I had the great luck to have my super artistic, crazy imaginative, perfectly awesome Mom visiting for this week’s pool noodle challenge for the Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series. And as the best Grandma ever, she helped me pull off several different pool noodle activities based around pattern play and hand/eye coordination. We threw ourselves a Kiddy Noodle Carnival!
We had three different activities at the carnival. We set them up around the yard so that they could move from one to the other easily, and of course, as twin boys and children in general are want to do, they made up their own games as well and transferred items from one game to another. It was amazing how long they were entertained with a few pool noodles, a simple wooden dowel (fishing rod!), some water and some old buckets.
Here were our three games. All were based around pattern play, encouraging the boys to count, identify colors and mimic patterns with their noodle pieces.
1. Fishing: Their little wooden dowel fishing rods could loop up chopped pool noodles out of a bucket of water. This was by far their favorite stop at the carnival, and they spent the most time catching new “fish” and transferring them to a bucket or back and forth from Grandma’s rod.
2. Caterpillar: In this game, some simple Velcro stick-ons from the local craft store allowed them to stick the noodles together in different color patterns to make their own caterpillars (which they then enjoyed carrying around on their fishing rods). TRICK: Use a Sharpie to mark the soft sides of the Velcro so they know to match up the scratchy sides to a black dot instead of getting frustrated by trying to make two soft sides stick.
3. Egg Walk: Similar to the egg walk relay race most of us played as kids, this time the boys had to capture noodles with their rods in different color patterns from one side of the yard and transfer them to a bucket on the other side of the yard without dropping them. This tested their concentration and focus.We meant to play it as an actual race, but as usual, they had minds of their owns and traversed the entire yard all over before dropping off their recent catch and coming back for more.
We saved all of our pool noodles to reuse for many more days of play this summer. We plan to go noodle fishing in the pool, will continue to challenge their pattern recognition and even have a few more games in mind, like noodle croquet or an obstacle course to try out. What a fantastically cheap way to keep the kids entertained all afternoon!
And just for fun…here’s a pic of the kiddos with their grandparents after they finished playing.
Check out what the other ladies came up with for today’s challenge on their websites and be sure to link up any pool noodle related activities you might have to share!