The big deck box slid into the table to a depth of about 4 inches. To give the deck box stability, I embedded it in a another plain cardboard box that spanned the width of the table. I set it in the middle of this second box so there would be equal access to the table on both sides. There ended up to be space underneath the white box almost like it was floating a couple of inches off the bottom of the table.
As the children accessed the corn in the bottom of the white box, they found a hole in the bottom of the white box that emptied into the bottom of the table. If a child wanted to, she could stretch through three holes and three segmented spaces to scoop the corn from the bottom of the table. I would think that would qualify as a wonderful exercise in spatial literacy.
I cut a lot of big windows in this apparatus. Whether the children were on the sides or the ends of the apparatus, there were clear sight lines through the apparatus giving them different perspectives. Not only did they encounter different perspectives through the holes, they also gained some fundamental experiences with depth perception.
After a week, I added cardboard tubes set on an incline on each side of the apparatus. The tubes emptied into a storage bin at the end of the table.
I thought I had created a lot of intriguing spaces that the children accessed through all the different windows. To tell you the truth, I did not even count the space on top of the apparatus. Even though I did not count it, the children did. Below, they used the top of the white box as a shelf to hold all their full containers.