Froebel's Gift 2
Gift 2 contains two 2" cubes, one 2" cylinder and one 2" sphere
Froebel called this Gift "the children's delight" with the difference of its features. The beads found in every kindergarten were developed from Froebel's Gift 2 and are perhaps more suitable for children 3 and 4 years old.
The box can be shaken and the child asked, "What is inside?" Open the lid and reveal the pieces. Have the child touch, feel, smell, hold and examine the sphere, then the cylinder, and the cube, in turn. The key points of the presentation are the handling, observing and comparing of the pieces of the Gift. All of the three different solids have holes drilled in them (the extra cube is solid for comparison to gifts 3 and 4). The sticks are provided so that the solid can be spun on the stick and the results compared.
Use the pieces to represent things from the child's life (e.g., the sphere is an orange, the cylinder is a baby bottle or a wheel, the cube is a house, etc.). Stack the pieces in different ways (e.g. the cylinder on the cube and the sphere on top creates a person). Build with the pieces and include the box parts, as well. Roll the sphere and cylinder. Encourage the children's descriptions through imaginative play.
Differentiate the pieces by naming the geometric shapes. Sort them. Count the number of pieces or the number of surfaces, edges, corners, etc. Introduce the concepts of on/under, front/back, up/down, in front of/behind, etc. Simple physics concepts can be discovered. Some of the solids will roll (sphere, cylinder) and some will stand (cube, cylinder). The idea of resonance in sound also can be learned by tapping the solids together or onto the table. By exploring these properties, children will be naturally curious and their discoveries will create a foundation of basic science.
This Gift lends itself to creating patterns and designs by spinning the solids. Children will delight in spinning the solids on the sticks. The child will discover that by spinning one solid he/she will see the shape of another (e.g. spinning a cylinder produces a sphere, spinning a cube produces a cylinder). The interconnectedness of forms and objects can be shown even to young children. This activity can also be performed by spinning solids suspended on a string. The sticks allows more direct participation and more than one person to take part in the play.
© 2001 Froebel Foundation USA PO Box 1355 Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1355 616-988-2850