2-1 | Friedrich Froebel's Gifts


Friedrich Froebel's Gifts
Connecting the Spiritual and Aesthetic to the Real World of Play and Learning

Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr.


Friedrich Froebel, the German educator and founder of the Kindergarten Movement, developed a series of play materials including geometric building blocks and pattern activity blocks designed to teach children about forms and relationships found in nature. Froebel’s notions about using activity and play in preschool education complement many principles of early childhood education used in contemporary schools. But few modern teachers and educators study the nineteenth-century education pioneer or his ideas. This article explores how his system of learning through directed play focused on his play materials, called gifts, is still important and relevant to children and learning today.