(1) That room was full of children.
(2) That room was filled with children.
Would you native speakers perceive the two above as exactly the same? Or would you detect any difference between them?
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The box was filled with/full of toys. (I was told filled with suggests involvement of an agent or something like that while full of doesn't)
I don't think the explanation can be applied here since the usage here is more figurative.
Maybe I shouldn't have brought this up. Anyway, if you are interested to know.
I'm definitely interested in knowing the difference in your context.
Now, do they equally sound natural? Or is one more natural than the other?
Let's say I open the door at the locker room at the gym just as swimming lessons for the little kids are getting over. To my eyes, they are just EVERYWHERE! "Egad! I'll just shower at home. This place is filled with children!" That sounds natural enough in that context - covering every surface I can see.
But let's say I want to use the computer lab at the library, and there are ten computers. Eight of them have people using them, and all but one is a kid, and they are playing some sort of interactive game. "I'll come back later. It's full of kids at the moment." -- I would not used "filled with" here because they are not sitting on the desks, the rug, etc.
Oh, by the way, GG, why 'all but one IS A KID', not 'all but one ARE KIDS'?
It's so easy to focus on the last noun used.
Again, remember I said it could be just my personal preference. Others may say "filled with" and "full of" completely interchangeably.
People are waiting to help.
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