Next, I found bins that are similar to the planter trays in the our back storage area and decided to stack those bins on top of the planter trays. The result was a multiple tray apparatus.
A couple years later---again in the fall and on clearance---I bought a couple more planter trays and built a bigger multiple tray apparatus with more levels.
This school year, I visited the hardware story again to find more planter trays. I went hog wild.
Here is what one half of the apparatus looks like from a slightly higher vantage point. The levels are labeled.
Watch how a two-year-old navigates scooping pellets from the bottom of the table to depositing them into the very top tray.
Maximum reach from Thomas Bedard on Vimeo.
What an operation by this two-year-old. After she scoops the pellets into her tiny scoop, she slowly stands---she is on a stool---to keep her balance without spilling any of the pellets. Next, she uses her left hand to help her reposition the scoop in her right hand so she can grab the handle. By holding the handle, she will have her maximum reach. She reaches as high as she can and drops the pellets from her scoop into the top tray even though she cannot see into the top tray. She cannot even see if all the pellets drop out of the scoop, so she shakes the scoop a couple of times to make sure all the pellets are out.
One of the upshots of building vertically is that it beckons the children to engage in vertical endeavors. What are vertical endeavors? Operating on the lip of the table can be considered one.
There is one more reason why planter trays are a staple at the sensory table. They often serve as a base to hold other apparatus above the table.