Once everything is in the table, then the children get down to the job of exploring and manipulating the loose elements. So what does that look like?
She has just made the rock a tool, an operation that harkens back to the dawn of man. Amazing!
With such a simple apparatus and these loose elements, how can the children be so creative? Look no further than The Theory of Loose Parts by Simon Nicholson (1972). He says: "In any environment, both the degree of invention and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it." In this case, the environment is small, the sensory table, but still fraught with possibilities when infused with "loose parts."