Could there be anything that says, "Summer is here!" better than a pool noodle? (Okay, we think ice cream cones, sunblock, sand pails, s'mores, flip flops, and sunglasses make a strong case too, but you get our point!) In honor of the classic swimming pool plaything we all know and love, we decided to take learning out of the classroom with three fun math games kids can play with pool noodles. Read on to find out more!
Before you begin any of the following activities, you'll want to make sure you have a few supplies on hand. It's no big surprise you will need several pool noodles, so if you're not ready to cut up the ones you already have, we recommend picking some up at your local dollar store (or anywhere pool toys are sold). We bought four pool noodles in different colors. Make sure you also have a black permanent marker, a pack of sidewalk chalk, and a sharp kitchen knife. (We strongly recommend that an adult handles the kitchen knife at all times.)
Practice calculating elapsed time with this simple game that can be played with sidewalk chalk and a single pool noodle. Using the pool noodle as a number line, lay it down in the driveway or on the sidewalk. Mark a start time with chalk at the beginning of the number line. Mark an end time at the end of the number line. Kids must calculate how much time has passed by filling in the number line and writing the elapsed time.
Want to add a bit of a challenge? Set a timer to see how fast your little learner can solve the problem. Set up two pool noodle number lines so children can compete against each other. Or challenge them to solve a series of elapsed time number lines in a row.