Researching the Froebel materials can be a frustrating process. Most of what was written about the original Kindergarten materials was published 100 to 150 years ago. Many of the works in English are rehashes of what was already published, and practioners who wrote about their own work were taught by those who likely had never visited Froebel’s own schools.
That said, the most compelling instruction about the Gifts can be found by watching them in action. No purely Froebelian schools exist in the USA and many of those using the materials work in isolation. For those who wish to meet with other Froebelians and observe the materials in action, the Froebel USA® conferences are invaluable. All of the Froebel USA® conferences and Froebel® Gift play sessions have been documented on video, including a the Froebel 101 introduction video by Tiffeni Goesel. An ever expanding documentary series on Froebel Kindergarten is being produced now.
A number of useful books are currently in print:
- Inventing Kindergarten by Norman Brosterman
- Froebel Gifts 1-6: The Solids by Scott Bultman
- Frobel’s Pedagogy of Kindergarten and Play by Helge Wasmuth
- Making Classic Toys That Teach by Doug Stowe
Links for Further Reading
Google has scanned many of the original 19th c. books about using the Gifts into PDF format. Here are some of the ones we recommend, roughly in order of usefulness.
- The Education of Man [Die Menschenerziehung] by Friedrich Froebel
- The Pedagogics of the Kindergarten by Friedrich Froebel
- The Paradise of Childhood by Edward Wiebe
- The Kindergarten Guide: vol. 1 The Gifts by Maria Kraus-Boelte & John Kraus
- The Kindergarten Building Gifts by Elizabeth Harrison
- The Republic of Childhood vol 1: Froebel’s Gifts and
- The Republic of Childhood vol 2: Froebel’s Occupations both by Kate Douglas Wiggin & Nora A. Smith
- Daily Program of Gift & Occupation Work by Carolyn S. Bailey, Clara M. Lewis
- The Psychology of Froebel’s Play-Gifts by Denton J. Snider
- Symbolic Education by Susan Blow
- Third & Last Volume of Friedrich Froebel’s Pedagogics of the Kindergarten by Josephine Jarvis