Friedrich Froebel (1782 - 1852) was the inventor of kindergartens and a pioneer of early childhood education and care. Froebel’s work and writing changed the way we think about and value early childhood.

Froebel’s ideas were considered revolutionary in the 1850s but the principles of his work have since become part of modern, mainstream early years educational practice.


Play is of central importance in developing and learning. Froebel wrote about how play gives a child "joy, freedom, contentment, inner and outer rest, peace with the world." Find out more...

Active learning

We value active learning with an emphasis on giving young children first hand and meaningful experiences. We believe that outdoor education is just as important as learning indoors. We support learning through nature. Find out more...

Relationships matter

We value, support and respect the relationship of every child with parents, carers, family and their wider community. Relationships are of central importance in a child's life. Find out more...

Autonomous learners

We believe that children learn best when they are enabled to make decisions and choices, to make mistakes, to experiment - and are respected and valued for their efforts. Children need to feel appreciated and learn to value their own achievements. Find out more...

Skilled educators

We value highly trained early childhood educators who engage in principled and reflective practice. Froebelian educators facilitate and guide, rather than instruct. They observe children carefully, notice and respond to children's interests and see each child as an individual. They understand the importance of what Froebel described as "beginning where the learner is". Find out more...

A broad curriculum

We value a broad curriculum which educates the whole child and allows them to become imaginative problem solvers who are deeply engaged in their learning. Learning can not be compartmentalised into subjects. Young children learn in an interconnected way bringing humanities, arts and science together. Froebelians try to give children a sense of the unity that is in all things. Find out more...

Froebel's principles and practice today

A practical guide from our Froebel Trust pamphlet series. Free to download.


Froebel's Gifts & Occupations

Discover the Gifts and Occupations Froebel created to support children’s learning and development.

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Want to know more about the Froebelian approach to early childhood?

If you are interested in developing a more in-depth understanding of Froebelian practice, principles and the history of kindergartens, have a look at our reading list.

Find out more about the life and work of Friedrich Froebel

Download a free PDF version of Peter Weston's book Friedrich Froebel : His Life, Times & Significance

To learn a thing in life and through doing is much more developing, cultivating and strengthening than to learn it merely through the verbal communication of ideas.