Don’t you love noodles?
We don’t mean the kind you eat with spaghetti sauce. We mean the kind of Noodles you can enjoy playing with in the swimming pool!
What a Noodle is:
- It’s a versatile toy that is fun for creating and enhancing many water games.
- It’s cheap – even for a good one.
- It’s easy to transport.
- It’s a teaching aid for kids who are just learning to feel comfortable in the water.
What a Noodle isn’t:
- It’s not a floatie even though it floats. It’s made out of sort of the same material as packing peanuts but cannot be depended on to sustain any amount of human weight. In fact, it barely supports its own weight.
- It’s not a life-saving device. It is not an approved device that serves as the required life-saving devices for use around pools or on boats.
It’s a Toy
Noodles are awesome because kids call fall off of them – and even getting a face full of water – without getting hurt or being in danger. This may surprise them a bit, but it helps them to learn or remember their limits. And Noodles are safe for young kids as long as you are in the water with your young kids (which you should be anyway). As noted previously, however, always remember that the Noodle is NOT a life-saving device. It IS a toy.
A Noodle Can Do A Lot
Bobbing support. This feels different than being supported by a person. This allows kids using it to feel independent and move around by themselves. Noodles also move up and down with the users – exactly like their bodies are going to do in the water – without the Noodles. It’s a great way to for kids to get comfortable with that feeling. And if they become scared, it’s fine because you will be right there with them because you know that Noodles are not life-saving devices.
In front. When kids use Noodles in front (tucked under the armpits) they can practice their kicks, doggie paddle, treading water and maybe even breast stroke. If they need help, you will be right there because you know that Noodles are not life-saving devices.
In back. Being on their back feels weird for many kids – and that’s why they don’t like it so much. With the Noodle in back of the neck and under the armpits, kids can relax on their backs AND keep their heads above the water. It won’t take long for them to push their Noodles away and float on their backs on their own. If they start to sink, you will catch them because you’ll be in the water with them since Noodles are NOT a life-saving devices.
From back to front. When kids have had enough of floating on their backs with the Noodle, they can easily learn to roll to the front. This can be an overlooked, somewhat scary, and critical skill. Rolling back to front gives kids a way to get out of a position that may be making them uncomfortable or afraid and into a position where they can relax – and they can do it on their own. If they become uncomfortable, it will be fine because you’ll be in the water with them since Noodles are NOT a life-saving devices.
Jumping on. Have you ever tried to get kids to jump from the pool side into the water? It’s a challenge to get them to muster their courage and make the leap from the safety of the side into the unfamiliarity of the water. Put a Noodle in the water and they can’t resist the temptation! Just remember, Noodles are NOT a life-saving devices!
No more catching them over and over again. The fact that the Noodle can slip around and out from under them a bit also teaches kids to deal with the consequences. If they can’t – again – it’s no problem because you are in the water with them because Noodles are NOT a life-saving devices.
Getting into the saddle. No kid can resist the coolness of riding a seahorse! Make the Noodle the seahorse and allow kids to take off on them! But it’s a challenge. It leads to falling off which leads to treading water which is another one of those critical skills every kid needs to acquire. Once they’ve mastered sitting on the “seahorse,” kids can transition to lying face down in the water anywhere in the pool and not only beside the steps. If they get scared, you will be right with them because you know that Noodles are NOT a life-saving devices.
The floating side. The side of the pool is pretty much every kids early safety net. They feel safe as long as they can touch the side. Becoming familiar with the Noodle gives kids an alternative to the side that eventually allows them to be weaned from that old safety net. The Noodle – again – is not reliable teaches kids to overcome the consequences of allowing the Noodle to slip away and reminds them of their limits. The results are gained confidence in using their bodies in the water to again get to a feeling of safety. If they exceed their limits, you’re there to help fill the gap between “what-they-can-do” and “what-they-can’t-quite-do-yet” because you know that Noodles are NOT a life-saving devices.
Valuable time in the zone. The Noodle gives kids lots of time to progress in their development in positive, enriching, and playful ways. Often called the ZPD (zone of proximal development), this time speeds their development and reinforces skills they have mastered. If they need you, you will be right there since you know Noodles are NOT a life-saving devices)
There are many more ways this toy can be used for fun (and maybe even fun learning reinforcement) in the water. That’s why it’s noted as the Incredible Noodle in this post’s title! See for yourself by just getting creative with it!
As long as you remember one thing and you know what it is. Noodles are NOT a life-saving devices.
Since a dozen times may be the charm to your remembering, we will say it once more: The Noodle is a toy, not a life-saving device.
Now, have fun Noodling your way around the pool!