Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pool Noodle Sculptures

I've decided to try to get back to some of the basics of the blog. I'm going to try to be a little bit more diligent with posting and to bring back some of the pieces I really love.....

LIKE.... What Would You Do With It? Wednesdays! I am not going to try to post every Wednesday, but my goal is to get a post up under this meme at least once a month (The first Wednesday-  if I'm feeling ambitious I'll add the 3rd week too!) It will be accompanied by a few things we have done in addition to a Pinterest Board of various ideas I have been able to find from around the web---- AND a linky for you to add your own posts to.  Somewhat ambitious goals, but I think I can manage!

So, for this week, I am going to share with you some of the cool things we do with pool noodles!

One of our favorite ways to play with noodles is to cut them up into chunks and to make sculptures with them. We use chunks of noodles and toothpicks. This is a very child centered activity- one that we first saw in action at a Let Them Play Workshop with Denita Dinger and Jeff A Johnson. (You can find each of them on Facebook, Denita at Play Counts and Jeff at Explorations Early Learning)

If you can't find a workshop to go to (We drove almost 6 hours to go see them- they really are that GOOD!). You can always buy their book: Let Them Play, An Early Learning Uncurriculum.

You'll find all kinds of great ideas and ways to make your program more child driven.
But... back on topic - our sculptures...

We used a saw to cut various widths. Some of the noodles were round, some were the flower shaped. We kept some of the pieces in tact, and some we cut into smaller pieces. 

Given the opportunity to explore with long periods of time, 
the children came up with all kinds of creations.

They really got into creating. We literally "played" with these items for hours on end. Observing- it was clear to see that the children were focused.
Some of the time, they had clear "plans" or outcomes, but most of the time they worked individually or together to experiment. Some of the children just kept adding toothpicks. As if they were trying to determine exactly how many they could add to a noodle piece.
They would build and then assess their creations, destroying some to start all over and combining others.  There was some talk of working together to make "a huge poky thing", but it never came to fruition. The children were too engaged in their own creations to bring them together.
After enough time of experimenting, developing fine motor skills, and learning how the pieces worked together, their tinkering moved to more concrete objects....
"Look at me, I'm a sun princess. This is a sun crown!"
"I'm making a giant necklace"
or- "WOW look at me!"
Have you ever used chunks of pool noodles to allow the children to explore? We'd love to hear about your learning adventures! If you have a blog post or photos, please link them up below!
We also use pool noodles for rough housing around here.  Children need an opportunity to work on their gross motor skills and pool noodles are a safe and fun way to do so. 

You can read more about our rough housing with pool noodles here.

We also made the discovery that pool noodles connect quite nicely to 1/2" pvc pipe for addition exploration and creations. You can read more about this here.

Have you made anything with pool noodles? We'd love to hear about it! Please take a moment to hop on over to the Pinterest Board for more ideas AND if you have an idea feel free to link it up or leave us a description in the comments! I'll add all of your ideas to the Pinterest Board.

What Would You Do With It? Wednesday is a linky where you can link your ideas to help us reuse "trash" or recyclable materials that some folks might throw out or send to the recycling center. This linky happens every first and third Wednesday of the month.

Unlike some link up, there are only 2 rules:

1) Your post must use the item featured.

2) Your post must be family friendly.

You don't have to follow or make any comments. (Although, who doesn't love having a new follower or to see comments on their blog??? ) You are more than welcome to, but not required.

The posts and blog hop links are open for an extended period of time (at least year). So, you can look at older posts and link up your projects and ideas to any week at any time.

By linking up you agree to the use of one photo from your post to be featured in the future.
Thanks for joining in- and happy linking!

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