Pool noodles are awesome! They are super cheap, durable, don’t hurt, and have so many uses that don’t involve a pool at all! You can find pool noodles anywhere from $1.50 – $3 and you can even cut them in half so one noodle is enough for two students to play a game. Very cheap supplies for fun games! Here are 10 pool noodle games:
Supplies: Trash can, half pool noodle, chairs
Set up: Set enough chairs for everyone minus one in a circle, place upside down trashcan in center
The game begins with everyone seated in a circle around the upside down trash can except for one person in the middle who is the swatter (with a large group you can have more than one swatter, just subtract chairs for more swatters). The swatter has half a noodle in hand and chooses someone seated to swat. Once they swat someone, they must run and set the noodle on the upside down trash can and get back to the open seat (where the person they swatted was sitting) before the person who was swatted gets the noodle from the trash can and swats them. If the noodle falls off the trash can, the original swatter is still in the middle (this prevents the swatter from just swatting and throwing the noodle at the can).
2. Blind Guardian
Supplies: Blindfolds, set of keys, metal bowl, one chair, and pool noodles
Set up: Place keys in metal bowl under a chair in the middle of the room
Blindfold a few ‘guards’ (number of guards depends on size of group) and give them a pool noodle (or half of one). One guard sits in the chair with the bowl under it. The rest of the students’ try to get the keys out of the bowl and away from the guards without getting hit by a pool noodle. The metal bowl makes it harder to get the keys out without being heard. When someone is hit by a pool noodle they can either go back and ‘reset’ or be out until the whole game is reset, your choice on how you want to play it. Have fun!
3. Noodle to the Head
Supplies: Helmet with face mask, Wiffle ball, velcro
Set up: Put velcro on top of helmet and on Wiffle ball
This one needs a few extra supplies but it is worth it! Velcro the Wiffle ball to the top of the helmet. One (or however many helmets you have) person wears the helmet and runs through parallel lines of students with half pool noodles. The people in line try to knock the Wiffle ball off with their noodles.
4. Sharks and Minnows
Supplies: Pool noodles for all “sharks”
Set up: None
We all know how to play this classic game. Students have to get from one side of the playing field (or room) to the other without getting tagged by the people in the middle. If they get tagged, they either become a tagger or sit out (your choice). Play it with pool noodles! Give each of the taggers a half pool noodle and have fun!
5. Pile of Noodles
Supplies: Blindfolds, several half noodles, some full noodles
Set up: Place a pile of half noodles in the middle of a circle.
Divide up into teams and stand around the circle. Put some blind folded leaders with full pool noodles in the circle as guards of the pile. The objective is for the teams around the circle to grab noodles from the pile without getting hit by one of the leaders in the middle. The team with the most half noodles after they have all been taken is the winner.
6. Noodle Hockey
Supplies: Enough noodles or half noodles for everyone and a beach ball or toddler ball
Set up: Two goals on opposite sides of room
This game is just like regular hockey but with half pool noodles as the sticks and a large, light ball as the puck. You can also use a full noodle folded in half so it has more stability.
7. Hit the Shoe
Supplies: Enough half noodles for everyone
Set up: None
Have students partner up, face-off and duel with a half pool noodle as their sword. They face off, count down from 3, and the objective is to touch the other person’s shoe with their noodle. First one to 10 (or whatever you decide) is the winner.
8. Mosquito Tag
Supplies: Multiple half pool noodles
Set up: None
Like regular tag with multiple “it” people but those people have to hold a half pool noodle to their forehead (like a mosquito or unicorn) and tag with them.
9. Wet Noodle
Supplies: 2 plastic cups, 2 pool noodles, tape, water, and a timer
Set up: Tape cups to the top of pool noodles and fill cups with water.
Form 2 lines and have each team pass their noodle down the line. The team who can pass it back and forth the most times in the amount of time given (your choice) without spilling all the water, wins.
10. Capture the Noodle
Supplies: Half noodles for everyone and two half noodles for “flags”
Set up: Like capture the flag
Simply a game of capture the flag but instead of a flag its a noodle and instead of tagging every player is armed with a half pool noodle.
Todd has been in youth ministry for over a decade and has a passion for reaching lost students and training youth workers to do the same. He is the founder of Stoked On Youth Ministry, a speaker, author, and pastor. When Todd is not writing or speaking he enjoys surfing, baseball and most importantly hanging out with his awesome wife and three beautiful daughters. You can connect with Todd on Twitter @TheTodd_Jones, Instagram @Todd_Jones or for speaking inquiries visit TheToddJones.com