With this configuration, the children spent much of their efforts just pouring water into the trays and catching the water exiting the pipes.
This year, I added four vertical pipes to the horizontal pipes. The vertical pipes fed directly into the horizontal pipes.
Did the change in the apparatus change the play of the children? No and yes.
Children still poured water into the trays and experimented with various ways of catching---or not---the water flowing out of the pipe ends.
But on the whole, the children spent much less time trying to fill the trays. Instead, they did more experimenting with putting water into the vertical pipes.
One of the consequences of pouring the water into the vertical pipes was that it was not always easy to tell where the water went once it entered the vertical pipe.
Adding the vertical pipes definitely changed the children's focus of play and exploration. It changed from filling the bottom of the trays and catching water out the ends of the pipes to putting water and basters into the top of the vertical pipes. Was the appeal the size of the holes of the vertical pipes? Was the attraction the new working levels created by the tops of the vertical pipes? Was the enticement the added challenge to figure out the path of the water when poured into the vertical pipes?
This school year, I am experimenting with my modus operandi. For as long as I can remember, I changed the apparatus in my sensory table every week. This year, I will experiment with leaving the apparatus up for two weeks. There are two reasons for the change. First, I want to be able to offer some of my documentation back to the children and the parents for their input. Secondly, I want to see if I can answer some of the questions I raise for myself after looking at my initial documentation.