As soon as something is labeled as medical the cost immediately jumps up. There are so many things that families need and use that don’t necessarily have to be “medical” to work, but they do need to be affordable.
Many of us worry about our kids falling out of their beds once they move out of the crib. Yes, there are medical beds that are AMAZING. Some have side walls, hydraulics to lift or lower, some even have roofs to help with elopement. But for many of us, we don’t need that much. We just need something to make sure that they don’t roll over and fall to the floor.
You can find all kinds of options in baby stores, on Amazon, Target, etc. These range from $20-a few hundred dollars depending on how fancy you get. There is a much easier and cheaper option. Pool noodles! Some places sell extra thick pool noodles too that are even better. I know Walmart usually carries the thicker ones during the summer months. You simply tuck these under the fitted sheet and presto you have bedrails. If you or someone you knows can sew, you can even sew the noodles into place so that they don’t move around.
Here’s another great use for pool noodles- a sensory pool. If you buy a handful of noodles at the end of the summer when stores just want to get rid of them you do this project super cheap. All you need is pool noodles and a kiddie pool (also cheap to grab at the end of the summer). Cut the noodle into slivers about 3 inches long. A noodle is typically 5-6 feet which gives you 20-25 pieces per noodle. You can use a variety of colors too. Depending on the size of the pool you select you may need more or less noodles. Just cut them up and toss them into the pool until it is filled to the depth of your choice. When you are done you will have an affordable ball pit that is sure to please.
Pool noodles can be used as (or for):
– Positioning rolls (cut to size)
– Slipped under fitted sheets to prevent a child from rolling out of bed
– Cut into discs for large game pieces
– Cut into discs and thrown into a drained/dry child-size swimming pool for a “ball pit”
– Cut into discs of varying size and thrown into a storage bin for a sensory activity
– Physical therapy exercises (lift above head, pick up, put down, wave back and forth…)
– Split in half lengthwise to place over sharp edges on dressers, tables, etc.
– Cut into varying sizes using various colors to use as a sorting activity