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A Shelter in a Garden

The first Kindergarten was in a building in Bad Blankenburg provided by the Town Council. On one side was a garden where the children grew flowers, vegetables, grains and herbs. A typical day began with washing many of the children in the fountain in the marketplace. Singing and dancing were important activities as well as playing with the Froebel Gifts. Occupations such as paper folding, weaving, sewing and drawing are now called, handwork, expression work or craft.

A typical plan for a Kindergarten was two rooms. One with tables and chairs, the other with clear space for games and direct access to the garden.

Respect for each child and the need for interactive learning were key aspects of Kindergarten. Energy flows into activities when each child discovers and uses connections. It is the interest of the children themselves that is leading the way, and is fostered by a wise teacher. When imposed by a teacher it becomes a dead system.

Kindergarten satisfied the natural needs of childhood:

  1. for physical movement through activities and games that develop the limbs
  2. to occupy oneself through exercises that produce manual dexterity and develop the senses
  3. to create through small tasks that develop artisitic facilities
  4. to know or natural curiosity, engaging in observing, examining comparing
  5. to cultivate and care for through gardening and small tasks which develop heart and conscience
  6. to sing through games and songs which develop feeligns and aesthetic taste
  7. to live in society through life in the kindergarten to produce social virtues
  8. to find the reason behind things, to find God the deepest need of the soul

Copyright 2001 Bruce Watson, All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2001 Froebel Web. All rights reserved. info@froebelweb.com

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Friedrich Froebel: His Life, Times and Significance

This book by Peter Weston for the general reader is an illustrated life of Friedrich Froebel that places him in the turbulent political and intellectual context of his times. It also identifies those aspects of his educational practice that are of enduring value in the contemporary world.