Over a year ago, I purchased interlocking foam pool noodles, planning to pull them out one day as a boredom buster. This year they finally made their debut, as pool noodle building blocks!
Before introducing the pool noodles, I trimmed them into various lengths with a sharp knife on a cutting board. The cut pieces ranged from thin slices to much longer ones. A few sections were sliced in half lengthwise.
Then I loaded the connectable foam noodle loose parts into large bins and set them out in a block corner. I wasn’t sure how early learners would react to them. Would they find them interesting to build with? Would the novelty of the construction activity wear off after a few days?
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Pool Noodle Block Play
The first day the cut swim noodles were out I demonstrated how to slide them together. Children responded well and began creating structures.
The light, flexible blocks far surpassed my expectations as a building toy. Every day, early learners regularly picked them up and made something new. Here are some things they created with the noodles:
- large sculptures
- an elevator
- a castle
The hollow foam blocks stayed out for a few months. Over time, I added a few other types and colors of noodles to the play area in order to provide more choice. The new pieces were not interlocking but added interest, and early learners used them to enhance the creations they made.
More Play With Pool Noodle Building Blocks
To my delight, children repurposed the different kinds of pool noodles in other play activities. They used individual pieces as:
- candles on a table in a play restaurant
- a bun for a sausage
- food fried up in a pan
- a telescope
And at times, other classroom building materials were added to pool noodle structures.
As loose parts, the pool noodles were used innovatively and creatively by early learners. I loved seeing the inventions made, and always responded enthusiastically.
Pool noodles are inexpensive, light, and easy to move around and store. They work fabulously as creative building pieces and loose parts for construction and dramatic play centers.
Related: Build A Christmas Tree STEAM Activity
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