Item #17605 Bradley’s Kindergarten Material. No. 5. Fifth Gift. Froebel Gifts.

Bradley’s Kindergarten Material. No. 5. Fifth Gift...

Springfield, Mass. Milton Bradley, [n.d., ca. 1890s]. The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth Froebel Gifts are all variations on the theme of wooden building blocks. The fifth and sixth Gifts are both three-inch cubes that have been divided into smaller shapes along horizontal, vertical, and, in the case of the fifth Gift, diagonal lines. The fifth Gift was meant to be seen by students of Froebel’s method as (literally) building on the aesthetic and geometric concepts introduced in the third Gift, a two-inch cube; and the sixth gift as an extension of the fourth. In Inventing Kindergarten, Norman Brosterman explains that the fifth and sixth Gifts were “designed to further the sequence of nature, knowledge, and beauty forms previously explored, in more complexity and with greater variety…Like all the block toys, the fifth and sixth gift taught lessons on volume, planarity, construction, and enclosure” (p. 57). Brosterman also notes that Froebel’s block-themed Gifts foreshadowed the actual buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies, Adolf Loos, and Le Corbusier, which drew aesthetically on Froebel’s designs. Thirty-seven wooden building blocks (twenty-one 1” cubes, six larger pyramids, and twelve smaller pyramids) enclosed in a 3 ” cubic box. A complete set. Brown wooden box with sliding lid. Contemporary pencil ownership signature to inside of lid (Gladys Chipman). Printed paper label, somewhat cracked and chipped. A very good set of rare blocks that are rarely found in complete sets. [Together with: ] Bradley’s Kindergarten Material. No. 6. Sixth Gift. Springfield, Massachusetts: Milton Bradley Company, [n.d., ca. 1890s]. Thirty-six wooden building blocks (eighteen large rectangular blocks, twelve square blocks, and six long rectangular blocks) enclosed in a 3 ” cubic box. A complete set. Brown wooden box with sliding lid. Contemporary pencil ownership signature to inside of lid (Gladys Chipman). Printed paper label. A near fine, remarkably attractive set. Item #17605

Friedrich Froebel (1782 - 1852), early childhood education pioneer who developed the concept of the kindergarten, created his Gifts between about 1830 and 1850. These twenty activities, which varied in complexity and included artistic methods like embroidery, paper-folding (similar to origami), and parquetry (similar to tangrams), were intended for young children to preteens. Many of the Gifts could be fashioned through materials available at home or in any classroom, but publishers like the Milton Bradley Company also distributed the materials for the Gifts in kits for parents and teachers. In large part due to the popularity of Milton Bradley’s Froebelian materials, “The Forms selected by Froebel and his followers in the 1850s and 1860s thus became a kind of international standard for use in schools of all countries,” (Brosterman, p. 99). Through the Gifts, educators were able to use the concept of “learning through play” to teach students abstract reasoning, problem-solving, artistry, and many more skills that would prepare them for a life of creativity and independent thinking.

Brosterman, Norman. Inventing Kindergarten, pp. 50-57, 99.

Price: $750.00

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