’s age – shouldn’t break the bank. Honestly, I can’t remember the decorations from ANY of MY birthday parties, but you know what I DO remember?

Playing tag with my cousins in the backyard.

Meeting the newest additions to the family.

Listening to my crazy uncle rant about Reagan.

Ya know – family stuff 🙂

So while I very much encourage you to make use of your own thrifty skills (and hopefully your local dollar store!), don’t ever forget the purpose of these shindigs – to come together and celebrate life and love.

What are some of your favorite childhood party memories? Decorations or otherwise!