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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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!
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
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.
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!
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!