Holes were punched in the bottom of the trays so water would not collect in the trays, but drop into trays or tubs placed under the holes. The focus of play was pouring water into the trays and catching the water dropping from the holes in the trays.
I kept the apparatus up for two weeks, but the second week I added a PVC pipe and a wired tube.
By adding the pipe and the tube, did the children change the focus of their play? There was still a lot of pouring into the trays and of catching the water trickling out of the trays...
but I do have a lot more of pictures of the children using the pipe and tube than simply using the trays.
Here is an example: One group brought over the little dinosaurs from the manipulatives and set up a dinosaur "water slide."
The tube attracted a lot of attention, too. It was short and higher above the table so children had a more dynamic view when tracking the flow of water coming out of the tube.
Did the children change the focus of their play or did I change the focus of my documentation? Another possibility is that the children added another focus to their play while my attention was only centered on what was different the second week the apparatus was up.
In comparing my documentation, though, I did find one operation that was essentially the same, but looks completely different from one week to the next because of the affordances of the two setups. The first week the child pours and catches the water through the bottom of the tray. He is using a clear bottle to pour and a baster to catch. He has to use a lot of fine motor coordination to catch the water.