Phil’s Day Off: A Purple Doggy and A Dragonfly

On April 15, 2016, I volunteered at Shining Star Daycare from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. One of the things that the daycare believes in is making sure that the kids have constant and consistent routine. After lunch, they read books before their nap time, which was how I actively explored and learned about my modified question,  “Does an object exist if it does not have a name?”

While I’m reading books to them, I often like to point out animals or colours so they can practice and remember what certain things are called, and to just get them more engaged in general. It often proceeds as follows:

Me: What’s that?

Them: A doggy!

Me: What colour is that?

Them: Purple!

However, because they are two years old and they’re still learning about their world, sometimes they don’t know what I point to, and it goes something like this:

Them: What’s that?

Me: A dragonfly!

I think that this concept, especially when it regards children, is really interesting because we are able to see the different ways that nature and nurture affect their growth and development. During the weekend, I also reflected on how nurture plays a large part in naming objects and knowing that they exist. Personally, I don’t think that we are biologically predisposed to know what certain things are called – I’m sure I didn’t come out of the womb knowing what a dragonfly is or what it’s called.

As a result, I observed that children themselves provide evidence that perhaps objects that are unnamed truly do not exist to them – they didn’t know what a dragonfly looked like, and therefore there was no name to provide the dragonfly’s existence to them.