Holes are absolutely everywhere, as we discovered in October (see HOLES post). Is this about insertion? We certainly see children wanting to fill containers (really, just a portable hole!) and then transfer materials from one place to another. Recently, Caroline discovered this red box which she filled with various items:
Hey Diane! This is my jewelry box. Look at my jewelry box! Caroline brings it over to the pipe table and when Thomas asks, Can I see that? she holds it out. What does it have in it? he wonders, and she says, This is my jewelry box. My mom had a wedding. A real wedding. She shakes it, hearing the sound.

Many children have been fascinated with the new pipe and ball structure – again, insertion seems to be the draw, but there is lots of problem solving as well, sometimes combined with dramatic play. Thomas imagined the pipes as water squirters. Caroline said Veggie sticks for Studio Blue! as she sent balls down a pipe. Kaya used pipes for a long conversation on the telephone with his father: Hi. So yeah, pick me up right now.
As children connect the pipes, they also connect with each other:

  • Caroline How do I do this one, Travers?
    Travers It goes under and over and under and over.
    Caroline This is a very fun thing.

  • Travers Luca, I need a little help.
    Luca I’m not strong enough right here. (trying to connect)
    Travers I’m strong enough. I got it!

 Occasionally children introduce other elements, balancing a ring on a pipe, shining flashlights into pipes, pressing a mini kaleidoscope lens into a hole.

The combination of rings, hair curling tubes, and structures with posts have merged the children’s interest in holes with their interest in creating tall structures (in part inspired by the tall column sculpture residing at the bottom of the staircase in the museum).

NowThomas and Travers found that they could add pipes onto this, and then drive it (as a train) to the stage area. Travers: Toot toot – the steam is coming out. All aboard the train. There was some negotiation about what was coming out of each of the pipes – steam, water, smoke, noise… Now it’s not about what’s going into the holes, but what’s coming out of them.

To add complexity to the rubberband activities, we offered this structure that adds holes and a 3D element (hooks are also on a board underneath). Ruthie commented that it looked like a spiderweb. Luca pressed down on the rubber bands, then bounced a magnifying glass on top, declaring that it was a trampoline and the magnifying glass was a girl bouncing on it. Saige found that she could squeeze a ball between the rubber bands and balance a flashlight on top, too. Amelia noticed, then placed a bowl of balls on the rubber bands.

Ruthie discovered that the pink hair curler tubes just barely squeeze into the flex cabinet holes, and Will and Kyla shared her interest in this.

And Travers and Kaya squeezed in
the “hole” underneath the table!