The pool noodle—has there ever been so much joy derived from such a simple concept? If you’re willing to throw down a couple of bucks for one, you can hop into a beautiful lake and float blissfully for hours on end. But now pool noodle fans have even more reason to celebrate. A recent wave of life hacks has taken the popular pool toy to even greater heights, and this list of DIYs is perfectly suited to life at the cottage.
All you need to build this handy contraption is a pool noodle, some string, and a plastic storage container. Cut the pool noodle into sections that roughly match the length of each side of the container, pull the string through all four sections and wrap them around the bin. Load this baby up with ice and appropriate drinks for thirsty swimmers and you may never need to leave the lake again!
Car roof pads
If you ever transport small furniture or outdoor gear up to your cottage, pool noodle roof pads will make that process a lot less painful. Take three noodles and place them at the front, middle, and back of your roof, cutting them to match the width of your car. Then place your gear on top of the pool noodle pads and strap them down. The soft, springy surface of the noodles will keep your car from getting scratched up during a difficult move.
Giant ring toss
Looking for a safe and fun outdoor activity that’s easy to set up at the cottage? You’re only six pool noodles away from a simple game that will keep your kids occupied for at least a couple of hours. Stick three of the pool noodles in the ground (with a stabilizing metal or wooden stick on the inside) and fold the remaining three into circles that can be tossed over the poles.
While cards would not normally be classified as a strenuous sport, any activity can be made easier with a little ingenuity. Introducing the hands-free cardholder for the card enthusiast who really hates wrist cramps (or enjoys double-fisting his favourite cottage drinks). Simply cut a pool noodle into sections and slice each one down the centre to create perfect card slots. This is also an extremely useful hack for messy eaters who like to snack while playing. The next person to handle your cards will be very grateful when they don’t stick together.
Mopping and cleaning are necessary evils—yes, even at the cottage. But this makeshift hose can prevent a lot of spilling and sloshing in a cramped cottage kitchen with a small sink. Just insert your tap into the center of a pool noodle and place the other end in a bucket that needs filling. No more awkward sink dances with oversized buckets or laden trips to and from the bathtub.
Trampoline spring guards
Trampolines can be a great toy for the cottage backyard, promoting exercise and fresh air. But they can also be a little dangerous without all the fancy netting. Wrapping small sections of pool noodles around the springs on the outside of any size of trampoline will help prevent injury in the event that bouncing children venture too close to the edge.
You want your pet to be comfortable up at the cottage, but you’re probably not going to be lugging her fancy sleeping pad up from the city every weekend. And you may not have enough bed space to share with furry companions. Pool noodles come to the rescue once again with this comfy DIY pet bed. Pull the noodle through the armholes of an old sweatshirt/sweater, stuff it with a sheet or pillow for padding, and then tape the ends of the sleeves together. This video, which features seven simple life hacks for your dog, will show you exactly how it’s done.
While on the road in the all-new 2017 Honda Ridgeline, Kevin and Andrew Buckles of Brojects invented a new cottage throwing game called “horsenoodles.” The rules are simple: stand in the water, toss floating horseshoes upstream, aiming for a sturdy pipe planted in the riverbed. Hook the pipe, stay there, and score. Miss the pipe and the horsenoodle comes back, boomerang-style. Here’s how to make your own.