Sunday, October 13, 2013

Building with Pool Noodles and Pipe Cleaners

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After the success of this simple Styrofoam and craft sticks building activity, I decided to set up another invitation to build. My kids loved this simple engineering STEM challenge for kids using pool noodles and pipe cleaners.

This activity was simple and engaging, but lead to hours of creativity and experimentation.

Simple engineering STEM challenge, busy bag, and fine motor activity for kids using pool noodles and pipe cleaners using pool noodles and pipe cleaners from And Next Comes L

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Simple Engineering STEM Activity for Kids: Building with Pool Noodles & Pipe Cleaners

For this activity, I used:

I cut the pool noodles into 1.5" pieces (give or take...I didn't really measure them) a few months ago.  We have used these pool noodle blocks in the bath tub.  We've stacked them.  And we've done a few other activities that I haven't blogged about.

Invitation to build for kids using pool noodles and pipe cleaners from And Next Comes L

Seriously, pool noodles are incredibly versatile! They can be used to work on fine motor skills with rubber bands, balance on, or even make mix and match creature blocks.

The boys really enjoyed this invitation to build with pool noodles.  

K started out by pressing pipe cleaners into the pool noodles and eventually connected two pool noodles to one pipe cleaner.  He was really focused on this activity, as you can see below.  It was also really good fine motor practice for him. This creation turned into glasses, ear muffs, and even a necklace.

Building with pool noodles and pipe cleaners from And Next Comes L

Instead of pressing the pipe cleaners into the pool noodles like K did, J decided to use the pipe cleaners as a support brace through the middle of the pool noodles.  Doing so, opened up his imagination.  He first made a birthday candle, which led to him singing "Happy Birthday," of course.

Building with pool noodles and pipe cleaners from And Next Comes L

Then he added a few more blocks and declared that it was a drink with a straw.

Playing with pool noodles and pipe cleaners from And Next Comes L

And, naturally, it makes sense to give that drink a sip.

Playing with pool noodles and pipe cleaners from And Next Comes L

Then J built a really tall tower before he let it topple over.

Playing with pool noodles and pipe cleaners from And Next Comes L

This invitation was so simple to set up, but it led to some great imaginative play by both boys.

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