Child development is a maturation process. In order to better understand this process, let us, like Fröbel, simply take nature as an example. Nature carries within itself all knowledge. What is important in transferring knowledge is primarily how it is done! Especially in times of touchscreens and media over-stimulation, it is important to give children an understanding of topics clearly, step by step, and in their natural surroundings. Fröbel's holistic pedagogical approach also aimed at natural dealings in the educational process, that is, in everyday teaching, learning, and play routines. This trains important social and cooperative competencies in addition to cognitive development.
Nature itself is the basis of knowledge for everything.
Gardening and movement games are in addition to the Gifts the most important elements of Friedrich Fröbel's concept of preschool.
You can experience nature first hand in the forest. The forest not only provides children in times of urbanization an oasis of tranquility to recharge their batteries. They can also be completely themselves here and test themselves. Nature provides a variety of child-friendly challenges, such as climbing trees, balancing on tree trunks, or building a dam. It doesn't have to be a full-time forest preschool; a forest week or forest days also provide children with valuable experiences. Whether with or without a magnifying glass – together they can discover numerous plants and animals and perhaps also take them along in a small research box and observe them further. Through these personal experiences with discovering and researching nature in the forest, children develop a relationship to nature from which at best a sense of responsibility for the environment also arises.
Friedrich Fröbel referred to nature as a "garden of life." While carefully observing its structure, shapes, and colors, he felt profound joy and respect. So it makes sense that gardening was also educationally important for him. He understood gardening as part of an all-round education. He saw here as well the connection of thinking and doing. Playing and building are once more an expression of children's inner drive to create, for example, when freely shaping with clay and sand or laying out their own small gardens and fields.
When gardening, children understand nature and its laws with their own hands.
According to Fröbel, children should plant vegetables, flowers, and field crops in a combination of a community garden and individual small beds. In this way they can grasp with their own hands how a plant little by little develops from a seed. Gardening together with other children fosters patience and concentration as well as social competence.
Nature can also be delightfully discovered indoors. For example, with the Fröbel "season tree" – a window picture for the whole year. The season tree changes with nature and offers quite a sight in spring, summer, fall, and winter. Simply separate the tree trunk and stick it on the window. Depending on the season, circles, semicircles, and triangles are separated, cut out, and decorated as leaves, flowers, apples, or snowflakes around the branches.
Movement games for Friedrich Fröbel originally developed from playing with a ball. Free play and individual development of course involve moving freely, dancing together, and singing.