Children can arrange flat wooden tiles to show what they know about pattern and symmetry - or things they see in their everyday lives.

Playing with tiles and parquetry is one of Froebel's Occupations - creative activities and experiences for young children.

"Through the Occupations, children can:

  • represent, be inventive and engage creatively and imaginatively
  • build their physical competencies
  • make links to everyday life, nature, knowledge and understanding
  • be empowered to move from the here and now to the abstract (so laying the foundations of literacy and mathematical understanding)
  • develop dispositions and attitudes that will benefit them in the adult world of work."

Prof. Tina Bruce and Jane Dyke, Learning from Froebel (2017)

Parquetry allows children to play with sets of wooden tiles which can be arranged in geometric patterns and to create their own two-dimensional 'pictures'.

The tiles provide infinite possibilities for children to create unique constructions and models - bringing together pieces and shapes to create new forms and different shapes.

"(Children's) thinking develops in the symbolic representations and play scenarios they make and create."
Prof. Tina Bruce, Empowering Learning: play, symbols and creativity (2023)

Froebel's Gift 7 - a set from c.1930. Image reproduced here reproduced with permission from the Froebel Archive for Childhood Studies

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