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Now that the pools have opened and the summer weather has arrived, it is time to get the pool accessories out! This might include beach balls, water guns, squishy water toys, and pool noodles. But did you know that pool noodles are not just for the pool? Because pool noodles are inexpensive and come in various colors and sizes, they are great for creating fun activities for the kids. Here are some ideas to get you started.

·        Cut the noodle into round slices. Use a permanent marker to write letters or numbers. Place slices upside down in the water. Have the child look for letters/numbers or letters in their name.

·        Write lower and upper case letters on each noodle slice and have children match the letter cases.

·        Cut several colors of noodles into slices and use them as blocks to build.

·        Cut noodles lengthwise and race small balls or cars to the finish line.

·        Make hockey sticks by cutting the noodle in half and race-hitting a bouncy ball or balloon.

For more creative ways to use pool noodles, visit:

If you plan to do these or other activities outdoors, here are some reminders on keeping your family safe from the sun: 

  • Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the ultraviolet rays are most intense.
  • Avoid sun exposure for babies under six months, and dress the infant in lightweight clothing and a brimmed hat that coves their neck to prevent sunburn. If shade and adequate clothing are not available, apply a minimal amount of 15 SPF or greater sunscreen.
  • Have children wear a three-inch brim hat or a hat with the bill facing forward.
  • Provide sunglasses with 97-100% protection against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater and apply 30 minutes before going outside.
  • Apply sunscreen every two hours and reapply after swimming and sweating.

When having fun in the sun, remember to have plenty of water available to stay cool and hydrated. Also, consider bringing fruits or vegetables as a snack and another water source.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website:

Child Care Aware® of Eastern Kansas |

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