"Thus results the fourth play-gift, the cube divided into eight little building blocks, the children's favorite building material."

Gift Four: Rectangular Prisms

In Gift 4, the two-inch cube is now divided into 8 oblong blocks which are 2inches by 1 inch by 1/2 inch.

Froebel's Gift 4 is only a slight variation on Gift 3, but the rectangular prisms open up many more possibilities. Children may view them as bricks or tiles and they will seem a familiar shape. The two inch cube is again divided into eight pieces, but the pieces have a proportion of 1 to 2 to 4 (1/2" by 1" by 2"). This feature will aid in creating modular constructions and designs, and proportion can be discussed as part of the Forms of Knowledge.

The presentation is exactly the same as with Gift 3. This reinforces the process/ritual from before. Ask the child how this new Gift differs from the last. Comment on the similarities and differences.

New possibilities in building provide new associations. Introduce words like brick, tile, steps. The child will make walls, sidewalks, fences, tables, chairs, etc.

The concept of fractions (and vocabulary words half, quarter, fourth, etc.) can be discovered, as well as proportion. Introduce new words like rectangle, oblong, direction, vertical, horizontal, height, width, length, etc.

Continue with symmetrical designs. Remember that each new design is created by modifying the last. When the child is ready and has explored the possibilities of symmetrical patterns you may introduce asymmetrical designs.