Foam Pool Noodles – Additional Uses for Them

In a prior post I shared how you can use pool noodles for art. When I did this activity with my grandchildren I had some sliced pool noodles and corks that I didn’t use. I also had some larger pieces. I just left it out and the boys started constructing with them in ways that I didn’t think of.

They stacked the sliced pool noodles and also used some extra corks to connect them.Each of the boys were doing something with them a little differently. I didn’t tell them how to play with them I just provided the materials and let them get their creative juices flowing.

K being creative with sliced pool noodles.

K being creative with sliced pool noodles.


C being creative with the sliced pool noodles.

C being creative with the sliced pool noodles.

Something they like to do with pool noodles is sword fights. For C’s birthday the children were playing outside and saw that I had some foam pool noodles. They each wanted one so that they can have a “sword” fight. I onyl had a couple of whole noodles, so we cut them in half so that each child had one.

H and A having fun with pool noodles.

H and A having fun with pool noodles.


Pool noodle fun.

Pool noodle fun.

Colored Salt Art

In the last post I explained how I made colored salt. In this post I want to show you some of the things that you can do with colored salt.

We had our grandchildren last week, ages 6, 5, almost 3, and 1 1/2. I prepared the salt during the week so that it would be ready for them to use on the weekend. We did it outside because my husband didn’t want salt all over the floor. No matter how much I sweep it up, we always find some.

Materials needed: tablecloth to lay on the ground to do it, glue, I also had qtips and lids so that they each could put their own glue on since I only had one glue bottle, several different colors of salt, and empty spice containers filled with colored salt, and of course paper. I used cardstock to make it a little more sturdy. You can always use cardboard, inside of cereal boxes, or printer paper.

For the older children we let them put on the glue however they wanted. The younger ones we helped with the glue and then showed them how to shake the salt on their picture. We would only do one color at a time so that we could shake the excess salt back into the container. We would then apply more glue and repeat with another color.

I wanted to do each of their names in different colors. My husband and I did the lettering with the glue and we let them shake the salt on it. The older one was able to do his own name. They really enjoyed doing this project and got very creative. You could expand on this project and at a later time you can write down what they want to say about their picture.

For future I would make sure I have enough glue bottles, one for each child. Even the youngest one can learn to use a glue bottle.

How to Make Colored Salt

We were having our grandchildren over for the weekend and I wanted to have some kind of craft that they could do. I had a container of salt and I was thinking of how I could color it. I have colored salt before with chalk but the colors were not very vibrant.

I decided to try coloring the salt with food coloring. I got three bowls, spoons, wax paper, and food coloring. I also gathered some empty baby food containers that I saved to put the salt in afterwords. I put some salt in each bowl and added a few drops of food coloring to each bowl. I continued mixing it until there weren’t any lumps.

After you have the salt mixed lay it on wax paper. I used a separate piece of wax paper for each color. I wanted to keep the colors separate. Let it dry on the counter for about an hour. After it’s dry put the salt in separate containers or ziploc bags.

This is a great activity that the children can help make. In the next post I will share what my grandchildren made with the colored salt.

Crepe Paper Fun

How can children have fun with a few rolls of crepe paper? Give them some and let them go “decorate”. At a recent birthday party for one of my grandsons, my daughter told the older one that he could decorate after she was done. She gave him a few different colored rolls and a few instructions – such as don’t block a doorway that someone needs to get through, and they may not use tape.

My oldest grandson started decorating with only a few reminders about blocking doorways. The other children wanted to do it also and they picked their favorite color. The older boys ages 5 and 6 spent at least 20 minutes “decorating”. Each boy had different ways that they were using the crepe paper.

C decorating with crepe paper.

C decorating with crepe paper.


This is K's decorating with crepe paper.

This is K’s decorating with crepe paper.

My daughter purchased the crepe paper rolls at the Dollar Tree. She didn’t mind that it was all going to get thrown away. If you want to save it for a future project you can get some more use out of it.

If you don’t want your child’s decorations to interfere with the ones for the party have them do it on another day or find another area that you wouldn’t mind having crepe paper all over.

Fourth of July Fun for Infants!

I am currently working in an infant classroom at a private preschool. Their theme was the Fourth of July. I wanted to do something with the babies but I am somewhat limited because of their ages. Most of them are 12 – 14 months old.

I wanted them to paint with red and blue on white paper. I made some pine needle brushes and dipped them in the paint. They did pretty good using them. Of course I was right there to keep them from putting it in their mouth.

Pine needle brushes.

Pine needle brushes.


Painting from a 13 month old using pine needle brushes and q-tips.

Painting from a 13 month old using pine needle brushes and q-tips.

I also use q-tips a lot when I am painting with the babies. They are short and easy to hold. I would show them how to dip the q-tip in the paint and let them spread it on the paper. They usually end up using their fingers. That’s okay, that’s how they learn.

When painting with the infants, I usually do it in the high chair and put a plastic bib on for a paint smock. I also have a container of wipes handy to clean them afterwards. I have one infant at a time painting so that I can focus on them. There is usally another teacher in the room.

What kind of things do you like your infants to paint with?