Once again I am grateful to my father-in-law and his gift of time and talent to build us this incredible PVC pipe stand for our water table. He is an example of our great community that generously gives of themselves to support the development of the children in our care. This stand fits on the outside of the water table and has a rectangular base to support it. It has holes drilled in the top where the PVC pipes can be suspended.
For open-ended learning with the water table we provide funnels, measuring cups, measuring spoons, watering jugs, containers that she volume, PVC pipes and connectors from our local hardware store (Home Hardware), etc. When I was in Home Hardware asking for assistance purchasing the PVC pipes the employee assisting me said; “Man, I wish my kindergarten class had PVC pipes in it. I would have loved to have used real tools and materials.” Even the employee at Home Hardware understood the benefits of authentic materials. It provides real-life application and helps prepare learners for real world use and communication, allows opportunity to create connections, and allows for purposeful and authentic play. Early learners who choose to visit the water table benefit from exploring force and motion, how water travels at different rates of speed and direction, measuring with variety of materials, problem-solving, collaboration, turn-taking, and expanding their mathematical language.
We originally had foot long PVC pipes, but have since cut them down to a smaller size for the reason that some children wanted to use them as swords. The small pipes also allow for children to make more connections and can provide more opportunities for the water to change the direction.
If you do choose to purchase some PVC pipes we would encourage you to buy the clear tubs as well as the PVC pipes. It gives learners a chance to see what the water looks like as it travels through the pipes.