I could have set up the apparatus the same way this year, but I usually don't work that way. For me, I have to construct it anew. What effect does my playing have on the children's play?
I made a few minor changes this year. A couple of the changes were made in the initial setup and a couple of them were made after I saw how the children played with the apparatus.
The first change was that I connected the pipes on a straight, horizontal line traversing the blue table. To make that work and to support the pipe, I had to set the crate on the end that gave this section of the apparatus the most height.
These small changes created a significant change in the space in and around the crate. The new height of the pipe and the crate orientation created a bigger space for the children's operations.
In the picture below, you can see the changes I made after watching the children explore the setup. By the way, the red funnel is connected to a hose that brings the water back to the pumping tub so the water keeps circulating between the two tables.
Here is closer look at the apron I made to close the gap between the two tables. It is made entirely out of duct tape. It may not be pretty, but it worked as intended.
One of the reasons the blue funnel was not big enough was because the size of the pans that were set out for the children to use. One pan in particular seemed to grab the children's attention.
There is one final note about this set up. When the children really start pumping, the duct tape by itself was not enough to keep the connections secure. As a consequence, I also taped a wood rod underneath to make the line of pipes more rigid and less prone to disconnecting.
That was the technical. Next week will be the operational brought to you in a way only the children know how.