When I was in fourth grade, my sister and I found a riddle that had been called, “the world’s toughest riddle.” It started off by sharing some statistics. The first statistic was that 5% of Stanford graduates could solve the riddle, but that 80% of kindergarten students were able to figure it out easily. It then goes on to give clues about the word. The clues at first seem random and obscure, and many contradict each other, such as “It is greater than god,” and “It is more evil than the devil.” However, when read by kindergarteners, the answer was straightforward, nothing. They came to the best conclusion that they could, without complicating anything. They don’t let any mind tricks get in their way of finding the answer that is right in front of them. I believe that young children can see the world more clearly and simply than adults can.
The preschoolers in the child lab at my school were gathered at circle time and each kid was asked what one object or thing they would bring to the moon with them. One boy yelled out confidently, “I would bring my brother!” The teacher smiled at him and kindly informed him that he had no brother. The boy replied firmly, “I know I have no brother! He is my pretend brother. Know why? Because I really really really want a brother. And I am bringing him to the moon.” The little boy was not thinking practically about being on the moon, but about what he wanted, and he was not at all afraid to state it. It was simple, he wanted a brother, and he was going to have a brother.
A few weeks later, to celebrate Valentine’s day, the preschoolers each made and decorated one special valentine card for a friend. The project was to make the card and then write inside of it why they loved the person it was for. They then read their card, which stated why they loved their friend, to the entire class and handed it to their friend. The statements on the cards were things like “I love blank because she plays blocks with me, or I love blank because he is a good friend.” I can imagine that if teenagers or adults were given the same task of telling someone why they loved them, it would not be so clear cut and easy. I also think that this is an example of how young children do not judge people or put labels on others. To them, everyone is a friend, and everyone has something about them that is loved.