Foam noodles are lovely in the pool for kids who are close enough to swimming to use them safely. Older kids can whack them around like light sabers. But did you know that the smart people of the Internet have identified a quadrillion more things to do with pool noodles?
Here’s a sampling.
1- Prevent a child from falling off her bed. I read this on ParentHacks years ago and have seen it a few other places since then. Tuck a pool noodle under the fitted sheet on the outer edge of the bed to create a border your child is less likely to roll over.
2- Slice them up to create oversized confetti.
I used regular scissors to cut these. It’s hard work for your hands, so recruit your partner to help you work on this after bedtime.
A bathtub or kiddie pool full of pool noodle chunks is almost as fun as a ball pit at Chuck E Cheese. And certainly less infectious.
These same slices can be used as mega-beads for educational purposes or party decorations. There is a tutorial for this pretty pool noodle garland at sugar and cloth.
3- Create an outdoor game. I saw this javelin set up on Parents.com and suspect that it’s not a realistic project for any family. I can just imagine myself sweating and swearing as I attempt to balance these things just right, when a light wind comes along and changes the whole game.
I did test out this Parents.com tip: Stick chopsticks into the grass and slide your foam noodle on top.
It worked wonderfully. (Note to self: Steal extra chopsticks from sushi counter at grocery store.) The ones I used in this picture are fancy and not appropriate for stabbing into the dirt.
4- Babyproof anything. From the sharp edges of a coffee table to the edge of a crib that baby keeps chewing on. An impressive tutorial for no-sew fabric-plus-pool-noodle crib rail cover is here. Note that you don’t want to expose the foam where it might be chewed on and become a choking hazard, hence the slipcover.
The foam noodle I put on my sharp TV console is very snug, but the truth is a determined 2-year old could take it off. I think it’s a great, quick fix for a visit to Grandma’s house or for a new walker who literally spends the whole day falling into furniture. I don’t think a 15-month old could mess with this, beyond taking a bite out of it.
5- Make a marble track. Split one water noodle in half and let the kids have a race. This photo comes from a blogger who got the idea from Family Fun magazine. I love it!
Note: Marbles are not for toddlers. You already know that, right?
6- Design a seasonal wreath. If you asked me 10 years ago if I would like to make a seasonal wreath for my door, I would have told you that I certainly would not. But I’ve gone over to the dark side — or shall I say the Better Homes and Garden’s side? My kids love decorating for holidays and I will try not to have a complete identity crisis if I find myself making a red, white, and blue “pool noodle wreath” in July.
7- Make lightsabers, for real. Well, for pretend for real. Start with a pool noodle, then add silver duct tape and create a control panel-inspired design on the handle with black tape. This looks really cute for a big kid’s birthday party, but I’m not sure I want to stick around for the ensuing activity it may inspire among the party guests. Someone is definitely going to cry, and it will probably be my kid. Maybe hand it out when they head out the door?
Want to see more? Follow us on Pinterest. I’ll keep pinning pool noodle hacks as I find them!