This weekend we have been hard at work producing our tables:
The magic of paint -and Tiffany
We decided to paint them in the spirit of the pinwheel which is found on the cart. The pinwheel motif is best experienced when they are arranged in a circular fashion:
Three tables arranged in circular fashion
Once they are completely dry and sanded, the table tops will be coated in a glossy and easily washable finish.
The table bottoms are currently in the process of being cut and will soon be painted to match the tops…
Our new table prototype in action!
Last week we took our new table prototype to the afternoon craft time at LICM. We wanted to see how our table would work when put alongside the other tables.
This table has a simple base that folds and is easy to carry from it’s handles. The table top sits on the base and is very stable when leaned upon on the child’s side (where Melissa is sitting). Unfortunately it is not as stable from the educator side (where Heather is sitting) so we need to add a stronger connection between the top and the bottom.
We purchased the red containers at Ikea and made perforations in the table tops for them to sit in. Heather and Janet liked them but were worried about their long term stability. They asked us to simply make circular perforations in the table tops that could be used with a variety of circular containers.
Other than these two small issues, Heather and Janet were very excited about the table. It’s a go!
Our Cart Model inspired by Tangrams
We presented several iterations of our cart design to Erik, Heather, and Janet. They overwhelmingly chose the one pictured above. The cart design was inspired by Tangrams -a child’s geometry activity. The shape of the tables is reflected in the geometry of the Tangrams as well as the geometry of the pinwheel. We hope that children will enjoy picking out the shapes of animals on the cart and that this will lend to their understanding of how complex shapes are formed from simple shapes.
This design has two drawers in the front which swing out. Our idea was for these drawers to house two large bins of craft material. The cart opens on either side to accommodate storage for the tables.
In our meeting we discussed new ideas for the placement and workings of the pinwheel, the possibility of light shining through the animal shapes in the cart, as well as some slight changes in the cabinets. The two side doors will be made slightly smaller in order to make room for handles with which the cart can be maneuvered. The two front drawers will be simplified to doors.
We also discussed construction of the cart and the possibility of mining the old cart for parts which can be re-used. Some of our findings are pictured below:
Mining the old cart for parts we can re-use