Just a pool noodle is what one may see with an untrained eye and an uninspired heart, but for children whose hearts are full of dreams and whose minds are abundant with theories and hypotheses, this long, bendy, lime green tube is symbolic of so much more.
I bought this pool noodle last month to use as a guard rail to keep my toddler from falling out of bed. It soon found its way into my preschool classroom where children both cautiously and confidently approached it, transforming this simple item into props that suited their play. A few weeks later it found its way back into my house where it continued to take on various identities.
This pool noodle has been on the frontline of battle, used in a swordfight against a pirate;
This pool noodle has been a fairy wand, transforming classmates and teachers into frogs;
This pool noodle has been a butterfly catcher, reaching high to graze wonders usually out of reach;
This pool noodle has been a horse, straddled to gallop far and wide;
This pool noodle has been a baby, cradled tenderly and cuddled as night falls;
This pool noodle has been a tunnel through which imaginary friends escape;
This pool noodle has been a rope, used to climb to faraway places;
This pool noodle has been a slide, used to descend back to safety;
This pool noodle has been a telescope, through which perspectives have changed;
This pool noodle has been a telephone, through which not so quiet “I love you”s have been exchanged;
This pool noodle has ignited imaginations, sparked adventures and given way to many moments of learning;
This pool noodle is a reminder of the power and value of everyday, ordinary objects in children’s play.