child lifting a weight made of pool noodles


12 Ways to Use Pool Noodles to Host Your Own Olympic Games

Aug 9, 2016

I love watching the Olympic Games, particularly for the summer sports, and I'm hoping my kids will too. So to celebrate and have a bit of fun while we enjoy the Olympic Games as a family, we have been holding our own Olympic Games using pool noodles!

Here are 12 simple activities and crafts for hosting your own pool noodle summer games.

1. Torch Craft

Before you dive into some Olympic Games with your kids, make sure you celebrate with an opening ceremony, complete with a homemade torch. 

A portion of pool noodle has been converted into a torch with flames made of orange, yellow and red tissue paper.

What you'll need:

  • pool noodle (one that is hollow, not solid), cut to about 10-12 inches long
  • tissue paper in red, orange and yellow
  • stickers and permanent markers to decorate the torch (optional)

Simply bunch the tissue paper together and stuff it into the hole on one end of the pool noodle.

2. Olympic Rings Art

Cut a small section of a pool noodle (again, use a hollow one, not one of those solid ones). It needs to be only a few inches long and easy enough for your child to hold as a stamp. Dip the pool noodle into paint for each color of the rings and stamp it onto a piece of paper to create your own Olympic Rings art.

3. Fencing

Give each kid a pool noodle and get ready to say, "En garde!" because this no-prep activity is sure to delight the kids.

4. High Jump

Create your own high jump using a pool noodle and two chairs (or stools). Let the kids jump back and forth over the pool noodle without knocking it down. Super simple and fun!

A pool noodle is suspended between two stools, about a foot off the ground. A young child is jumping over it.

5. Gymnastics Balance Beam

Did you know that you can easily turn a pool noodle into a balance beam? Simply lay the noodle on the floor and encourage your kids to walk across it. Trust me, it's harder to stay balanced on than you think! Regardless, my kids love attempting it!

6. Weightlifting

Your kids aren't going to build muscles with these DIY pool noodle weights, but they will love pretending to be lifting those heavy weights just like the athletes do. 

A child holds a pool-noodle barbell up with two fingers.

What you'll need:

  • 2 pool noodles, uncut
  • 1 pool noodle, cut in half
  • duct tape

To make the weights, tightly roll up the two uncut pool noodles and use the duct tape to hold the rolled up noodles into a spiral. They will look like swirly lollipops, or at least that is what my six-year-old son said. Then slide the cut pool noodle between the two rolled up pool noodles.

7. Equestrian

If you have a horse fan in your house, then they are going to love this pool noodle version of a hobby horse. Simply flip one end of a pool noodle over and duct tape it into place. Your child may want to decorate their "horse" further by drawing eyes, nostrils, or even some hair on the pool noodles. Or add a string or rope for some reins.

Two kids hold their pool-noodle horses.

8. Relay Race

Use a cut-up pool noodle (maybe that same one you used to make the torch craft!) as a baton and encourage your kids to try a relay race of their own!

9. Javelin

Want another easy no-prep Olympic Games activity? Try throwing the pool noodles like javelins! You could set up targets for your kids to throw to or measure how far they throw their pool-noodle javelin.

A child holds a pool noodle like a javelin and is about to throw.

10. Basketball

Take one pool noodle and duct tape both ends together to form a hoop. Have one child hold the hoop while another tries to score a basket or two!

11. Cycling

Or if you are feeling a bit adventurous, you could try making a bicycle like my kids wanted to do! Just grab a variety of pool noodles, some duct tape, and your imagination! My four-year-old was obsessed with his pool noodle bicycle and it really didn't take long to make.

A child

12. Olympic Medals

Don't forget to finish off your games with a medal ceremony, complete with homemade medals. Cut a small section of a pool noodle (needs to be one inch or less in thickness) and tie a piece of ribbon or string to it (just loop it through the hole in the pool noodle). Your kids could even decorate their own medals with stickers or permanent markers.

Article Author Dyan Robson
Dyan Robson

Read more from Dyan here.

Married to her high school sweetheart, Dyan is mom to two boys, J and K, who also teaches piano out of her home. On her blog And Next Comes L, Dyan shares her story of raising a child with hyperlexia, hypernumeracy and autism, amongst a variety of sensory activities for kids. You can find out more about their story on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.


Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.