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froebel_gifts

While, here in Michigan with my granddaughters, someone sent me this TED talk about two sisters who are teaching through crochet. They lead me to the first organized early-childhood educational method created by German pedagogue, Friedrich Wilhelm August Fröbel at the turn of the 1800s.

Froebel recognized the importance of play-based, child-centered early education for children to experience their role as creative beings. His Kindergarten program devised a series of toys called gifts that focused on play that connects to the nature of the physical world.

Gift I was six colored woolen balls, three in primary colors and three secondary colors to help children develop the idea of color, material form, motion and direction. Gift II consisted of a sphere, cube and cylinder made of hardwood for children to notice the difference between the stability of the cubes and the mobility of the spheres. Gift III-VI were the first-ever sets of building blocks for children to build any number of artistic forms learning the ideas of addition, subtraction shape, and form. Gift VII was the first set of fine wood squares and triangles to provide experience with geometrical forms and mosaic work.

It’s all a far cry from the kindergarten my granddaughter will start next month. It makes me wonder.



One Thought

  1. Phyllis says:

    It was the best. It allowed for sight, touch, and visual understanding. But most of all it allowed for creativity. It was the best.

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