10 Pool Noodle Imaginary Play Ideas

There are so many creative ways you can play with pool noodles, and I’ve recently realized they’re perfect for toddler imaginary play.  They’re soft so if they hit people or property no damage is done, they’re super easy to cut with an exacto knife, and they’re inexpensive.  We’ve been making up tons of pool noodle games at our house and here are some of our favourites:

Pool Noodle Imaginary Play Ideas

1. Cowboy’s Horse

Pool noodles make excellent horses.  Just straddle the noodle and gallop around saying neigh and singing yankee doodle.  We rode pool noodle horses during our western theme and the pool noodle horses keep making reappearances.  

Baby activity: ride rocking horse

2. Fire Fighter’s Hose

Recently, my toddler has decided he likes pretending to be a fire fighter.  We pretend things are on fire and he puts out the fires while making fire truck noises.  Pool noodles make the perfect fire fighter hose to put these fires out with.  We put a red scarf over his play tent and pretend it’s the fire.  Then my little guy shakes his pool noodle at scarf until it falls off the tent at which point the fire is out.

Baby activity: peekaboo with scarf 

Pool Noodle Fire Hose
Pool Noodle Fire Hose

3. Knight’s Sword

It’s probably a boy thing, you give them something long to hold onto and they instantly hit people with it.  We have pretend sword fights with pool noodles where we chase our toddler around and then fall over when he gets us with his pool noodle.  It’s hilarious and a great energy burner.

Baby activity: wave pool noodle

4. Drive Through Window 

We’ve recently been stacking pool noodles on top of two shelves to make a “window” for our pretend drive through.  I drink way too much coffee so my toddler knows exactly what going to starbucks means.  So he drives his little tikes cozy coupe to “starbucks” and orders an apple juice over the pool noodle window.

Baby activity: ride in car as toddler pushes it or be barista with mommy / daddy

5. Railroad Gate

On one of our drives we often get stuck behind the railroad gate as we let a train pass.  My train loving toddler thinks this is great.  So as my tot rides around in his little tikes cozy coupe we flip the pool noodle up and down like a railroad gate stop sign. Down means stop, up means go.  

Baby activity: push train in front of gate when it’s down

6. Gymnast’s Balance Beam

With the summer 2016 olympics airing right now, I’ve been doing a few Olympic activities with my toddler.  You can lay a pool noodle on the floor to act as a simple balance beam.  I was very surprised at how hard it is to walk across it.  I held my toddlers hands while he did it and he thought it was pretty fun.

Baby activity: crawl over pool noodles

7. Pirate’s Plank

Arr matey!  We used the pool noodle to be a pirate plank for his little people pirates to walk on.  They walked all the way from the pirate ship to his sandbox where there was buried treasure.  When the pirate found a buried treasure in the sandbox he then ran across the pool noodle blank back to the pirate ship with his gold.  

Baby activity: use little people pirate as a teething toy

8. Hunter’s Arrows

Throw pool noodle arrows at stuffed animals as you pretend you’re hunting.  For details on how to make these see Mommies Brain’s foam arrow post.   

Baby activity: pet stuffed animals

9. Gas Station Nozzle

My little guy really likes to fill up his car with gas.  The pool noodle makes the perfect gas nozzle for him to put into his cozy coupe gas tank.  

Baby activity: ride in car as toddler gets the gas

10. Zoo Animal’s Cage

We proped a bunch of pool noodles up against a table to make a cage for stuffed animals to hide behind like they were at the zoo.  

Baby activity: peekaboo from behind the cage

Pool Noodle Zoo Cage
Pool Noodle Zoo Cage

Since stores are getting in their fall supplies stock up on your pool noddles while they last!  What else could we pretend a pool noodle is?  

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