Games Using Pool Noodles

By Jennifer Loucks

Updated September 22, 2017

Pool noodles aren't just for swimming.
i blue unit with aqua noodles image by Georgiy Pashin from

A pool noodle is a tube of polyethylene foam, sometimes with a hollow center. The noodles are commonly used during swimming for play and exercise but have many more uses. The foam is soft, yet rugged and makes a great device for creative game play out of the water. Foam noodles do not cause damage to people or gym floors, are low cost and can be cut apart to make game accessories.

Hornet Tag

Hornet tag is a game played with 10 or more people using an 8- to 12-inch piece of pool noodle attached to a belt or piece of rope. Assign one-third of the participants as hornets and belt or tie the noodles to their backsides to create a stinger. The object of the game is for the hornets to “sting” the other participants by tagging them with their hands. Once a person is tagged, he must leave the game. The hornet takes off the stinger and joins the game as a regular participant. Any other player can pick up the dropped stinger and become a hornet. Once all players have been “stung,” the game is over and the hornets win.

Noodle Alphabet

Noodle alphabet is a game where participants are required to create all the letters of the alphabet using two pool noodles. Divide all participants into teams of two people with a third person being the letter judge to verify each letter is completed. Give each team a full-sized pool noodle and place the teams in an open area with adequate room to create their letters. The teams will create one letter at a time with their noodles and move onto the next once the judge gives them an OK. The first team to complete all the letters of the alphabet wins the game.

Noodle Hockey

Noodle hockey is a game in which the participants use noodles to move small pieces of noodle pucks around the room or gym. Make noodle hockey sticks by cutting the noodle in half the long way so one side is flat. Cut 2- to 3-inch pieces of noodles to make the pucks. Divide all participants into two teams and place each team on one side of the room. Set one or multiple noodle pucks in the center of the room and outline a goal or safe area on each side of the room where the puck must be moved. The object of the game is for the teams to use their hockey sticks to move the pucks to their side of the room and into the safe zone. The game begins once the referee blows a whistle or says “go.” The team with the most pucks moved to its “safe” area wins the game.