Buying Guide For Best Pool Noodles
Whats a pool without a noodle in it? Its boring, thats what.
Kids enjoy pool noodles for their versatility as both a toy and flotation aid, while adults love them for relaxing. Available in a wide range of lengths, widths, and colours, pool noodles have also become popular in the DIY world as one of the most versatile materials to have on hand. Need a bat for a backyard game of balloon baseball or want to use one as a stamp for a spontaneous art project? Theres a noodle for that.
Todays manufacturers have found ways to stretch their uses by including sling chairs or a textured surface. Some models have improved durability with a vinyl coating. There are even models that inflate, which also means they deflate for easy compact storage.
To learn more about how to choose the best pool noodles, read on. If youre ready to buy, take a look at our top picks.
Pool Noodles: Safety Refresher
Generally, a pool noodle is a long foam tube that floats, but it has its limits. Namely, its not a lifesaving or safety device, so theyre not appropriate for kids to rely on for staying afloat if they cant swim.
Pool noodles can be used as swimming aids, however, they are not intended to help prevent children from drowning, says Emily Samuel, program director for Safe Kids Worldwide. Noodle or no noodle, youll still want to keep an eye on kids in the pool and ensure young kids stay within arms reach of an adult, she advises.
Similar safety measures apply even to adults. If the person does not know how to swim, the person should wear a life jacket and can use a noodle for extra floatation, says Rachel Griffiths, communication director for the Aquatic Safety Research Group. She says they can best be toyed with in the pool by holding them out front of your body while you kick, stashing it in between your legs for extra buoyancy, or used as a prop in a water aerobics class.
Best Pool Noodles For Summer Fun
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Pool noodles are one of the quintessential pool toys in summer. Kids love to splash and play with them and adults can lean on them in order to gingerly float around. This year, pool noodles matter even more: You can use them to claim a spot in the pool and keep the requisite six feet of physical space between you and other swimmers.
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Where Can I Buy Pool Noodles
You can buy pool noodles seasonally in pretty much every big box store and the dollar store. In the off-season if you are a northern, you will find pool noodles in bulk from Amazon and they are pretty cheap the larger the unit you buy, so think about giving in halvsies with another teacher in your building for the most cost effective method of purchasing noodles.
For the foam classroom crafts I made below, I used about 3 full noodles and I had several left over! They will go a long way depending on your needs and the crafts you choose to make.
How To Cut Pool Noodles
It was wayyyyyy easier than I thought it would be to cut the pool noodles for my activities. I used a basic serrated knife and they cut up very quickly and easily with very little noodle dust. You can cut them into smaller chunks, larger chunks then lengthwise, and even cut the entire noodle lengthwise if you have an activity like a marble run.
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Name Leis: Begin the party by having each student find the letters of their name and string them together through the hole with a piece of rope or twine. Now youre ready to get learning!
Flower Writing: Whats more fun than writing with tropical flowers? To make these, use a small piece of the pool noodle and cut V-shapes in 4 places. Then, use a pen or pencil to add a hole into the noodle, flip the writing utensil around and insert into the foam. Super cute and fun!
Palm Tree Number Sentences: This one can be as simple or as advanced as you like. To set this one up, write various numbers, equal signs, and operation symbols on different pieces of cut up pool noodle. Students come to this station and must make number sentence trees from the supplies. Top them off with plastic straws taped together as your leaves.
Challenge your students to see who can make the largest number sentence tree and have them cross-check one another for accuracy.
Mystery Bucket Writing: For this center, use a plastic sand pail and add an item to the bottom that students may not be able to figure out what it is right away. Add lots of cut up pieces of pool noodle on top so that the child is not able to see the item.
This activity is perfect for making predictions based on context clues of a hidden item.
Pool Noodle Cutting Guide
Heres a simple method for cutting lots of pool noodles in sections: make a three-sided jig out of lumber. Measure the length of noodle needed and, using a hand saw, cut a slot to that length into the two sides of the jig. Place the noodle into the trough created by the two sides and then push the cutting blade into the slot, sawing back and forth to cut the noodle. Plus, here are two essential saw cutting guides.
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