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I’ve been wanting to build my daughter an engineering wall for a long time. A place for her to learn and play about some of the basics of engineering like pulleys and lights and pumps. She loves designing and building, but all of the walls I had seen seemed either too complicated to build or not sturdy enough to be worth the time. Then we went swimming and I had a burst of inspiration. Pool noodles! Light enough to hang on a wall, and sturdy enough to last a while. And enter in my favorite wall hanging supply, Command™ products to get the job done. Here’s how we made an Awesome Pool Noodle Engineering Wall for Kids.
Trial and Error Made Fun
The best part of this project was definitely the process. The “final” wall is fun to play with, but not nearly as fun as figuring out how to make it. The Babe and I have been trying different things all week to see what we could do. Marble run, pulleys, worked. Gears, not so much. Levers? Boring :) She loved trying to solve issues when they didn’t work and kept coming back to it to make it better. The good news is all of the Command™ products are repositionable, so they can keep engineering to their heart’s content. Enjoy the process with your kiddo and let the materials and your brains be the inspiration. Here’s my daughter after her first successful marble run :)
Here’s a little taste of the fun in action:
How to Make Your Pool Noodle Engineering Wall
Pool Noodle Marble Run
To make the marble run, grab a pool noodle or two and a sharp knife (a steak knife works great). Cut the noodle into 9-12 inch sections. Then make a cut down the length of the piece and make a second cut about an inch around the noodle. You can think about it as a pie that you just cut a 20% piece out of.
Now grab one of the picture hanging strips. Peel off the label and stick one side of the strip to the middle of the noodle piece. Then peel the wall the wall side strip onto the wall at an angle so the pool noodle tips downhill.
MARBLE RUN WITH BALL FLYING PIC HERE
Pool Noodle Pulley
- 9″ length of pool noodle (wide ones work best here)
- 3 Command™ Brand Clear Wire Hooks
- Sharp knife
We made a three fulcrum pulley with three of the hooks and strung some twine between them. On each end was a hollowed out piece of pool noodle that serves as a cup. Poke some holes in the sides and then you can feed a piece of twine through to make a hande.
Pool Noodle Lights
- 4″ length of pool noodle
- Small tealights (I used the submersible kind)
- 2 Command™ Brand Clear Hooks
Simply cut a two inch thick section of noodle and pop the tea light into the center. Then mount one of the clear Command™ hooks onto the wall and hook it on. Done!
Pool Noodle Air Pump
- 1 pool noodle water gun
- 2 ft. crepe paper
- Command™ Brand Picture Hanging Strips
We found some fun pool noodle water guns at Walmart while we were picking up supplies for the wall. They were too fun not to get! And it turns out that they pump air as well as they pump water so we taped on some crepe paper and hooked it to the wall with a picture hanging strip.
One Stop Supply Shop
I love that I was able to pick up so much fun stuff for this project at Walmart. There aren’t many places that you can go to get pool noodles, twine and craft supplies! Oh and the milk I ran out of this morning, too. Plus they have stuff for all my own crafty projects. I just picked up some fun inspiration for all the stuff I found in the craft aisles at the Scotch™ Brand Project Amazing hub. So many cute things to make this summer.
Inspiration for Young Engineers
Love projects that inspire the engineer in your house? Try these fun activities:
- Heat Sensitive Color Changing Slime
- If-Then Backyard Coding Game for Kids
- The Biology of Bread
- STEAM Bored Jar
- Play Dough Robots
Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math Fun for Kids
Looking for some more STEAM inspiration that use can use right now? Instant gratification style? Check out STEAM Kids: 50+ Hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math Hands-On Projects for Kids ebook! It’s packed full of a year’s worth fun learning activities that will wow the boredom right out of your kids.