I love the Froebel gifts. Although Friedrich Froebel is credited with the invention of kindergarten, his dream is not what kindergartens have become. Dr. Montessori was profoundly influenced by his work. If you read the “Froebel philosophy” of what he call occupations (Montessorians would call work) and purposes for learning, one can see the pairing of purpose in the child’s education. Quite a while ago, I purchased a set of his gifts. They informed the early architects in the Prairie School.
I have found them a great place for elementary children to relax after a challenging work. It allows for creativity with materials that I am uncomfortable allowing with Montessori work. They often take the principals they create in the micro out into the recess area. Children who are lacking fine motor skills as they enter elementary often find sewing, watercolor, and calligraphy difficult. The gifts allow the children to refine their motor skills and not be frustrated by embroidery or needlework.
1. It must be brought out of its box as a whole.
2. Before it is returned it must be made into the whole again.
3. After mastering all the forms of nature, math, and beauty, the child may create anything. But, the child may not destroy the creation. He can only modify it by moving blocks around carefully.