When the pool noodle first came on the market, I’m sure parents across the globe scoffed. I mean, come on. It’s a long piece of foam with a hole in it. But inventor Steve Hartman is taking his pool noodle and laughing all the way to the bank. While he had a difficult time marketing the simple pool toy at first (whose original purpose was to cover expansion joints in runways and highways), within a year the concept took off and now people publish books on creative ways to use your noodles. Instead of demeaning your pool noodle and committing it to a singular life as a pool toy, check out our list of genius ways you can get the most of it!
This is an excellent use of a pool noodle for number of reasons. First, its great for little hands who may not be able to paint with a brush yet. Second, it keeps the mess to a minimum! And finally, when the painting session is over you can just throw it all away because it’s so inexpensive, and you probably still have 5.5 feet left of your pool noodle to cut up for next time.
Check out PlayCreateExplore.org for more than 200 more activities for your kids aged 1-5!
2. Sleep Bumpers
If you have a toddler, you will probably soon be on the cusp of a transition of a crib and learning to sleep in a big kid bed. While you may have the situation handled at home, traveling can be stressful. Your child is too big to sleep in a pack n’ play, but you don’t trust them to not roll off a tall hotel bed. If you’re flying to your vacation destination, you can’t exactly pack a huge bed rail, but you can stop by a Target and pick up a pool noodle! Simple slip the pool noodle under the fitted sheet and you have an instant bumper. You can even just leave it at the hotel when you’re done, since you didn’t break the bank when you bought it!
LifeHacker.com has 5 other uses for your pool noodle, and thousands of other life hacks that you will want to check out!
3. Trampoline Spring Cover
Most people who have trampolines in their backyard also sport a handy cover, to protect people from hurting themselves on the springs. But sometimes those wear out and can be costly to replace. For a small price, you can not only take caution by covering your springs with cut up pieces of pool noodles, but you can also add a splash of color!
Check out AThriftyMom.com for more ideas on how you can live a thrifty life.
4. Pom Pom Shooter
How much do kids love pom poms and shooting things? So much so that this idea is a MUST for home, especially this summer. Simply snip off a small sized piece of your pool noodle, cut off the end of a balloon, stretch it halfway around the noodle and duct tape closed.Then just pour in the pom poms and you’ve got an awesome toy!
Head over to FrogsAndSnailsAndPuppyDogTail.com for the full tutorial!
5. Bathtime Basketball
If your kids don’t love bath time, they will after you build this awesome “basketball court” in the tub. All you need are 2 or 3 noodles, fashion them into hoops and cut up some “balls” and you’ve got an amazing new bath time game. Noodles are great because they dry out easily and you won’t have to deal with moldy bath toys.
If you love this idea, then visit GrowingAJeweledRose.com for tons of other sensory, imaginative and educational play activities!
6. Cord Organizer
I’ve never liked cords running all over the place and I especially dislike them with a child running around. Those pose a safety issues because my daughter can trip over them or can pull on them and yank down an electronic. Sure, I could tie wrap them together, but it doesn’t exactly conceal the cords. Never fear, pool noodles are here! Simply cut your noodle to size and neatly hide your cords away.
MarthaStewart.com is the queen of handy home ideas, crafts and recipes so be sure to check out her other great stuff!
7. Furniture Bumpers
Raise your hand if you’ve ever stubbed a toy on a coffee table or bed frame! If I had known about this use of a pool noodle, I would have one less broken toe from our pack n’ play. Using your noodle as a discreet cover (I probably wouldn’t put a hot pink noodle on my nice family room coffee table) you can save some midnight toe stubbing, and probably some bumped heads for your newly crawling baby. Those are also great if you’re moving furniture around and will prevent any nicks and scrapes!
Visit FamilyHomeAndLife.com for even more pool noodle use ideas!
8. Shopping Cart Bumper
Teething babies know no bounds and will chew on anything, no matter how gross. Shopping carts are one of the nastiest things you can touch (check out our post here) so don’t even think about your sweet baby putting their mouth on the handle! All you need to do is chop up a piece of noodle and keep it in your car. Slap it on your shopping cart and you’ve got a baby proofed cart! Just be aware that if your teether does chew on the noodle, pieces of the foam can break off. Just keep a close watch!
ItsNotAlwaysBlackAndWhite.blogspot.com has over 40 more DIY crafts that you will love, so head over!
9. DIY Wreath
Here’s an idea just for you mamas! Instead of spending a ton of money on a pre-made wreath or wreath base, just shape a pool noodle into your desired size and carry on! The other nice aspect of making a pool noodle wreath is that it will be light weight so you can hang virtually anywhere with a simple Command Hook and you don’t have to ruin a wall with a nail hole!
MakingHomeBase.com has the full tutorial so head over and start making your pool noodle wreath!
10. Quiet Blocks
A quiet toy? Sign me up! This is a fabulous way to use a pool noodle! Cut up pieces into block sizes and let your kids imaginations do the work. They can create obstacle courses for their action figures or build the Sears Tower. The world is their noodle. For an additional activity, give them a piece of rope and they can string up their blocks to make a huge noodle chain.
ICanTeachMyChild.com is an amazing resource that has tons of activities for children ages 1-6+.