Froebel today

We are committed to advancing the following Froebelian principles for the education and care of children up to the age of eight:

  • The integrity of childhood in its own right
  • The relationship of every child to family, community and to nature, culture and society
  • The uniqueness of every child's capacity and potential
  • The holistic nature of the development of every child
  • The role of play and creativity as central integrating elements in development and learning
  • The right of children to protection from harm or abuse and to the promotion of their overall well-being
  • Froebelian education today is based on the principles, pedagogy and environment promoted by Froebel. Many of these have become widely accepted and embedded in mainstream practice. Where we see these principles in operation...


...We see pedagogy that includes:

  • Knowledgeable and appropriately qualified early childhood professionals
  • Skilled and informed observation of children supporting effective development, learning and teaching
  • Awareness that education relates to all capabilities of each child: imaginative, creative, symbolic, linguistic, mathematical, musical, aesthetic, scientific, physical, social, moral, cultural and spiritual
  • Parents/carers and educators working in harmony and partnership
  • First-hand experience, play, talk and reflection
  • Activities and experiences that have sense, purpose and meaning to the child, and involve joy, wonder, concentration, unity and satisfaction
  • An holistic approach to learning which recognises children as active, feeling and thinking human beings, seeing patterns and making connections
  • Encouragement rather than punishment
  • Individual and collaborative activity and play
  • The development of children's autonomy and self confidence


...We see an environment that: 

  • Is physically safe but intellectually challenging, promoting curiosity, enquiry, sensory stimulation and aesthetic awareness
  • Demonstrates the unity of indoors and outdoors, of the cultural and the natural
  • Allows free access to a rich range of materials that promote open-ended opportunities for play, representation and creativity
  • Is an integral part of the community it serves, working in close partnership with parents and other skilled adults
  • Is educative rather than merely amusing or occupying
  • Promotes interdependence as well as independence, community as well as individuality and responsibility as well as freedom.


Froebel's Gifts

Key aspects of Froebelian practice and pedagogy are outdoor experiences, gardening, songs and games, the use of Froebel ‘Gifts’ and engagement in what he called ‘Occupations.’ Froebel’s original ‘Gifts’ are a series of specifically designed objects that were meant to be given to children to explore and create. The objects were designed to be used in open-ended play activities, and each gift was meant to help the child begin to understand the properties or affordances of objects in relation to him/herself and the surrounding world.

For more about Froebel's Gifts, click the link below.





​More about the life of Froebel

For an account of the life of Friedrich Froebel, see Friedrich Froebel: His Life, Times & Significance, by Peter Weston (Roehampton Institute London, 2nd Edn, 2000, £2.00 inc p&p) obtainable in the UK from

See below for a pdf version 


Froebel's Gifts.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [561.6 KB]
Adobe Acrobat document [9.9 MB]
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