Good Froebel

"Play is the work of children"

Life and influence

What was life like before kindergarten, before "childhood" existed? Children worked in mines and factories; nobody celebrated birthdays, and by the age of seven, children were considered adults. Read More

Play as a Primary Way of Learning.

Froebel gives an example of active learning for children: Read More

A classroom that combined play with learning.

Margarethe Schurz, founded the first American kindergarten in Wisconsin. The first English-speaking kindergarten opened in 1860 in Boston. Read More

Theory and Ideas on Play

Encouragement is used rather than punishment to help the child to expand their self-confidence and autonomy. Play can also be used to help the child learn to be able work alone and also with others. Read More

Educational work and legacy

Ideas were adopted by many ambassadors who spread the methods across the globe to influence the upbringing of people such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Enid Blyton and Bertrand Russell. Read More

Purpose of education

To encourage and guide each child as a conscious, thinking and perceiving being in such a way that they become a pure and perfect representation of that divine inner law through thier own personal choice; education must show the ways and meanings of attaining that goal. Read More.


the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child's soul.

It all starts with a cube

Presenting eight cubes in the form of a cube enables a child to become aware of the wholeness and discover each part is the same shape as the whole.

8 cubes

Cubes are the first building gift designed by Friedrich Froebel.

"Realising how the gifts were eventually misused by Kindergarten teachers who followed after Froebel, it is important to consider what Froebel expected the Gifts to achieve. He envisaged that the Gifts will teach the child to use his environment as an educational aid; secondly, that they will give the child an indication of the connection between human life and life in nature; and finally that they will create a bond between the adult and the child who play with them"

Joachim Liebschner on page 82 in "A Child's Work".

Froebel wrote, 'Play is a mirror of life', providing the means of intellectual, social, emotional and physical development, and self-discipline and social behaviour. The shaping of his educational philosophy through contact with the ideas of Pestalozzi, and philosophers, such as Kant, Hegel and Krause, is examined. The function of play in a child's life came to fruition in the concept of Kindergarten.

A Child's Work


Two major Froebel archives were brought together on January 28th 2008 in the remodelled Archives and Special Collections floor of the Roehampton University Library in London.

The The Froebel Archive for Childhood Studies and The National Froebel Foundation Archive together provide a unique and accessible resource for students and researchers into the history of the Froebel movement in the UK.

The archive was established by the Froebel Educational Institute (FEI) (now The Froebel Trust) in 1977. At its core was a collection of books, artefacts and other material donated by Joachim Liebschner relating to Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) and his educational legacy. This comprised first the Froebel 'Gifts' and the Montessori apparatus, which he used to demonstrate to students the difference in approach of the two systems - Froebel's being creative and play-based, while Montessori's was 'right-or-wrong' and not play based. In addition Joachim Liebschner collected further material from East Berlin, The USA and elsewhere, including other Froebel colleges in England which were closing in the 1970s as a result of government reorganisation of teachers education. Over 30 years or so the 'collection' has expanded through regular purchases and donations, and is now a unique resource for students and scholars interested in the Froebel movement, study of early childhood education and related topics, as well as the history of the Froebel Educational Institute (now The Froebel Trust). The Froebel Archive was located in, and managed by, Froebel College until 2006, when it was moved to the University Library and its management transferred to the University of Roehampton. An Archives and Special Collections area was created shortly after and in January 2008 the National Froebel Foundation (NFF) Archive was transferred to the newly opened facility, and both archives were brought together for the first time.

The National Froebel Foundation Archive comprises a unique historical record of the Froebel movement in the UK. The Archive's primary value is in its complete sets of minute books of various boards and committees relating to the Froebel Society, the NFF and the FEI, and the NFF Teachers Training Certificate registers. The Froebel Society [for the Promotion of the Kindergarten System] was founded in 1874 in order to provide courses of training for kindergarten teachers and a recognition and inspection facility for kindergartens. In 1887 The Society created a separate body, the National Froebel Union in order to validate examinations and set standards for the Froebel Teachers Certificate. In 1983 the two bodies were combined to form the National Froebel Foundation, which continued to perform some of the functions of its parent bodies. In January 2013 the NFF was amalgamated with The Froebel Trust to provide a single Archive.

Further details on both Archives can be obtained at and from the Archivist at