He could have just lifted the tube to pour the pellets in the bucket, but instead, he uses the lip of the table as a fulcrum to both support the weight of the tube and establish a point on which to rotate the tube to empty it into the bucket. It looks like real-world physics to me.
One child went so far as to bring scissors from the writing area on the other side of the room. I often have children bring things from other areas, but this is the first time someone has brought something from the writing area to use at the sensory table. Watch as she uses the scissors to pick up one pellet at a time from the table and then drop it into a window in the box.
Scissors as pincher from Thomas Bedard on Vimeo.
She is very meticulous about making sure she gets only one pellet at a time. In fact, the second time she goes for a pellet, she gets two and drops one before putting the other one in the window.
I could have done the teacher thing and stopped her by saying the scissors stay at the writing table. Instead, I did a different teacher thing: I observed and recorded what I saw. I could not help but think how ingenious this child was to take a writing table utensil and re-purpose it as pincer in the sensory table.
In fact in every instance I referenced, I could have found a reason to stop the actions of the child. For instance I could have said for the first one: "Dustpans are for sweeping." For the second one: "You will loose the pellets out the other end." For the third one: "You are spilling way too much when you fill your tube." If I had done that, though, I would have missed the resourcefulness and the inventiveness of the children as the re-purpose the materials at hand. That idea is transformative because it applies to all other constructions and all other areas of the room and all the materials in the room.
The question is: Does anything go or are there limits to what is allowed?