36 Genius Ways To Use Pool Noodles in Your Classroom

Pool noodles provide great learning opportunities!

pool noodle classroom hacks

We love pool noodles! They’re bright, colorful, and make for great hands-on activities for reading, math, and beyond. Plus, this time of year, they’re so inexpensive to buy (you can even get them in bulk). Here are some of our favorite pool noodle uses for the classroom.

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1. Practice phonics

Phonics pool noodle activity

Reading practice is always more fun with manipulatives. This is the original project we did for creative pool noodle uses at WeAreTeachers, and you all loved it! You can easily change it up to meet your classroom’s specific needs. Get the full instructions and watch the video here.

2. Teach the different parts of speech

Now take that phonics lesson a step further by teaching the parts of speech to older kids. We used these paper towel holders we picked up on Amazon to turn this into an easy classroom learning station. Students can work independently to stack their sentences. They just choose words from different noodle colors as they learn the different parts of speech.

3. Create an inexpensive pencil holder

Pencil holder for school desk using pool noodles

All you have to do is use a pen or pencil to poke a hole through the noodle. You could use these as individual pencil holders on students’ desks, too.



4. Encourage spelling with word rods

Word rods with pool noodles

Here’s another take on phonics if you want to get a little more involved. There are some great ideas for how to use these for both reading and math.

Source:  A Neighborhood Kindergarten

5. Practice multiplication facts

Multiplication facts with pool noodles

We borrowed the word rod idea and applied it to multiplication facts. Check out the full tutorial for pool noodle multiplication right here.

6. Color coordinate and label your classroom desks

Labels for classroom desks

We love this teacher’s creativity. She used pool noodles as labels for the different tables in her room. Thanks, Ms. Macdonald, for the idea.

Source: Gotta Gogh Teach Art

7. Make a greater-than/less-than bin

Bin made using pool noodles

This one is so quick and easy to create. All you need is a couple of different pool noodle colors, and you’re ready to go.

8. Encourage engineering with a marble run

Marble run using pool noodles and other objects

Any kid would love this project. It involves LEGO bricks , pool noodles, marbles, and building. It’s the perfect way to sneak in a little STEM learning.

Source: Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls

9. Create a pool noodle sensory chair

This chair uses PVC pipes and pool noodles. It’s so comfortable, and your students will love sitting in it! Get the full instructions for making it here.

10. Use it to hold your paintbrushes

Paintbrush holder

This is oh-so simple, and it’s also oh-so genius. Students can create with paint and cut down on the mess at the same time.

11. Challenge your students to build up structures

Pool noodles to to build up structures

Here’s another engineering challenge for your students. Use toothpicks and noodles to design and build.

Source: Little Bins for Little Hands

12. Bring a rainbow into your classroom

Pool noodles shaped into a rainbow for a classroom.

You can use this on your walls, on a bulletin board, or as part of a door display.

Source: Rainbow Art Teacher

13. Make your own classroom truffula trees

You can use pool noodles or tube insulation to make these truffula trees. Then use colorful pom-poms to create the tops. Here are the ones we bought for this project.

14. It’s an easy door stop solution

Pool noodle as a door stop

Slamming doors? Doors too heavy for students to open? Cut a slit in one side of the pool noodle and slide it onto any door.

Source: @teachingmore

15. Use noodles as letter plates

Use noodles as letter plates

Use pool noodles as card holders for practicing spelling words. They could also work as name holders or to display signs or directions.

16. Get in a science lesson with a water race

Pool noodle water race!

Create a pool noodle wall as another sneaky way to get in some science. Have students create their own designs for water races. This warm-weather activity will be the highlight of the week.

Source: Teaching Mama

17. Use noodles for paint projects

Pool noodles for paint projects

If you have a painting project to do, consider using pool noodles as stamps. They make perfect circles, which can be the base for many great craft projects.

Source: Optimistic Mommy

18. Make a stability ring for a balance ball

Pool noodles cut into stability rings

Do those ball chairs keep rolling away in your classroom? Make a stabilizer with a pool noodle.

Source: DIY

19. Make mix-and-match characters

Pool noddle cut into segments to make cool characters

This is such a cute project, and we think you can apply the idea to lots of curriculum topics. For instance, science diagrams would be perfect to draw on noodles and then have students to match up.

Source: And Next Comes L

20. Create a DNA model

DNA model using pool noodles

This is an amazing way to bring science into your classroom.

Source: Unknown

21. Give your students a stress reliever

Pool noodles cut into stress relievers

Forget fidget spinners or stress balls. This school counselor came up with a clever idea for creating stress/fidget manipulatives using a pool noodle. Talk about a great deal. You can get more than 50 with just one noodle!

Source: School Counselor Blog

22. Simplify fractions

Pool noddles to simplify fractions

All you need are two different color noodles to make your own fraction game for students to practice. Our article has a great video showing how to do it.

23. Make an all-in-one card holder

Pool Noodle Uses for the Classroom

Use this to hold regular playing cards, flashcards, and more. One pool noodle is enough to supply your entire class with a holder.

24. Teach students musical notes

Pool Noodle Uses for the Classroom

This music teacher got creative by putting notes on pool noodle pieces and turning them into a learning opportunity. The frame comes from that popular backyard Ladderball game or PVC piping from the hardware store. Just apply the noodles, and you’re done!

Source: Unknown

25. Build fine motor skills

Pool Noodle Uses for the Classroom

Practice those fine motor skills with cut up noodles and a few other manipulatives.

Source: School Time Snippets

26. Have sight word boat races

Have sight word boat races

We love this unique pool noodle use. This educator put sight words on these noodle floats and let her students have boat races.

Source: The Educators’ Spin on It

27. Make your own giant pencils

Pool Noodle Uses for the Classroom

We’ve seen a few different takes on creating No. 2 pencils out of pool noodles, and this is our favorite tutorial.

Source: Planet Happy Smiles

28. Practice spelling words with a paper towel holder

practice spelling words with pool noodle and paper towel holder

With a sharpie, write letters on different pieces of the noodle and students can practice spelling words by building a tower! Inexpensive paper towel holders can be found at the dollar store.

Source: The Happy Teacher

29. Make pool noodle airplanes

Pool Noodle Uses for the Classroom

This is a great STEM challenge for students, and yes, they really will fly. Get more information on how to do this project yourself from one of our favorite project bloggers, Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls .

30. Learn with a hula-hoop

Pool Noodle Uses for the Classroom

This is a fun (and very visual) way of teaching math concepts. Little hands will love moving the pieces back and forth.

Source: Teaching with Heart

31. Make your own quiet blocks

Pool Noodle Uses for the Classroom

Want to avoid the bulk and noise of wooden blocks? Make your own building blocks out of several pool noodles, like Jenae did. She’s a mom and former teacher.

Source: I Can Teach My Child

32. Tackle equations

Another fun math activity that can be switched up for multiplication, addition, subtraction, or division. We love that students can grab one of these manipulatives after finishing work early.

33. Make your own flowers

They’re kind of adorable! Try these pool noodle flowers to brighten up your classroom or as a craft for students to make their parents.

Source: Sophie’s World

34. Create unique sculptures

Pool noodle sculptures

Such a cute and easy art idea! With a range of supplies like straws, pipe-cleaners, and beads, set students free to create as they please.

Source: @theartstadium

35. Spin and build sentences

Pool noodle sentences spinning on PVC pipe

Put pieces of the pool noodle onto a PVC pipe with different parts of speech. Students can mix and match pieces to build sentences or spin to create and say a sentence.

Source: @aacforall

36. Do a brain break with desk drumming!

Your students will love jumping and drumming with pool noodles to their favorite songs!

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Plus, get the full instructions for pool noodle fractions here.

36 Genius Ways to Use Pool Noodles in Your Classroom