You know that summer will soon be upon us when you spy pool noodles at the store. These colorful pool toys are a summer staple at pool parties, where kids (and adults) alike use them to help stay afloat — or, you know, just whack each other in the head. But as sultry summer days turn cooler, you might be wondering what to do with these floppy pool toys. Fortunately, there are a lot of things to do with a pool noodle once summer is over and the kiddos are heading to class.
What Are Pool Noodles Made Of?
Long before it became a flotation device of sorts for swimmers, the pool noodle was primarily used in construction, according to Recycle More. It’s made from polyethylene foam, which, unfortunately, isn’t always recyclable. That’s why environmental experts highly recommend using pool noodles for the length of their lifespan, which can last for a few summers if properly taken care of. But if you’re looking for things to do with a pool noodle before swimming season starts again, the ideas below are a good start.
You might be wondering why you’d use a pool noodle in a planter. As it turns out, they’re excellent for draining excess water from plants. Simply cut it into small pieces and place them at the bottom of a pot. Fill with soil, add your plant and voila — no more soggy soil.
Use Pool Noodles As Packing Peanuts
Why is it that every time you need to ship a package, you’re scrambling for filler? If you have a pool noodle that has seen better days, cut it up and add it to the box. It will save you not only money, but the time it’ll take to shred paper or go to your local shipping store to purchase packing peanuts. Plus, the recipient can reuse those pool noodle pieces to ship their own package in the future, too.
Use Pool Noodles At The Bottom Of The Easter Basket
When you’re buying all that carrot-shaped candy and chocolate eggs for your little bunny, you might only get enough filler to cover the bottom of the Easter basket. Since you probably don’t want to pile copious amounts of candy into their Easter basket — and deal with the insane impending sugar rush — you can use small pieces of pool noodle underneath the filler to help prop up the candy.
Use Pool Noodles As Wreaths
Thanks to their flexible nature, you can twist and turn pool noodles into any shape that you want. So as fall approaches, you might want to transform that summer toy into a beautiful wreath. Determine how big you want the wreath to be, and then cut enough of the noodle to form a circle. Use a glue gun or wire to help the wreath to hold its shape. You can paint the noodle and then add decorations to make it festive for the fall or even as a holiday wreath.
Use Pool Noodles For Faux Flower Arrangements
Let’s say that you want to create a gorgeous tablescape using faux flowers. While you’d normally have to buy styrofoam to stick the floral stems into, you can use a pool noodle as a substitute. Once you know how much you’ll need, trim the pool noodle to size. If it’s going to show, then paint the noodle to match your design, and then add flowers for a cheap (and easy) DIY.
Use Pool Noodles To Protect Your Wrists
If you spend most of your day typing, you can run the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Although you could purchase a wrist rest to provide support, a pool noodle might work just as well. (Be sure to check with a doctor to ensure that you don’t need a wrist brace or other orthopedic treatments.) Cut a piece that measures the length of your keyboard and rest your wrists on top as you type.
Use Pool Noodles As A Mop
Your family came over to the house, and your labradoodle got so excited they tinkled on the floor. Sure, you could break out your mop, but if you want something to pick up the pee quickly, use a pool noodle. By attaching it to the end of a handle, it will soak up any spill. Bonus: you can easily wash and reuse it.
Use Pool Noodles As A Water Raft
Ideal for younger children, tie together a few pool noodles to form a raft. (Test it out before taking your toddler and sitting on it, though.) Not only can kids use it, but you can also use it as a mobile beverage in the pool, too, stocking it with water bottles and other drinks for the kids. And if you’re having a late-night adult pool party, it works well for adult bevvies, too. It brings a whole new meaning to the idea of a swim-up bar.
Use Pool Noodles For Boot Storage
There’s nothing like taking your favorite boots out for the winter — and finding that they’ve collapsed and are all wrinkled. But your boots can have a new life when you use pool noodles as inserts. It will keep your boots standing tall and ready when you want to wear them with your new classic cashmere taupe coat.
Use Pool Noodles To Cushion Clothing
If you thought that hangers can do a good job of keeping your clothing wrinkle-free, think again. By adding a small piece of a pool noodle (slice it open lengthwise first) and placing it on the bottom part of the hanger, you’ll give your pants some extra protection. You might even potentially eliminate that line that can inadvertently happen when heavier clothing pulls too much on the hanger.
Use Pool Noodles To Make Handlebars More Comfortable
Your child loves the fact that they’re now officially riding their bike totally without training wheels. But gripping onto the handlebar might make their palms feel unpleasant. Pool noodles to the rescue: measure the length of each handlebar and cut the pool noodle to size. Make a small opening on the underside of the noodle if necessary, and either slide or wrap the pool noodle in place. It will make for an easier bike ride for your child — for all of you.
Pool noodles might be the toy of the summer, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be repurposed for other projects around your house in the off months. Not only will you be saving the environment, but you’ll be able to make your life easier all year long, until it’s time to put them back in the pool again.