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Busy Bag Idea: Pool Noodle Stringing

Many of you asked if I could share details of the Busy Bags we received in our Busy Bag Swap so that you could get ideas for possible Busy Bags you could put together for your children. I know how I’m always on the lookout for new ideas for fun learning activities–especially ones that are simple and inexpensive–so as I have space here over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of the ideas with you.

The Pool Noodle Stringing Busy Bag was a very simple idea and it went over well. Just cut up some pool noodles (you can probably find them on clearance at this time of the year!) into one-inch sections and put them into a ziptop bag along with a piece of thick string or rope.

When you’re ready to use, just pull out the bag and have your child string the noodles onto the string or rope. I’d advise watching your child closely while they do this exercise since there is a string/rope involved. (Silas worked on it right next to me while I taught Kathrynne and Kaitlynn some of their homeschool lessons.)

See more pictures and variations on the Pool Noodle Stringing Busy Bag idea here.

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  • Brandy says:

    I love this! I am going to have to watch for clearance pool noodles now! My son loves stringing beads, so I think he would love it even more on a larger scale!

  • We did this back in June ( It was a bit hit with my little guys and great fine motor practice too.

  • Beth says:

    For the older kids you can help them make insects with pool noodle sections you just use pipe cleaners and stick them through the section of pool noodles. (You have to use the part that does not have the hole) You attach them then use more pipe cleaner to add details such as antenna or eyes. Various colors and sizes can be used for interest.

  • jennifer cooper says:

    what a great idea and they are at dollar tree also –

    • Tara says:

      Thats exactly what I was going to say! I’m getting multiple colors so we can do rainbows to help learn colors, as well as numbering them and cutting 1 smaller all the way to 10 biggest.

  • Tara says:

    This has nothing to do with the post , but as I was reading it, my 4 year old came up beside me. His name is Silas! He asked me who that was in the picture. I said, “Well, his name is Silas too!” My Silas was so excited. When I scrolled down the page, he said, “Mama, let me see me again!”

  • Leighann says:

    That is an awesome idea! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Jenni says:

    I have been looking for new, inexpensive activities to add to my manipulatives shelf at preschool and this one is great! Thanks!!

  • stephanie m says:

    just an idea- if you had a few different colors of noodle pieces the kids could make patterns too.. abababa or abbabbabb and so on.. fun!! and cheap!

  • Thanks for the link to the pool noodle activities! Looks like Silas had a fun time!

  • Tommie says:

    Just a thought but for older kiddos, perhaps you could make a few corresponding color cards and teach them color matching or sequencing.

  • lee says:

    Wow this couldn’t have come at a better time! We are going back to homeschooling in less than 3 weeks and I am dreading it this year with my now very busy 18 month old. He is not easily entertained and my oldest son (of 3) has attention problems. I have been searching all week for busy ideas for him! I am getting lots of ideas from the website!

  • April says:

    Hi, MSM! Just wanted to tell you I love your blog, I subscribe to your free email updates, and I can’t wait to read your book. As a mom of three littles I don’t have much time to read blogs, but when I do, I like to read yours the most! Keep up the good work!

  • Amanda says:

    I saw the title of the post on twitter and for the life of me couldn’t figure out what that meant lol. Makes sense now haha

    • Crystal says:

      I was trying to figure out how to title it and thought it probably ended up sounding intriguing–especially if you didn’t see the pictures that accompanied it. 🙂

  • Ivy says:

    I needed some big lacing options for my 15 month old and I brought such a thing up to the Hubs a few months ago and he had a blast with it. He cut them into shapes as well. Some are squares, some octagons, some triangles… I’m so thankful for my other half being able to think outside of the noodle, errr box. 🙂

  • Michele says:

    I’m jealous…our bags haven’t even been shipped out to us yet!! we seem to have a s…lll….oooo….wwww. group. I’m still waiting and excited though 🙂

  • Sara says:

    I teach music and have been mulling over ideas for starting preschool/kindergarten prep music classes. This would be a fun idea for labeling the noodle pieces with the letters of the musical alphabet and letting the kids put them in order – A-G, repeat, repeat and repeat again! I would just need a longer rope to make it a group activity. 🙂

  • sally says:

    What a great idea! Thanks for always inspring me to be creative with my little one 🙂

  • Jiya says:

    Our 7-year old Star Wars fanatic insists that we use our pool noodles for light sabers. Cut them in half, add a little duct tape for a handle, and you’re ready for some epic battles. (I was going to add that this may not be suitable for the younger ones, but then I remembered that my 3 year old is usually the most enthusiastic participant in our daily lightsaber battles). We did this for a Star Wars birthday party a few years ago, and all the kids still play with theirs.

  • Katie says:

    Thanks for another great idea! I did the cupcake busy bag and my 3yr old loves it. I have an old noodle at the house and this will be a great project.

    How do you get your busy bag swap going? I’d be really interested in doing something like that with other moms!

  • Anna says:

    Thanks so much for posting this! My daughter will really enjoy this I think. I love pool noodles. They’re inexpensive and seem to have all sorts of uses 🙂

  • Kathy says:

    I’m a long time reader of all your blogs and just wanted to say pop on and tell you how cute Silas is (like you don’t already know) 🙂

    Thanks for all you do. Can’t wait to read more about the girls’ home school activities!

  • Lorie says:

    While I love this idea I would definitely have to watch my 18mo not because of the rope so much as because he would take a bite out of the noodle. Silly boy. 🙂

  • sarah says:

    Noticed these noodles on clearance at Shaw’s today for 75 cents each. They were in a big bin right by the exit.

  • Amy says:

    Not sure if someone has mentioned it or not yet, but our local Dollar Tree stores have pool noodles in stock right now.

  • sally says:

    Just bought 2 noodles on clearance at Walgreens for 75 cents each 🙂

  • Debra says:

    I run a family day care and tomorrow we will try a vertical version of pool noodle threading. Bamboo garden stakes pushed in to the lawn at varied heights. Buckets of pool noodle beads in various colours. Depending on age, children can thread randomly, thread by colour, follow patterns and count what they thread. looking forward to this activity.

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