A Froebelian journey
The Froebelian approach places a strong emphasis on rich first-hand experience, a challenging, open ended play environment and informed, sensitive adult interaction. Frederich Froebel saw the wooden blocks as bringing together all areas of learning. They can promote imagination, creativity and symbolic thinking, mathematical and scientific concepts, understanding of pattern and design, language development, story-telling and singing as adults and children create stories and songs around the block creations. Froebel's 'Gifts' of boxed sets of small blocks cut and divided in mathematically precise ways, were the original version of today's larger 'unit' blocks and 'hollow' blocks. The block play particularly has become a firm favourite and is in use most of the day. The chapter introduces wooden parquetry shapes in the Froebelian Occupations, which come from the flat surfaces of three-dimensional shapes. The shapes are equilateral triangles, right angled triangles, circle, half circle, square and rectangle.