Pool Noodle Activities

Pool Noodle Activities

How many of you guys have colorful pool noodles hanging out in your garage or closet just waiting to be used at the pool or beach? What if I told you those inexpensive pool toys can be used for much more? 

pool noodle activities

Pool noodles are quickly becoming one of my favorite items to use when making up new activities this summer. But don’t worry I’m not gatekeeping these fun ideas, today I am sharing four activities you can do with your pool noodles. If you don’t have any yet, a quick trip to the dollar store and a few bucks later you will be set. 

Pool Noodle Stacking 

Have you ever watched preschoolers playing with blocks or legos and they just want to stack them as high as they will go before crashing down? This first activity we did is a variation of that only way more fun and wayyyy more messy! 

Once you have your noodles, all you need to get started is some shaving cream and “tools” (spatulas or paintbrushes work great) for your little ones to get stacking! 

pool noodle stacking with shaving cream

I cut my pool noodles into 2-inch discs and then let my littles use their tools to spread shaving cream on them as the glue to stack and build with their noodles. If you haven’t already figured- this activity is 100% better outdoors. I literally had to hose down the area (and the kids) afterward. Bathing suits would make the clean-up even easier.

pool noodle shaving cream stacks

Yes, there are way less messy activities I could do with my kiddos, but if you saw the joy on their faces when they were building their little shaving cream/pool noodle worlds you would understand why I love this one so much. Plus, getting used to the different textures of the shaving cream is so great for kids with sensory issues. 

Build a Ship

This next activity is the next level up from pool noodle stacking. It’s a fun STEM challenge called Build a Ship where little ones (you guessed it), build a ship out of pool noodle discs. 

pool noodle ship building

To set up this activity, pull out pink, green, and blue noodle discs from the first activity, cut some triangles out of foam, and add them to toothpicks to make flags. In my Pirate Week lesson plans you will find the “Build a Ship” cards for littles to copy. These are real-world images so that the kids know exactly what theirs will look like. 

pool noodle ship building

This little activity hits on so many different skills- one-to-one correspondence when they are copying the picture, fine motor, and critical thinking as they figure out how to build the ship. As the ship got higher and higher they had to work together to figure out how to keep the discs together. I loved watching their problem solving skills as they figured out how to use the toothpicks from the flags to bind them together. 

Shape Sail

Now that littles have had plenty of practice building their ships, they finally get to sail them! This is one activity where you will need to learn from my mistake and use a sensory bin to contain the mess. I have done it just on a table and the mess was everywhere! 

pool noodle ship sail

I also learned the hard way that less is definitely more when it comes to shaving cream. You only need to give them a small amount to start off with. Shaving cream, their boat from the previous activity and the shape mats from Pirate Week Lesson Plans is all you need! 

pool noodle ship sail

Little ones will sail their ships through the shaving cream seas to form the different shapes. This is great for reviewing shapes and their attributes! Fair warning- you will either have little ones smearing shaving cream all over their bodies or not wanting to touch it at all- there is no in between. 

Water Sensory Play

If you read last week’s blog post, you know I am a big fan of the phrase, “just add water” which is exactly what the last activity is! This is especially great for those littles I just mentioned who don’t enjoy messy play.

pirate water sensory bin

Fill your sensory bins with water and dump in some fun pirate themed items like gems and gold coins, and let their ships sail! My littles loved putting my little plastic mermaids (if you follow me on TikTok-you know!) in the boats and letting them sail around their sensory bin. 

pirate ship water sensory bin

All of these activities share materials, so once you have set up one the rest are a breeze to throw together. All of the printables are available in my Pirate Week Lesson Plans on TPT and any extra materials can be found linked in my Amazon Storefront.

Let me know if you try any of these pool noodle activities over on Instagram and make sure you tag @preschoolpackets so I can share! I love seeing my activities in the wild.

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