Fun with Pool Noodles (outside of the pool)

in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford, VA

By Jenny Sites July 14, 2022

Pool Noodles can be tons of fun even outside of the pool! You can usually find them at your local dollar store so they are an inexpensive way to entertain the kids. While you're there, grab some wooden dowels and plastic cable ties too.

Here are some fun ways to use your noodle(s):

1) Hopscotch - tape pool noodles into circles (duct tape works the best) and then tape or cable tie the circles together into a hopscotch pattern. You can make it as short or as long as you'd like.  If you have smaller children, try cutting the pool noodle shorter before making the circles so that they are closer together for hopping.

2) Balanced Fencing - tape two different colored pool noodles to make circles.  Each person balances on their own color pool noodle circle with a foot on each side. (for older kids, make two circles per color. stack the circles on each other and tape them together - this makes it harder to balance). Give each player a pool noodle and let them try to knock the other person off their noodle.

3) Tic Tac Toe - place 4 pool noodles on the ground in the shape of a tic tac toe board. Cut two different colored pool noodles to form small circles to use as markers.  You could also use rocks, toys, leaves, etc as markers - just make sure that you have at least 5 of the same marker for each of the two players.

4) Arch - place a wooden dowel (or thick stick) in the ground on one side. Place the pool noodle over the dowel and bend it over to the side. Place another dowel in the ground where you want the other end of the goal to be (wider makes it lower, narrower makes it taller)  Use this as a soccer goal, yard golf, to crawl under or leap over.

5) Ring Toss - Cut a pool noodle in half. Place two wooden dowels in the ground at different distances. Place half of a pool noodle on each dowel.  Take another pool noodle into a circle and try to toss it over the upright noodles. You can even make multiple circle noodles to toss so that you don't have to collect the one circle over and over.  Try making sets of colored circles if you want to compete. 

6) Upright Target - Tape a pool noodle together to make a circle. Repeat until you have 3 circles.  Tape or cable tie one side of the circles to a long pool noodle then tape another long pool noodle to the other side of the circles. Place wooden dowels in the ground the width of your target and place the noodles over the dowels to stand upright.  Step back and throw balls through the circles.

7) Skeeball - Tape pool noodles end to end making 3 different-sized circles. Place the circles on the ground with the smallest in the middle and the biggest on the outside.  Have the kids stand back and attempt to throw or roll a ball into the "bullseye" (middle circle).  You can change it up by standing further away or using different types of balls. Have the kids make predictions on which ball will be the easiest to hit the bullseye and why. (i.e. lighter ball won't go as far; rubber ball will bounce out of the circle; etc)

8) Balloon relay race - cut a pool noodle in half and blow up a balloon. Mark a starting line and ending line on the ground. (you can even use another pool noodles to mark these lines) Give each half of the pool noodle to two different kids.  Have them hit the balloon back and forth with the pool noodles, keeping it from touching the ground.  You can time them and have them beat their best time, or for more kids, have them compete. 

9) Sprinkler - Stab holes in a pool noodle (a screwdriver works well. be sure you're making the hole all the way to the center of the noodle). Plug one end of the noodle (a plastic bottle cap in the end covered in tape works well)  Place the hose in the top of the noodle, hang the hose over a tree limb, monkey bars, etc. (If your hose doesn't fit very tightly into the end of the noodle, it will come out due to water pressure. You can cable tie the noodle to the limb/bar rather than using the hose to hang it) Turn the hose on and watch the water spray out of the holes.  Another option is to simply lay the sprinkler on the ground. If you choose to lay it down, only poke holes on one side of the noodle or you will lose a lot of water out of the bottom.

10) Obstacle Course - there are so many fun ways to use pool noodles for an obstacle course.  Tape some together in circles to hop through (like hopscotch), make arches on the ground (like the soccer goal) placing 3-6 in a row to crawl through like a tunnel. Punch a hole in the top of the noodle and feed a string through it. Use the string to hang the noodle from a limb or bar. Hang multiples to run through like a car wash. You can also include all of the activities above as part of your obstacle course!