I kept this apparatus up for two weeks. However, the second week I added a vertical element to the apparatus. I embedded a rain gutter extender tube that went from the top of the box, through the inside of the box and out one side of the box. The tube emptied into a five gallon pail next to the table.
With this vertical addition, the children immediately started to go vertical on concrete tube apparatus.
Here is another two-year-old from another class who felt the need to climb on the apparatus.
And watch how he balanced on the lip of the table as he made his way around the apparatus to pour corn into the tube on the far side from where he started.
Climbing at the sensory table from Thomas Bedard on Vimeo.
You have just watched a significant transformation of the concrete tube apparatus brought to you by the children. They transformed this sensory apparatus into a large muscle apparatus. It was no longer just a place to scoop, pour and transport. It also became a place to climb, balance, test muscle strength and take risks. Those types of transformations happen all the time when children are agents of their own learning.
p.s. When I give talks about building apparatus to change the sensory table, I have to caution participants that if you build vertically, the children will go as high as you build. If you are not comfortable with children going high, only build to a height that matches your comfort level. Don't be afraid to stretch a little, though. You might be surprised at what the children can do.