Between 1902 and 1913 two acclaimed educational reformers wrote several series of children’s primers in the Netherlands. Jan Ligthart and Hindericus Scheepstra collaborated closely with the painter Cornelis Jetses who provided the illustrations. The series would become classics in both text and image. In this article the symbolic educational function of the places depicted on the illustrations are analysed. It shows how concrete locales inside the house, outside on the streets and in nature symbolise progressive educational ideas using existing models and metaphors of family life, schooling, and freedom and constraint.