How do you clarify a toddler what is recursion?

By telling a story, in which the narrator tells a story (window narration) in which each of the characters tells a story again, that is about an adventure in which another person is met, who talks about….

That is an example of recursion that is understandable to all. A fairytale, in which each deeper layer is a window narration in itself. Also known as the Droste-cocoa cans-effect, or in French mise en and abîme, the feeling whether you look in a abyss.At the entrance of Madame Tussaud’s in Amsterdam you walk through a corridor with mirrors on both sides in which you see yourself and other visitors infinitely reflected. That is also recursion.

Thus, there are more examples to give, such as in nature, branching, or in syntax, a structure within a structure, ever further and further, and you do not know where it ceases.A structure that turns, that is recursion.

Bring a Droste cocoa can, on which a foster sister is depicted with a tray in her hands on which a can of cocoa stands, on which is a picture of a foster sister with in her hands….. Or a work of art in which the effect is applied, or set two mirrors and let the children sit between them.Let them build with construction toy branches, or even simpler, let them draw a tree with twigs, more and more finely branching branches of twigs.

And finally you come, I suspect, with an example from computer science.Technique is little more than imitation of nature. See also Midas Dekkers who explains the technique of the animal kingdom in a television program from a few years ago with a simple word choice.

You do not indicate which notions field you are referring to when you ask how you can explain recursion.So I generally understood it.

For examples in art:

Tap the search term mise-en-abîme dans l’art.You will find several paintings with a mirror in which the image is reflected. The image itself contains this mirror, on which the image is reflected, on which the mirror is depicted within which…. And so on. Et voilà, recursion. Van Eyk portrays two spouses and in the middle of the painting is a mirror sphere on which the noble spouses with album Splendor are reflected with between them in a mirror sphere.

A Russian Matryoshka is also an example of recursion, or an image of several generations of women, a child with her mother, grandmother of maternal side, great-grandmother, grandmother’s mother, and in a genealogical pedigree you can still endlessly Continue.Matrilinear, Matryoshka’s from real life.

You can display the effect of window narration within window narration within window narration with a recursive phrase.You tell about a person who talks about a person who talks about a person. The story about the man with the stick with which he hit the dog who Bites the pig, who hunted the cat who oped the mouse. There are several versions of it, there is still the fire that burns the stick, and the water that extinguishes the fire, a nigh endless series of effect that nullify the previous effect. I know the story from Roman literature, it still exists in the form of an Italian folk narration, but it certainly comes from older cultures.

For toddlers it becomes a fairy tale storyteller who tells a fairy tale and in that fairytale, the Princess tells a story about a little prince who could not sleep and asked for a stories.Her father, the king, offered a famous storyteller who told the small sleepless little princess about the court of a king, very long ago, who had a young daughter, with beautiful blond hair, who did not want to sleep. The king asked his wife, how can we get our sweet child to sleep and the Queen wrote a contest across the country to find the best storyteller that existed in the king’s realm.

Satisfied?Already fallen asleep?

Edited for language errors and minor additions.

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