If you follow this blog with any regularity, then you already know that I love finding ways to make a useful thing EVEN MORE useful! I’ve done several posts in that same vein, highlighting the versatile nature of everything from taco seasoning to kitchen sponges to car wax. Today’s post, however, may just take the cake for the most unexpectedly useful item… the humble “pool noodle!” This long, cylindrical pool toy is a consistent favorite for summertime pool fun, but it actually has many other helpful uses, too!
Here are some of my favorites, which will probably have you running to the store to stock up before they’re gone until next summer! :-)
Clever Ways to Use a Pool Noodle
- Make a race track for marbles! Cut a pool noodle in half length-wise. Place the halves side-by-side with the inside facing up, and prop them up against a chair or table. Use the two sides to race marbles down the track, and see whose marble gets to the bottom first!
- Use a pool noodle as a goal for outdoor games like croquet or soccer. Stick two wooden skewers in the ground about 3 feet apart. Place a pool noodle over one skewer, then bend it in the middle and feed the other end of the noodle over the other skewer. Wooden skewers are fairly flimsy, so if you want something a bit sturdier, you can use several skewers together, or use a thicker wooden dowel.
- Use a pool noodle to create an easy sprinkler for cooling off during hot days. Punch several holes all over your pool noodle. Then close off one end of the noodle by stuffing it with small pieces of noodle, then covering the end completely with duct tape. Stick your garden hose through the open end of the noodle, and enjoy!
- Use a noodle to make a fun and safe motor-skills toy for small children. Slice a pool noodle into narrow discs and thread them onto a rope.
- Once toddlers start walking, every door in your home can start to become a point of concern. Ensure your little one doesn’t accidentally get their fingers slammed in a door by making a noodle barrier. Using a 1’-2’ section of pool noodle, cut a wedge out of it, like a slice of a pie, all the way down. Then use your fingers to pry it open, and slide it snugly onto the edge of your door. This will keep it from shutting all the way, making it safer for those little fingers!
Similarly, you can use a piece of pool noodle, prepared as described above, on the edges of furniture to prevent stubbed toes and avoid damage to your furniture.
- This might be my FAVORITE clever use of the humble pool noodle…keep your tall boots upright and wrinkle-free by storing them with a section of pool noodle inside of them. I do this every spring.
- Slice a few narrow discs off of a pool noodle to use as drink markers. You can use them any time, but I think these would be perfect at a backyard BBQ, or a beach/luau-themed party!
- Create a “raft” using a pool noodle, so your cooler can float in the pool with you! Just cut a noodle into a few smaller pieces, then tie the pieces together with some string or rope.
- Use a piece of pool noodle to make a card holder for card games! Use a slice of noodle with a slit cut on one side to hold up your hand. This is a great idea for kids who have trouble holding all their cards at once. You can also create a Scrabble-style card holder by cutting a section of pool noodle in half length-wise, then cutting a slit in the rounded part. Slide your cards into the slit to see them all displayed in one line.