Oodles of Fun with Pool Noodles
by Bobbi Michels, PT
Kids Place West Pediatric Physical Therapist
Did you know you can enjoy your pool noodle year-round using it to get some exercise on land until it is time to enjoy it in the pool?
Pool noodles are so much fun to use on land. I love pool noodles because they are inexpensive, easily accessible, and can be used to work on several different skills. You can work on improving your balance, strength, hand eye and motor coordination by performing simple activities with the multi-functional pool noodle. Here are some fun activities/exercises you can try on dry land with the classic pool noodle.
Tandem stance placing one foot in front of other with toe -heel touching or close to each other or standing feet apart. How long can you balance? To make it even more fun try playing balloon volleyball with a sibling or parent while standing on noodle. Don’t fall off!!!
Jump forward and backward over the noodle – with feet facing the noodle.
Standing sideways to the noodle jump over and back. How many jumps over and back can you do in 30 seconds?
Can you hop over the noodle sideways on one foot? How many times? Can you name 5 of your favorite fruits while doing this task?
Pool Noodle Dodge
Standing in one place on a dot or X marking the spot (use duct tape, paper plate, or chalk if outside) have a partner gently move the noodle near various parts of the body. Avoid being touched by the noodle by gently moving body part away from the noodle.
Pool noodle ladder can be made out of 3 noodles which are threaded together with a small rope purchased from dollar store. Practice balance, strength, and agility by stepping over ladder rungs forward, backward, or sideways, hopping through ladder on one foot, two feet, jumping outside ladder rungs, then inside ladder rungs and continuing across ladder in same pattern, jumping sideways, forward, or backward. The ideas are endless!
Horseback gallop/ riding noodle moving forward.
Hand eye coordination playing balloon volleyball using two hands on noodle to hit balloon back and forth. Can you do this while also standing on a noodle?
Play baseball using pool noodle as a bat to hit balloon then do an animal walk (bear walk, crab walk, penguin walk) to “run” the bases.
Straddle walk down noodle to work on weight shifting and single leg stance:
Leg strengthening performing squats standing on single noodle with feet hip width apart or one noodle under each foot with legs hip width apart.
Have fun trying these exercises with the multi-functional pool noodle!