Backyard Pool Noodle Obstacle Course

We want to have fun with our kids!  However, when summer hits, so do the expenses.  Kids activities are pricy.  But entertainment doesn’t need to be expensive.  During these Dollar Store Days of Summer, I’m sharing ten activities that use only supplies found at the Dollar Store.   They are quick.  They are easy.  And most require little adult guidance and help.  Just sit back and watch your kids play.  Or.. jump in and join the fun!


Pool noodles!  I see these every where during the summer.  These bendy accessories have so many more uses than floating in your pool.  One idea is to create a pool noodle obstacle course in the backyard… complete with waterworks.


From Dollar Store:

  • 5-6 Pool Noodles
  • Plastic Knives or cocktail sticks

On hand:

  • Garden Hose

How to Start

I love encouraging kids to be creative!  For this activity, I demonstrated a few obstacle course options and then let the kids do the bulk of work constructing the course.

First, I modeled how to create those nice loops in the ground using the pool noodle.  Backyard sticks are the BEST option for creating these arches.  However, my backyard is stick-less so I used plastic knives.  Simply jab the knife into the ground so that only the handle is visible.  Next, fit the end of the pool noodle over the knife.  Once you are confident that the pool noodle will stay, bend it to form an arch on the ground.  Stick another knife in the ground at the end of the arch and fit the end of the pool noodle over.


For the sprinkler, show the kids how to safely pierce small holes into a noodle. 


I had some cocktail skewers in my pantry.  But again, sticks off bushes in the backyard would work perfectly.  Once done, push a garden hose into one end of the noodle and let the play begin!


For this course, the girls took turns running through.  One child held the pool noodle sprinkler at the end while the other two leaped and dodged. 


Then, they switched.


Variations you can use for this are:

  • Give the kids a stopwatch and let them time each other.  Then challenge them to beat their best times.
  • Use other objects in your house.  Hula Hoops?  Mini Basketball hoop?  Jump rope?  All would make perfect additions.
  • Add an additional physical element by encouraging kids to create stations.  For example, when they reach the orange pool noodle, do 10 jumping jacks. When they get to the sprinkler, spin around 3 times.

Pool noodles are so incredibly versatile!  If you are in the mood for some serious craftiness, check out Mom Endeavors’ Kiddie Car Wash.  

Don’t leave yet! Find many more ideas for Dollar Store fun!  Even better, get the remaining activities delivered to your inbox between now and July 3rd!

JoAnn Crohn

CEO/Founder at No Guilt Mom
JoAnn Crohn, M. Ed is a parenting educator and life coach who helps moms feel confident in raising empowered, self-sufficient kid while pursuing their own goals & passions.

She’s an accomplished writer, author, podcast host of the No Guilt Mom podcast, and speaker who appears in national media. Work with her personally in Balance VIP

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