Spelling Hack: Teach Phonics Using Pool Noodles

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teach phonics

Pool noodles are available everywhere during the summer and they are so inexpensive. If you wait until the fall, you can probably get an even better deal with pool noodles on clearance (we’re talking less than a buck). Stock up and use pool noodles to teach phonics! It’s a fun manipulative your students will enjoy working with and they are so cheap to create, you can even show students and parents how to make them at home!

What You Need

To make this hands-on activity, which can be used to teach phonics at a center or for independent word work, all you need is:

  • Pool noodles in at least two different colors
  • Glue stick
  • Construction paper
  • Broom handle
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Permanent marker

What to Do:

1. Begin by cutting a slit lengthwise along the entire pool noodle.
Step 1 - Pool Noodle Phonics

2. Next, cut the pool noodle into one-inch pieces.
Step 2 - Pool Noodle Phonics

3. Write three different vowels on each of the separate pool noodle pieces. Repeat the process using a second color pool noodle and consonants.
Step 3 - Pool Noodle Phonics


4. Next, put glue on the long end of the construction paper. Roll the construction paper around the broom handle so that it becomes a tube.
Step 4 - Pool Noodle Phonics

5. Slide your pool noodle letter beads onto the construction paper tube. You might practice consonant-vowel-consonant words, ending blends like -nd or -lp, or words that have both beginning and ending blends.
Step 5 - Pool Noodle Phonics

6. Consider having students record all the words they make using their pool noodle letter beads. Enjoy!
Step 6 - Pool Noodle Phonics

Learn how to make it here:

Extra noodles? Try this fun activity that uses pool noodles to teach students fractions. Oh, the possibilities!