The aluminum tube was left over from the tubing I used to vent a new water heater I installed back then. I originally thought I would incorporate it in a box structure but I eyed the bucket first and viola! I propped the tube in the bucket by wedging it between the handle and the bucket. Then I taped the whole thing together with lots of duct tape.
In one way, it worked just as planned: the children could pour the sand in the funnel and they could manipulate the tube by bending it. However, before too long I realized the design flaw: when the tube was bent , the sand would get stuck in the bend which made the apparatus unstable. Subsequently, I taped a stick to the aluminum tube to restrict how much the children could bend the tube.
I never used this as a stand-alone piece. Instead, I used it as an additional bucket into which the children could transport. To understand why transporting is important, see axiom #1 on the right hand column of the blog. To get even a better understanding of why transporting into pails is important, read my second-ever post from 2010 here.
People have often asked me for ideas for sand and water play without a sand and water table. This could pass for one of those ideas. Add a few more buckets or tubs and the children will transport to their hearts content.
The quality of the pictures was not so good because I had to take digital pictures of prints that are over 20 years old. The apparatus lasted for at least three years. However, I never recreated this apparatus after I started taking digital pictures. Why? I am not sure because I did use the aluminum tubing again in apparatus when I was taking digital pictures, but never in the same way.
What that tells me is that I used my documentation early on simply as a means of recording what I built with snippets of children playing at the apparatus. I did not use the documentation to think about what I built and how children used it. I am glad the images are still around for me to reflect on now, but some of the riches of how children thought with the apparatus are gone.