Gift Five: Cubes & Triangular Prisms

Froebel’s Gift 5 consists of a three-inch cube divided twice in each direction, with some cubes divided diagonally into triangular prisms (half-cubes and quarter-cubes) yielding 21 one-inch cubes, 6 half-cubes, and 12 quarter-cubes. Gift 5 now represents a larger, three inch cube and incorporates more pieces and variety. The half-cubes and quarter-cubes introduce a triangular shape. This Gift is best used with children 5 years old and older.

The presentation is exactly the same as with Gift 3. The child will comment on the similarities and differences to previous Gifts.

The child will again use the blocks to represent things from the child’s life. The new triangle pieces will introduce many more possibilities for the child to explore and allow for more realistic buildings and structures. Remember that the stories are as important as the construction as they will give you insight into the logic of the child’s thoughts

New terms like angle, triangle, diagonal, rectangular prism can be introduced. Fractions and other mathematical concepts can be discovered and concepts of geometric shapes, size/shape differentiation, parts-of-the-whole relationships, and others can be further explored. With this Gift, children can see it as three cubed (33), the larger 3″ cube composed of 27 1-inch cubes (albeit some further divided into triangles). For older children, the Gift may also be positioned to represent more abstract mathematical concepts such as the Pythagorean Theorem (A2+B2=C2).

Gift 5 - Cubes and Triangular Prisims
pythagorean theory

Pythagorean Theorem (A2+B2=C2)

Forming patterns and designs with Gift 5 produces exciting and complex symmetries. Play with this Gift will be further expanded when color is added with the parquetry tiles of Gift 7.

Remember to modify a construction rather than destroy and rebuild another.