Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My brother, Jim, sent me such a great email today:

I'm glad to hear that Maggie is doing well. I checked her blog today - she's so cute! The color video was fun. Right now in studio we are actually designing toys, so color of course has been incredibly important to our discussions. We looked at Frederich Froebel's teaching methods for kindergartners, which i've attached to this e-mail in a pdf – unfortunately they are black and white scans. Froebel (as you may already know) presents a series of 'gifts' to a child that develop essential ideas of color, form, opposition, balance, etc. - and his first gift is similar to your chair video. It is a set of soft spheres enveloped in bright, primary colored yarn and attached to a string and loop for the finger. There's even a set of moves for the parent/teacher to do with the ball to teach the child color and the characteristics of a sphere! It's actually really cool stuff. The time period in which this method was being used in Europe was the same time that the creators of cubism, neoplacticism, and de stijl were all in kindergarten – the theory is that they learned to abstract their representations through Froebel’s gifts (though of course there is the argument for genius in all of their cases). Anyways, I hope you like this stuff, and maybe it will give you ideas for new toys as Maggie grows!

The PDF is a forty page document (so I can't share it all, here) but these images are a sampling. I'm happy to forward the file to anyone who is interested. Can't wait to dive into it, myself!


  1. Is there any sort of information regarding where that .pdf came from, was it is a book we could pick up at the library or buy?

  2. Jim said: Inventing Kindergarten by Norman Brosterman. If you want, I have a few other pdfs, but for the most part they don't have as many images. Some of the articles are about the 'movement plays', others that are actual instructions, and I think one more whose author writes similar to Brosterman. If any sound interesting, let me know.