150 anniversary of the death of Friedrich Froebel
-> Explanations Mother's Songs

A Mother is sitting surrounded by her Children.

second Froebel gift

She feels the dignity and importance of what she is doing guided by her maternal instincts. Her loyal, loving heart is full of the call,

Come let us live with and for our Children.

Her understanding of its high meaning guides what she is doing.

By Song she is attracting the interest of her Children to the significance and harmony of Life.

Her motherly ways have attracted a troop of other Children, doubtless those of relatives or friends, to join in the cheery, friendly Song. Although they are sure to be welcome in the pretty garland of childish forms, still they are coming forward with a modest hestitation. Harmonious development of Life is the enlivening Spirit that hovers here; and where it is at work, who would not enter shyly?

The Spirit of Harmony in life heeds whatever exists, fosters whatever is coming into being, and takes care of whatever is possessed; in this spirit the girl has grown up, and it is promoting her to cherish the Plants thoughtfully. The Plant she is tending and watering most carefully is a Lily, the flower of Childhood and Childhood's Innocence.

The same enlivening spirit is prompting the strong Boy, also to take care of life he sees stirring round; and his attention has been fascinated by his admiration for a bird's nest with all the strength that is unfolding in it for future flights upwards on airy wings.

The earliest childlike play of both Boy and Girl, while Mother was singing, has now become a beautiful reality to them. They have blossomed into strong and lovely youth; they are looking around them for some object that will adequately represent their clear, thoughtful inner life. The longing on the young man's heart is satisfied by the Lily's sweet scent; the Girl's by its form, delicate yet strong. The Girl who is just blooming into womanhood rests safely in her own harmoniously-developed disposition, just as she stands safely on the ball, which is at rest in itself on all sides. The Boy, who has just grown into a young man, rests firmly in his thoughtful mind that is striving to be clear about everything, just as he rests upon the Cube which reveals simple laws so clearly.

While the Boy and Girl have been thus absorbed, Innocence, Mirth, Love and Joy are blossoming unobserved, from the Lily which the Child's thought took care of, and are striving upward to their high source, the Sun clinging the while to the stem which carries their Flowers.

Nature,

as she appears by day and night, is sending her blessing upon such deeds and such care; it is streaming down on the Sun's rays by day, and at night from Ariadne's crown; and it calls to all Mothers and awakens the same truth in every womanly heart,

Think, and educate a happy future humanity, this is your destiny.

The Angels and dwellers in Heaven are sending their messenger to give the Olive branch of Peace as a reward for a Mother's life so thoroughly human and so devoted to fostering Childhood. God's Spirit is hovering near, as the heavenly Dove, to give the highest consecration to this faithful, motherly action. From out of the clouds the voice resounds:

This is the care of my Children in the Garden of Life in which I am well pleased.

These extracts from Explanations of Mother's Songs written by Friedrich Froebel have been edited to reflect the gender inclusive language of the original German text.
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original picture

This original illustration shows the mother surrounded by children in the middle of the base, directly under the dove.

On the left is the boy standing in the cube.

On the right the girl standing on the sphere.

examples of finger play
original picture

The Dove Cote

original picture

The Charcoal Burners