Asking a child to draw a picture of a house, a tree, and a person is a pretty common assessment technique, and one I’ve been using with my own little ones for years. You can use it with anyone age 3 and up. There’s actually an entire psychological evaluation centered around the exercise, but I don’t quite take it that far, LOL!
The Waldorf community has a different take on the house–tree–person exercise. A 1999 edition of Gateways makes the following connections:
1. The house– a picture of where the child is on earth. From that place the child goes out and comes in again in the process of meeting the world.
2. Tree– indicates the child’s connection with his etheric body… The tree is connected with the spiritual world and the earthly world, above and below. It is also a home.
3. Person– shows the human being with an astral body. The house and tree in the pictures also indicate aspects of the human being.
I love the fat, round, tall characteristics of Nicholas’s drawings. The lack of detail, the starkness, the archetypal quality to them. It’s a fun exercise to keep these tucked away, asking for new ones to be drawn every once in a while.