Teaching the missing links to young children

Adult asks child: Where does money come from?
Child’s response: The wall!

The amusing dialogue above shows how young children can take things literally, where the child is referring to an ATM. When we teach young children about the world, we often start with things that are already the “finished product”. Sometimes, we adults forget to educate them on the sources of these finished products, thereby creating a missing link.

To illustrate the missing link, here are two examples: The first example is the chicken rice. If we teach children about chicken rice, they may not be able to make the link back to chickens. While in the second example, children may be drinking (red) watermelon juice without realizing that fruits with green outer skin and dark green stripes are watermelons.

I feel that this is not a deliberate action by adults because we do not usually repeat facts that were considered “common knowledge to all”. One workaround that might help will be to err on the side of prudence and assume that it is the first time that a child has seen a particular object while educating children.

Missing link 1: Chickens and chicken rice
chicken and chicken rice

Missing Link 2: Watermelon and watermelon juice
watermelon and juice