Friday, June 23, 2017

A Pinterest Summer: Pool Noodle Fun

 This week marked the first official week of summer and boy, was it a scorcher!  We had some seriously high heat and spent as much time inside as possible.  One of our goals for this summer is to find something on Pinterest that is kid friendly and fun and try it out.  None of that pinning and forgetting around here!  Each week, I will post what activity we chose and what adaptations we made and what we thought about it. 

So, to start out this summer series, let's talk about Pool Noodles.  They are seriously amazing!  Not to mention that there are probably a hundred different pins for who knows  how many different things to do with pool noodles.  There are a crazy amount of things out there.  Back in May, Weston's brilliant kindergarten teacher found this video floating around Facebook with a bunch of pool noodle activities for kids and we went with it.  Parents brought in dollar store pool noodles and some of my wonderful mom friends came over and we went to work! We cut, duct taped, and hung out.  We had so much fun!  Not to mention they came out really cool! 

We made Rackets, bean bag toss, ring toss, and kick ball croquet.  All of these were used for 3 kindergarten classes to play with.  They survived.  Seriously, they held up, they lasted, and the were awesome!  The ring toss even survived three classes of second graders!

The Bean Bag Toss:
 This game came because we just had so many extra noodles that we kept making things.  It was super easy to make, with just 5 pool noodles and some duct tape.  We made 3 rings and then duck taped them to the two outside noodles and then to each other.  Eventually, we added noodles to use as a place for the kids to stand and throw.   You can also prop this up on dowls and throw balls through the circles too. 

Kickball Croquet:

 This game was so much fun!  We just took pool noodles and stuck them in tent stakes and really long nails that were in the ground sticking out.  The original directions called for sharpened pencils to be hammered into the dirt and then stick the noodle over it on each end.  This probably would work well if you have wonderful moist dirt.  We don't.  It's like hard clay, so the tent stakes worked perfect.  Long nails worked well, too, but if they popped out it was hard to find them in the grass.  So, try pencils and if they don't work, try something else. 

We altered these rackets a bit from the original video.  The video used mesh fruit bags to make an area for the ball to bounce off.  We were trying to make this is as easy as possible, but also we wanted them to last.  We tried one leftover mesh from a previous purchase and it tore so easily.  We didn't think the mesh bags would survive one group of kinders.  So, we played around with it and found that if we wrapped the paddle part with duct tape so that the sticky sides met in the middle and stuck together, it would create a great paddle to use with a softball sized whiffle ball.  These things not only lasted 6 rotations of kinders but also will be able to be used next year!  How cool is that?!?

 Ring Toss:
 This game was so easy!  We made a bunch of round circles using a whole noodle and duct tape.  Then, we cut a few noodles to different sizes and then hammered some 12 inch dowels into the ground.  The  noodles just go over the dowel and the kids throw the rings.  This was a hit with both the kinder classes and the second graders. 

Basically pool noodles rock!  There are so many pins in the world of Pinterest that can provide some use out of pool noodles, so you might see more posts using them. . . because 1. Gotta keep the kids busy and 2. they only cost a $1 at the dollar store! 

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