What you need:
- Pool noodles
- Pipe cleaners
- Bucket of water/pool/bathtub
- Cut a pool noodle into four strips.
- Cut a pipe cleaner into about 3 inch strips (long enough so they will go through two strips of pool noodle stacked on top of each other).
- Lay out the four strips of pool noodle into a tic-tac-toe board.
- Poke a piece of pipe cleaner through the pool noodle at each intersection so the tic-tac-toe board stays in place.
- Create the game pieces. Use two different colored pool noodles to create little discs to use as game pieces
- If you have one color pool noodle, create a different shape for one player than the other.
- Grab a bucket of water or head to the pool to play pool noodle tic-tac-toe!
Ways to Expand the Activity:
- Make a larger game board. You could literally expand the game by using full length pool noodles as your game board.
- Create more sections. Use three strips of pool noodle in each direction to make the game board. In order to win you would have to get four in a row.
What Kids Learn:
- Density is what decides whether an object sinks or floats in water. If something is less dense than water, it floats. If something is more dense than water, it sinks.
- Basic engineering skills. Engineers solve problems with constraints. They learn to solve problems by using the engineering design process: asking questions, coming up with solutions, building, testing and improving.
- Fine motor skills. Kids practice using the small muscles in their hands later used for writing.
- Experimentation! When kids experiment, they're learning how to learn. Failure is an important part of experimenting, so let kids try things that won’t work. It’s how they figure things out!