Pool Noodle Color Words!

Pool noodles seem to be the newest, fun, educational supply item, so I thought I would hop onto that bandwagon and try my hand at creating a pool noodle project.  Inspired by Vanessa Levin's Alphabet Pool Noodle project, I came up with this little idea for practicing building color words (or any words!) with pool noodles.  It's really quick and easy to make!

Here are the supplies that you will need:
  • One 10-12 inch piece of pool noodle per child
  • A serrated knife to cut the noodle with (that's the kind of knife you cut bread with)
  • Sentence strips to write the words on
  • A thick, black permanent marker
  • Brightly colored cardstock or index paper.  (I found some brightly colored index card sized paper at Michael's craft supply store for relatively little.)
  • Scissors
  • Book pockets for the back of the sentence strips to store the letters in (you might be able to make your own by cutting a piece of paper to size and folding down the edges before you glue it.)
  • A laminator, if you choose to laminate your project for durability.

This pack of cardstock paper from Michael's was the perfect size for this project! The 3" width matched my sentence strips exactly and made it extra easy to put the project together.

To make the project:
  1. Write the words on the sentence strips.
  2. Write letters on the small colored index cards, making sure that you separate the letters enough to cut them apart easily.  (That's the only hard part!)  Use different as many different colors for the words as you can to help separate the letters of one word from another.
  3. Put a book pocket on the back.  (Mine are self adhesive. I got them from Demco.com.)
  4. Slice a strip open on the top of the pool noodle long enough for your sentence strip to fit inside of it, but not so far that you cut all the way through the pool noodle.  I actually cut two VERY thin slices out of the noodle (to make it larger hole) so that it wouldn't be so hard for the little ones to slip the paper in and out of the slice I made.
  5. Put your sentence strip word into the noodle to make sure it fits.  Then cut your letters apart and slide them on top of the word.
  6. If everything fits together nicely on the noodle, then you are done with that word!  If you choose to laminate them, do that now.  Otherwise, just put the letters in the back pocket of the sentence strip for storage.

The extra low backed book pockets fit my three inch tall sentence strips just perfectly! Note the self-adhesive back on the book pocket. I also use these pockets for my classroom library check out system.

The children will just be matching up the letters to the words that they are learning to read.  This activity is perfect for Pre-K and beginning of the year Kindergartners.

The children match up the letters to form the words that they are learning to read.

Use different as many different colors for the words as you can to help separate the letters of one word from another.

Color words are a natural for this activity...

...but you could easily adapt this for use with ANY words...

...or even the names of the children.

Looking for more ideas like this?

Check out my favorite Pinterest boards, which are LOADED with ideas just like this!  I almost NEVER pin things that are for sale (unless they are my own, and I guess I'm entitled, ha ha!)  Try these boards: 

Learning Center Activities (this is mostly "Word Work")

Math Learning Centers (Math activities kids could do independently)

Alphabet Ideas   (Tons of GREAT ideas for teaching the alphabet here!)

Sight Word Ideas  (The majority of these activities are independent)

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