Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Fun Ways to Use Pool Noodles in the Playground

It has been so long since I last wrote a blog post! I recently attended the CAEYC annual conference in Pasadena. I'm inspired to start blogging again so that I can share some of the wonderful inspiration I received there. One of my favorite workshops was about promoting children's physical activity. The presenters gave us tons of good ideas to get kids moving in fun ways. They also pointed out that all of the materials they use are cheap and easy to find. Since this is my week to set up the playground at our school, I decided to try out two ideas right away.
1. Balloon Bashers

Materials needed:
- Queen size panty hose (thicker ones work best)
- Punch ball balloons
- Styrofoam pool noodles that have been cut in half
- Needle and thread

I found the noodles and balloons at the dollar store and the panty hose at Walmart.
Use the needle and thread to stitch the top opening of the panty hose closed. Leave an opening in the middle so that you can insert the balloon. Insert the deflated balloon, blow it up, and tie it closed. Turn the panty hose up side down and hang from the legs. I hung ours from a small tree in the playground but you could hang it from the ceiling inside, or from the roof of a deck. The nylon keeps the balloon from popping easily and if it does pop, the pieces are caught safely inside. 

Give the children the pool noodles and let them whack! 

2. Beach Balls 

This next one was so easy to put together and so fun to play with! I don't know why I never thought of it before. 

- Beach balls
- Pool noodles that have been cut in half

All you have to do is blow up the beach balls, throw them into the yard, and hand the children the pool noodles. They probably won't need any instructions at all. Our children started by using the noodles like hockey sticks to hit the balls around the yard. Later they played baseball with one child throwing the ball for the other to hit. They also kicked and threw the balls.

We've had hours of fun being active and working up a sweat!

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