When you think of pool noodles, you probably picture a bunch of children floating or playing with them in water. However, noodles have so many fun uses beyond splashing around on a hot summer day. For example, if you’re a teacher, you can use pool noodles to enhance your classroom in a variety of ways.
Since noodles are made from durable foam and they typically come in bright, colorful colors, they’re ideal for hands-on activities for younger children. Plus, pool noodles are generally inexpensive and often come in bulk, so teachers spending their own money on classroom supplies don’t need to stress. Continue reading to learn how to use pool noodles in elementary school classrooms.
Pool noodles are great for children to practice their spelling skills. Plus, this activity does not require much prep work for the teacher. To start, you’ll need to cut the noodles into sections. You can typically cut foam noodles using a serrated knife commonly found in the kitchen. The toothed grooves of the knife latch onto the foam and make it easy to slice. If you want to ensure a cleaner, more even cut, you can use an electric knife.
After you’ve cut the noodles, use a permanent marker to write a letter on each piece. For your students to make as many words as possible, be sure to include plenty of vowels. Once each piece contains a letter, students can use the hole in the center of the noodle to thread them onto a ruler or wooden dowel to practice creating words. Read a short word aloud to your classroom and each student can string the letters together to spell it.
If you want to teach a lesson on patterns, pool noodles make a great visual aid. Start by cutting different colors of noodles into thin slices. Since this activity requires relatively skinny pieces, it may be easiest to use an electric knife that provides more control. First, give each student an even number of one color and an even number of another color. Using a ruler or wooden dowel, instruct your students to create any pattern they can think of using both noodle colors.
Once your classroom has mastered creating two-color patterns, give each student several colors to create more complex patterns. This type of activity is a quick and easy way to introduce the concept of repetition within numbers, letters, colors, etc.
You can also use pool noodles in elementary school classrooms to introduce or reinforce the concept of alphabetical order. Cut the noodles into 26 pieces and use a permanent marker to write one letter on each piece. Have students take turns stacking them in ABC order while you explain the importance of alphabetization.
If you’re working with older children or more advanced students, you can make the activity more age-appropriate by writing short words on each foam piece instead of letters. Mix up the pieces and instruct your students to organize them in alphabetical order. Once your classroom has mastered alphabetization, you can save each foam letter or word for the next school year.
You can plan a fun art lesson with the help of pool noodles, because sliced foam noodles make great stamps. Once you’ve cut the slices, students can dip the pieces in paint and create their own masterpiece on a large piece of paper. After the paint has dried, the class can decorate their stamps with markers and other art supplies such as glitter, feathers, stickers, etc.
If you want to take this art activity to the next level, try cutting the foam into different shapes or designs. If you’re making the cuts by hand, precision can be tricky, but the beauty of art is its uniqueness! However, if you want your designs to be as accurate as possible, an electric knife may be easier to operate. Your students will love displaying their artistic side with stamps shaped like hearts, stars, triangles, and so much more.
Pool noodles can be used in so many ways in the classroom—including as decor. If you’re looking for an easy, budget-friendly way to add some color and visual interest to your classroom walls, foam tubes are the perfect solution. Gather noodles in several colors and cut slices in varying widths to create a cheerful banner. Simply string the foam slices onto a thick piece of twine and hang your garlands on the walls and ceiling of your classroom.
Elementary school students will love learning in such a colorful, stimulating environment. Plus, pool noodle garlands aren’t fragile, so you don’t need to worry about your students bumping into them or accidentally knocking one off the wall.
Bugs may not immediately come to mind when you think about ways to use pool noodles in your classroom, but let us explain. If you’re teaching a science unit about insects, your students can use foam tubes to create their own creepy crawlers. Students can use their crafting and STEM skills to create a variety of bugs using pool noodle slices.
To begin, cut several colors of pool noodles into even slices. Each student should receive a handful of slices, a few pairs of adhesive googly eyes, and several pipe cleaners. The students can stick the googly eyes to the top of the foam slice and attach pipe cleaner pieces to create legs or antennae. If you’re learning about a certain type of bug during a particular lesson, ask your students to construct the insect using the pool noodle and other craft supplies.
With so many ways to incorporate pool noodles into your classroom activities and decor, you’ll most certainly want to buy them in bulk! Honor Trading Company sells high-quality foam noodles in a wide variety of colors, including stunning green pool noodles, so do yourself a favor and check out our selection today.
Our team members are standing by and ready to help you find the perfect type of noodle for your specific classroom needs. Plus, with so many beautiful shades to choose from, your students will love working with all the colors of the rainbow this school year.