pail; a wooden tray that serves as a bridge between the blue table and the smaller clear table; and the tub underneath the wooden tray for catching the falling animal bedding so not all of it ends up on the floor when the children are using the bridge for their play.
This a a very simple apparatus: a box inside a box with holes. How do children make any meaning out of this invitation? This is a question that spawns many others.
One of the ways to make meaning is to animate the holes. The holes are places into which stuff is put to make things disappear and sometimes to see where they go. Below is a video of two children putting something in the top hole. The first child has a horse and she pretends the horse is galloping and then falls in the hole. Watch her expression as she completes her actions. Why is she so pleased with making the horse disappear? Is this a good magic trick? The second child steps up on the stool as the first child steps down. He drops some animal bedding down the top hole. He then checks the hole on the side to see where it went. What makes him curious about the trajectory of the animal bedding? One child is happy with a disappearance and another wants to know where something goes. Why the difference?
Dropping things down the hole from Thomas Bedard on Vimeo.
Another way the children make meaning out of this invitation is simply to explore and operate in all the spaces provided by the apparatus with the provisions.
Some of the meaning is easier to surmise. When a child sets up a feeding station for the horses, that is pretty evident.