This may look fairly simple, but it turned out to be a multidimensional space. It had length: the cardboard tube spanned the two tables. It had width: the width of the table perfectly holding the planter trays. And it had vertical depth with three levels of play: the table, the trays and the tube, all on different levels.
There was actually a fourth level of play, namely the floor. The level of the floor is represented by the bottom of the tub next to the table. The following video shows how one child incorporated the bottom of the tub---a.k.a. the floor---in her operations.
Covering the bottom of the tub from Thomas Bedard on Vimeo.
She used her pail to methodically distribute the pellets to cover the bottom of the tub. Was she cooking, gardening, ... ?
In addition to vertical depth, this apparatus provided horizontal depth, too. The child pictured below explored that horizontal depth as he reached well into the tube to scoop out pellets.
The fact that this apparatus was multidimensional encouraged all kinds of operations in and around the tables. I especially appreciated those operations that involved a certain amount of vigor. In the video below, the child used both hands to propel the pellets out of the tube into the tub next to the table.
Horizontal blast of pellets from Thomas Bedard on Vimeo.
The child basically shot the pellets out of the tube by pushing them to the end of the tube with her right hand and thrusting them out toward the tub with her left hand. So what if not all the pellets landed in the tub. She created her own experiment with force and trajectory
Children are masters at exploring all the dimensions of any given apparatus. They do it spontaneously; they do it methodically. Sometimes they even do it with zest, and for me, that is always a bonus.