My 4H experiment


Please observe and give me your feedback on the new troughs I set up in the Marble Niche. I took the gratifyingly radical step of removing the table so it's all trough, all the time. I know they aren't perfect but I think they are a step in the right direction.

Here's what I like about them:

  • the scale- it's nice that they're so low to the ground. Without the table, the space feels bigger. Little kids can reach the materials.
  • no sorting- sorting was not really happening with the bins on the table. It's easier to dump everything in the troughs. The combo of being low to the ground and having them right there where you need them makes clean up and foraging more convenient.
  • I'm liking how the middle troughs slightly divide up the back wall to suggest some boundaries- I'll be curious to see how that effects the marble contraptions people make on that back wall.

As for the chicken wire, I realize  it's kind of so-so at filtering out the marbles. And stuff pops off the tilted tray too much- a wider tray or higher edge would help. And it's not that burly- the ACX (plywood)  is warpy and just on the edge of not being strong enough.

Questions I have about this new arrangement are:

  • Is it just today, or are little kids more drawn to the space? It was a rompa-room in there most of the times I went back there today.
  • Does it really work to forage? Do people have a hard time finding what they want?
  • Does the clutter at the base of the wall pose problems?
  • Do people build machines that dump into (or in some way use)the trough?
  • Is it harder for us to know what materials need replenishing? Or to weed out the broken things?

If these don't pan out for Marbles, I'm sure some bunnies can put them to good use!



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