It’s not difficult for children to create symbols and representations of things. It depends upon how you start and what you expect.
In my Little Builders class, I wanted to help children feel comfortable, right from the beginning, with the idea of creating representations of our work to dramatically play with landscapes of the ocean, lakes, and rivers. When asked about the color of water, they suggested blue and white. You can see the hanging fabric and cardboard panels we use to “build” our ocean here. We looked at simple maps of continents in a children’s atlas and saw that the land forms were green, brown, and white. Presented with a large piece of paper and crayons, the children set to work showing land and water on their map.They talked as they worked:
- Brown and green is land.
- Tan is the sand.
- This blue is water.
- Red means “danger!”
- Yellow and orange are for the sun.
The map meant something to them. They had created meaning with their own hands using the colors from the jumbo crayon box.