The second week I added some new elements, a channel and tubes, and a new loose part, a homemade plunger.
The channel that was added had two holes on the top into which the children could pour sand. The lower of the two holes also gave the children a peek at the sand flowing down the closed chute. The hole on the end of the channel directed the sand into the hole at the bottom of the apparatus. If you look closely, you see that the sand coming out of the channel is split in two, but is transformed into one stream coming out of the hole emptying into the tub.
There were two types of tubes added to the apparatus. The first was a cardboard tube. The purpose of this tube was to direct sand through the hole on the other side of the box. Watch how this works; you will have to wait to the end of the video to see the child pour the sand---the red, hot lava---down the tube. The video begins with the child saying:"Hot lava for sale. Who wants hot lava? Red, hot lava with a lot of candy in it. And a lot of healthy things. There are healthy things in here." All the while she is scooping sand from the bucket and putting it in her measuring cup. Every time she puts some sand in her measuring cup, she uses the scoop to smooth off the top. When she is satisfied with her exact measurement, she stands up and pours the sand down the tube. It rushes down the tube and out of the box---you might even say like hot lava.
Red hot lava for sale from Thomas Bedard on Vimeo.
Did you notice all the areas of development that were touched upon in this 30 second video. Here are a few I noticed: motor skills(both fine and large motor), language, role play, math(measuring the red hot lava), science(pouring the sand down the tube), cooperation(the other child is also in on the role play) and imagination. Not bad for 30 seconds of play.
The second tube was a plastic tube that was embedded horizontally in the Box Peak. The tube was set fairly high in the apparatus so the children could still reach under the apparatus to get at the sand.
The main reason for this tube was to encourage play with a new loose part: a sand plunger. The sand plunger is a jar lid screwed onto the end of a sawed-off piece of broom handle.
The lid was the perfect size to fit into the tube. That way the children could use the plunger to push the sand from one end of the tube out the other. Or a child could just push the plunger through the tube without moving any sand.
Of course, the children found their own uses for the plungers that had nothing to do with the tube. Below, the children are using the plungers like shovels as they try to move the sand at the bottom of the box to the hole.