Last night, I finally sat down and tried to make it through my google reader. (After an hour or so of reading and still having over 1000 posts, I cleared it…. So, if I missed something great that you wrote about please bring it to my attention!) One of the posts that I did manage to read before clearing the slate was a selection from Tom Sensori. If you have a sand and water table and have not been to Tom’s blog… you need to stop reading this post and go over there RIGHT NOW! (Just don’t forget to come back!) Tom has amazing ideas for really making the most of your table and providing engaging learning activities for your children (of all ages!)
With inspiration from Tom, the children and I put together this wonderful hydraulics station today! Please stop by his blog for the instructions…. know that we opted to make ours just a little bit different…..
First off, we made ours with our already existing plethora of pvc pipe set. (We didn’t even have to drill holes because we had some with holes from our Bike Wash already!)We didn’t want the apparatus to be permanent, so we didn’t use plumber’s putty or glue. To keep the water from running down into the support pipes we used…. DUCT tape! (Imagine that!) We put a piece over the end of the pipe and then….
Cut off the excess so that there was a small amount of tape that would wrap around the side of the pipe. Just enough to keep the tape tight and across, but not so much that you wouldn’t be able to fit the pipe in the fittings.
We also taped the funnels to a very short piece of pvc pipe that we added to the connections. This kept our set up “temporary”, but still allowed the apparatus to function properly. (After we are done exploring this way…. I am hoping that the children will want to come up with their own ideas to test out.)
We played and explored for hours this morning! The children thought it was “AWESOME!!!!” and we made a short thank you video for Tom!
The children noticed that when you filled some of the funnels up quickly, you could make the other ones over flow!
The spent a lot of time collecting the water from the fountains and noticed that they could change where the water landed by turning the pipes (another benefit of not gluing them!) AND… If they put their finger over some of the holes the other ones sprayed higher!
We ended up with hours of fun… We were all drenched and we did move water in and out of the table! The carpet soaked up some of our fun, but that’s what shop vacs and steam cleaners are for!
Some of the older children are already working on the “blue prints” for another contraption. They really want to use clear pipe so they can see what is happening inside. I have a feeling we will be making a trip the hardware store soon!