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Monday, April 2, 2012

Pinterest Project Tryout: Pool Noodle Blocks

Ah, Pinterest.  In my opinion, there is no better place to find new ideas for the Little People.  I have tried many of these ideas this year, and have found some really fun new activities.

A few weeks ago I decided to try this idea that I had pinned earlier:
Source: toddlerboredombusters.blogspot.com via Julie on Pinterest
It comes from this original post: Toddler Boredom Busters: Noodle Building!.  The idea is to cut pool noodles into pieces and let the students use them as building blocks, with toothpicks being the connectors.

After a trip to Walmart to pick up the pool noodles, I cut them all up in my kitchen (after a small Cheez-It snack and a quick Windex cleaning bout).  I used a bread knife to cut them, which worked well.  It did leave a little colorful noodle dust on the counter, but that was easy to clean up.

 Then I carted them off to school and put them out with lots of toothpicks.  It didn't take long at all for the Little People to start building...

and building...

...and building.

Actually, they got a little distracted at first by their desire to be enterprising.  They began gathering all of the noodle pieces that were cut into rings and sticking one toothpick in each of them them to make "ice creams".  Then they starting walking around "selling" these goods to one and all.   However, I had to nip that action in the bud, because toothpicks are really quite sharp, and I didn't need any Little People falling on them and poking themselves.

The good thing about this restriction is that once they had to stay at the table, they spent less time vending and more time building.  They really made some very creative things:

We had these Noodle Blocks out for a week, and the kids stayed engaged with them the whole time.  In fact, I'll probably put them out again before the end of the year.

In closing, here is a quick review of this project and how it worked for the Little People:

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