Executive function is recognized as a critical component of children's cognitive and social development. In two studies, a measure of executive function that had been used in research with chimpanzees was adapted for preschoolers. On this task, called Less Is More, children must point to a smaller reward (two candies) to receive a larger reward (five candies). In Study 1 (N = 101), performance was significantly related to age (3 vs. 4), verbal ability, and established measures of executive function. In Study 2 (N = 128), symbolic representations substituted for real candies in this task. Three-year-olds' performance improved significantly as afunction of symbolic distancing. This research has implications for the role of symbol systems in the development of executive control over thought and action.