Monday, August 26, 2013

Pool Noodle Marble Run

It's been quite a while since I shared a kid craft or project. Wisely, I signed the little buggers up for day camps nearly every day of the summer that we weren't traveling. They learned fencing, surfing, acting, gymnastics, cooking and more, and I got to remain sane. It was a win-win scenario.

These last two and a half weeks of summer are Camp Mommy only. We are a week and a day into it, and we have played with friends, baked, and made stuff from duct tape. Our most recent project ranked right up there with the Ivory soap project in the Fun for Adults Too Department, so I thought I'd share.

Like nearly every super-fun-Mom-thing I try, this was not an original idea. I read about it at Using Our Words and hassled the kids to try it until I convinced them. As always, I was right. It was awesome.

Pool Noodle Marble Run - Flotsam of the Mind

Here's what you do:

1. Buy a bunch of pool noodles. We bought fourteen of them at The Dollar Tree and only stopped at fourteen because I couldn't carry any more.

2. Cut each pool noodle down the center lengthwise with a bread knife. Be careful to remain in the center. Also be careful not to slice the tip of your pinky with the bread knife. It hurts like hell.

3. Take all your half noodles and a bunch of tape--we used painter's tape and duct tape--to a space you will let the kids take over. We have a recently painted and decorated basement playroom for just this type of thing.

Pool Noodle Marble Run - Flotsam of the Mind

4. Use furniture, pillows, and whatever else you can find to prop up your noodles to create a track. Tape the half noodles together. Release marble.

5. See if you can make the loop-de-loop work.

6. Repeat.

Pool Noodle Marble Run - Flotsam of the Mind

The builder kid thought this was fantastic. The destructive-when-angry one demolished it in a fit of pique that set us back an hour and a few paces in the parenting department. Daddy made the loop-de-loop work. All was well in the end.

They have created, dismantled, and recreated new tracks several times in the last few days. Because the noodles live in the basement, I close the door and pretend they don't exist. It's a happy thing.

If you have a large space you don't mind giving over to this project, I highly recommend you run out and purchase some pool noodles before the summer ends. Store them in a closet until a whiny mid-February day and surprise your kids with your cleverness. Our pile of half noodles will be stored away for just such a winter moment.

My apologies for the photo quality in today's post. Every time I pulled out my camera, the kids jumped all over me for taking photos rather than participating. My surreptitious iPhone photos were the best I could manage and still appear to be an active and involved parent. Appearances matter.

1 comment:

  1. Crazy impressive! You obviously have a much cooler house to work with. Thanks for inspiring me right back!