What she did next was so simple yet so creative. With the understanding that toddlers like to put things in holes, she cut three holes in the top half of the vertical box; she cut one square hole and two slits, one oriented vertically and one horizontally. Almost anything the children found in the table could be put in the square hole, but the two slits added a bit of a challenge to figure out what would fit through the slits and what would not. She cut a big square hole in the box right below the middle. She covered that with a clear sheet of plastic to make a window so the children could see the objects falling inside the box.

At the bottom of the vertical box, she cut a slit so the children could retrieve what had been put in the holes at the top.

On the other side of the vertical box, she cut a large slit so the children could take things from the sensory table and drop them into the vertical box.

The first Axiom on the right hand side of this blog states that children
need to transport what is in the table out of the table. By setting
the box next to the table, the toddlers could fulfill their need to transport
and do it constructively.

The second box she set over the table itself. That was a bit tricky because it was one of those tables that was divided in two with channels in the middle. She actually cut out the bottom of the box so when the children dropped something in one of the holes it fell back in the table.

She got creative with the holes in the top of this box. She cut a circle to match the size of the juice lids. She cut little squares to match the square manipulative pieces in the table. She cut slits---again with different orientations---to match the width of the juice lids. She also kept the small pieces of cardboard she cut out which also fit through the slits. And she cut a a hole in the shape of a rectangle so any object in the table could fit through it.

This toddler teacher used two boxes to create a multidimensional space to enhance play and exploration. The different size holes on different levels allowed the children to experiment to see what fit where. Most importantly, she always had one big hole in each box so a child could fit any of the objects she found in the table through that hole. In essence, she created a nice balance between challenge and success for the toddlers trying to put things in the holes. Also, by setting the vertical box on the side of the table, children were able to transport the objects out of the table in a constructive way instead of dumping them on the floor.

This teacher created a toddler apparatus with boxes and holes. Boxes and holes, how simple is that? But through this simplicity, she created a complex invitation for the children to explore and play. It's that simple!