Fun with foam noodle chains

Over the summer, I purchased several foam swimming pool noodles to use in my classroom. I cut most of the noodles up into smaller pieces and stashed them away until I found a good use for them…

There are lots of fun ideas out there for ways to use foam noodles so I knew they wouldn’t go to waste but I couldn’t decide what to do with them until I received this Universal Book Display from GuideCraft

Click on this photo to find out you can win your own Universal Book Display from MommyPR!

I didn’t have a bookshelf for my classroom yet, so getting this in the mail was exactly what I needed to finish off my classroom library. I love how the books rest flat against the shelf. It keeps it easy for the children to see the titles of each book and a shelf like this is so much easier to keep organized for me and for the children.

Not only do I love the way you can display books but I also love the back of the book display. The long poles that go across the back of the bookshelf are perfect for creating new opportunities for play.

I took my cut-up foam noodles and added a little slit across each of them so they would open up.  The children put the noodle links on the poles to create patterns, to count and sort, or just to explore…

The noodle links can be hooked together to make chains as well….

The noodles will eventually start to break apart but they have lasted for several weeks of play so far without a problem….

We also played with our noodle links on the table….

The children made long and short chains and one little boy put his together to make a motorcyle…

We also tried a little noodle painting – the noodles are great for making fun circle prints on paper…

I plan to bring out the noodles for other activities as well. I think we will add some ribbon next time and try a little noodle lacing.

See Reviews

If you would like to learn more about the Universal Book Display then check out these posts from my fellow Guidecraft Educators...

Guidecraft Educator Review #3: Universal Book Display from Huppie Mama

Guidecraft Universal Book Display Review from Mommy Moments

Guidecraft Universal Book Display and Storage Review from SimplyStacie

Enter to win

If you would like to enter to win a Universal Book Display, then hop on over to MommyPR.  The give-away is open to residence of Canada and the U.S.

Links to Grow on

Pool Noodle Marble Run from Play Create Explore

Pool Noodle Marble Run from Irresistible Ideas for Play based Learning

Pool Noodle Printing from Play Create Explore

Caterpillar Counting from I Can Teach My Child

5 Ways to Use Pool Noodles on Dry Land from The Body Smart Blog

Noodle Threading from Mumma Made It

Water Noodle Lacing and Pattern Practice from My Little Gems

Pool Noodle Flowers from No Time for Flashcards

By |2011-10-02T06:00:32+00:00October 2nd, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Dallas October 2, 2011 at 8:22 am - Reply

    How did you cut your pool noodles? I briefly tried with scissors and it didn’t go well. 🙂 Love the idea of making links!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 2, 2011 at 9:45 am - Reply

      I used a kitchen knife:)

  2. tara October 2, 2011 at 9:02 am - Reply

    I just used pool noodles with my puppet holder- it is a board with dowels pointing upward- great for patterening and just sliding the noodles down.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 2, 2011 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Great idea here Tara!

  3. Debbie Clement October 2, 2011 at 9:17 am - Reply

    Deborah. You’ve been brilliant on too many occasions to mention, but I have to say this one is the cake-taker!!!! I will pin as soon as I post. I predict this idea will set Pinterest on fire today.


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 2, 2011 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Haha – I love the back of that shelf and figured we might as well figure out some ways to make it fun!

  4. Clemencia October 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    What an awesome idea! very creative! I have to run to the store and see if I find one now lol

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Perhaps they will have some on clearance for you!

  5. Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree October 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Love the noodle chain! What a fab idea! We did quite a few noodle activities this past summer! My favorite was our floating sculpture with toothpicks!
    At the end of that post I have some great links from other blogs for Pool Noodle ideas!
    By the end of the summer I couldn’t even find Pool Noodles…all the stores ran out! I will have to stock up in the beginning of summer!

  6. Janice @ learning4kids November 8, 2011 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Oh this is fabulous!! I love this idea…….I am adding pool noodles to the shopping list!! Thanks 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      Pool noodles are a must!!

  7. […] 27. Make chain links out of pool noodles. This could be a fun idea for learning to spell too. Details at Teach Preschool. […]

  8. […] Make noodle chain links by Teach Preschool. The children made long and short chains and one little boy put his together to make a […]

  9. […] Teach Preschool featured these foam chains made from pool noodle pieces. What a great fine motor skill activity that I bet will inspire creativity with little ones! The slits in the pool noodle pieces allow them to be manipulated and put onto lots of objects. […]

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