A useful list of key texts for those seeking a more in-depth understanding of the Froebelian approach to early childhood and the history of kindergartens.

The Bloomsbury Handbook to Friedrich Froebel
Edited by Bruce, T., Nishida, Y., Powell, S., Wasmuth, H. and Whinnett, J. (eds.) (2023)
Bloomsbury: London

Inventing Kindergarten
Brosterman, N. (1997)
Harry N. Abrams: London
This is the first comprehensive book about the original kindergarten, it describes the kindergarten and links Froebel’s gifts and occupations with prominent figures in the world of modern art.

Educating Young Children: A Lifetime Journey into a Froebelian Approach, The selected works of Tina Bruce
Bruce, T. (2020)
Routledge: London

Friedrich Froebel. A Critical Introduction to Key Themes and Debates

Bruce, T. (2021)
Bloomsbury: London

Putting Storytelling at the Heart of Early Childhood Practice: A Reflective Guide for Early Years Practitioners
Bruce, T., McNair, L. and Whinnett, J. (eds.) (2020)
Routledge: London

Learning though Play: Babies, Toddlers and Young Children 2nd edn.
Bruce, T. (2011)
Hodder Education: London
This volume is aimed at adults who spend time with babies, toddlers and children aged 0-7 years old. The focus of the book is engaging in a discussion about developing learning through play in order to help adults to support children in their play.

Early Childhood Practice: Froebel Today

Bruce, T. (ed) (2012)
Sage: London
In this book, edited by Tina Bruce, the authors explore and reflect on the ways in which Froebel continues to be a resource for practitioners today.

The Routledge International Handbook of Froebel and Early Childhood Practice: Re-articulating Research and Policy

Bruce, T., Elfer, P and Powell, S. (eds) with Werth, L. (2018)
Routledge: London
This book draws together research and case studies to make explicit the specific features of Froebelian education and provide key impulses for future research and practice in this area.

Key Persons in the Early Years: Building Relationships for Quality Provision in Early Years Settings and Primary Schools
Elfer, P., Goldschmied, E., and Selleck, D. (2012)
Routledge: London
This text is aimed at explaining what a Key Person is, the theory behind the approach and the practicalities of implementation.

Froebel, F. (2001) Friedrich Froebel’s education by development (J. Jarvis, Trans.). In K. J. Brehony (ed.), The origins of nursery education: Friedrich Froebel and the English system (Vol. 4)
Routledge: London
This text discusses Froebel’s educational principles underlying the kindergarten and his philosophy behind it. The essays included relate to considerations around the child’s play and the principles underlying the gifts.

Froebel, F. W. A. (2001) Friedrich Froebel’s Pedagogies of the kindergarten (W. N. Hailmann, Trans.). In K. J. Brehony (Ed.), The origins of nursery education: Friedrich Froebel and the English system (Vol. 1)
London: Routledge

Froebel, F. W. A. (2001) Mother’s songs and selected writings (W. N. Hailmann, Trans.). In K. J. Brehony (Ed.), The origins of nursery education: Friedrich Froebel and the English system (Vol. 1)
London: Routledge
This resource presents the reader with a collection of fifteen essays, originally published in German in 1861, on the value of different stages of a child’s play. Froebel found an educational value in every phase of the child’s play, and in every object that engages his attention.

The Education of Man (W. N. Hailmann, Trans.)
Froebel, F. W. A. (1887)
New York: Appleton.
This volume shows the fundamental philosophy of Friedrich Froebel and the principles upon which his kindergarten is built.

Young Children's Creative Thinking
Fumoto, H., Robson, S., Greenfield, S. and Hargreaves, D.J. (2014)
London: Sage

Reimagining Teaching in Early 20th Century Experimental Schools
Arce, A., Prochner, L., May, H., Nawrotzki, K. and Valkanova, Y. (2020)
Palgrave MacMillan

Exploring Learning: Young Children and Blockplay
Gura, P. (ed) (1992)
Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd: London
The book is aimed at practitioners working with young children; it shows how those participating in the Froebel Blockplay Project explored this resource as an integral part of the curriculum. The history of block play in the western world is outlined for then moving onto how children and adults interact while using blocks together.

A Child’s Work: Freedom and Guidance in Froebel’s educational Theory and Practice
Liebschner, J. (1992)
The Lutterworth Press: Cambridge
After introducing Froebel, the man and his life, Froebel’s educational and philosophical ideas and their origins are presented. This text is a fundamental introduction to Froebel’s philosphy and practice.

Friedrich Froebel. A Selection from his Writings
Lilley, I.M. (1967)
Cambridge University Press

Kindergarten Narratives on Froebelian Education. Transnational Investigations
May, H., Nawrotski and Proschner, (2017)
London: Bloomsbury
Kindergarten Narratives on Froebelian Education showcases the latest scholarship and historical understandings concerning the casting of the kindergarten idea abroad: across cultures, continents and centuries.

British Froebelian Women from the Mid-Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century. A Community of Progressive Educators
Palmer, A. and Read, J. (eds.) (2020)
London: Routledge

Developing Thinking and Understanding in Young Children: An Introduction for Students
Robson, S. (2019)
London: Routledge

Bringing the Froebel Approach to your Early Years Practice
Tovey, H. (2012)
London: Routledge
This text guides the reader in understanding how Froebel’s ideas can be and are still implemented in early years settings today.

Fröbel’s Pedagogy of Kindergarten and Play: Modifications in Germany and the United States

Wasmuth, H. (2020)

The Froebel Educational Institute: the Origins and History of the College

Weston, P. (2002)
London: Roehampton University.

Friedrich Froebel: His Life, Times & Significance
(2nd edition)
Weston, P. (2000)
London Roehampton Institute
A PDF extract of this book is free to download.

Interested in learning more about Froebelian practice and principles?

The Froebel Trust produces a series of pamphlets exploring themes and activities closely associated with Froebelian practice today.

Download our pamphlet series