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project // bamboo style pool noodle stacking game

Bamboo Stacking Game

With pandas showing up in a lot of my posts this month, I thought it might be a good idea to feed them! So today I've got a pool noodle game that looks a lot like bamboo!

I trimmed down some pool noodles for something totally non-crafty, and started playing with them and thinking they would be fun to stack. Would they stack? After all...they roll a bit. But guess what? They stack in a hashtag/pound sign sort of way!

My dad, who is a big fan of bamboo (he has it growing in our yard!) came along and said, you should decorate the pool noodles to look like bamboo. I said, "That's a great idea! You're in charge of that project!" So here we have a Mollie and her dad collaboration. Scroll down to see it in action!

Bamboo Stacking Game

To make your own stacking game, you will need:

An even number of green pool noodles (I suggest 10 or 12)
A steak knife (maybe don't use your fancy one...)
Permanent markers in shades of brown and green

Note: This game is even easier to make if you skip the bamboo look. In which case, you can use any color or combination of colors that you want!

Bamboo Stacking Game

First, cut all of your pool noodles into thirds. You don't need to be precise; just go for it!

Bamboo Stacking Game

If you're going for non-bamboo, you're done! Start stacking!

For the bamboo look, again, it's not about perfection, it's more about getting the essence of the plant, and it's a little free-form and artistic. Take a look at the layers of lines added:

Bamboo Stacking Game
Bamboo Stacking Game
Bamboo Stacking Game

1. Tan and green lines running the length of the noodles.
2. Brown wiggly nodules around the noodle and brown streaks at the ends.
3. Tan and green streaks at the ends and coming off the nodules.

None of the bamboo pieces are the same, and the placement of the nodules varies with each piece. If you follow roughly the same process for each noodle, you'll come out with a nice variety that really does have a bamboo look to them! You know, as much as a pool noodle can look like real bamboo!

Oh, and as you work, you may find your hands getting a little marked up. The permanent marker sticks to the noodles, but while it's wet, it will get you messy. Just be prepared!

<Bamboo Stacking Game

After your markings have had a chance to dry, gather up all of the noodles, er...bamboo pieces.

Bamboo Stacking Game

Take turns adding layers to the stack, or simply play as a one-person challenge game.

As I mentioned, the pool noodles roll and that's part of the fun of this. However, as long as you are playing on a level surface, your tower will be more steady than you expect. We took these photos on the grass, but that (along with the breezy day it was!) made this more challenging.

What I think I love most about this game is that the pieces are soft, safe, and quiet. It's really a perfect indoor game! And if you have older kids (or adults!) who want to play, consider adding even more pool noodle pieces to make a giant tower!

Bamboo Stacking Game

Of course, eventually, it will come down, and then you can change the game to see how many you can pick up and hold at one time!

Thanks, Dad, for crafting with me!


  1. Anonymous10:54 AM

    Could you play the stacking game in the pool? That might be a challenge! :-)

    1. We talked about that, but haven't tried it yet. It's possible that if you get the base started, that you could keep it going...just depends on how much the water is moving, I'd guess!

  2. Sooo cool! I love it!

  3. Christine9:21 AM

    Great idea. Going to make this for a friend's outdoor beach theme wedding reception!!

  4. FOXXI RYAN3:50 PM


  5. OMGosh!! I have been searching for this! Thank you sooooooooo much!!!

  6. Thanku! I'm gonna let u know how it works out in june:)preparing early:)

  7. Thanku! I'm gonna let u know how it works out in june:)preparing early:)


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