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fourth gift

This gift is presented to the child as a cube of the same dimensions as the third gift. It also consists of eight identical blocks, each of the same volume as the blocks of the third gift. The blocks in this gift are each twice as long and half the thickness of the cubes of the third gift. Two stacks of four each set side by side form a large cube.

The rectangular shapes of this gift create Beauty Forms as four point stars. Together with the blocks of the third gift more complex Life Forms emerge

At the conclusion of play each gift is stacked to form a cube and returned to its own box.

Otto Hauthal plays with his blocks

The building blocks caused our Otto much joy. First of all, he placed all eight close together on their long, narrow edge. He called it "The Long Table" at which the ladies and gentlemen of the school ate with us. He showed correctly the seating arrangement for eleven people, minus one. When he became tired and had to bid goodnight to the blocks, he clutched the little box and kissed it. He added the following to his usual evening prayer.

"Dear God, thank you for the winter and the summer and the blocks."

The cardboard paper cover made it difficult for him to pack them up. I therefore have taken it out of the little box. Otto carefully put away the "blocks' coat," so that they could easily find it again "when it was cold or when they had to travel along to Schwarzburg."

Please forgive the goings-on of this mother, esteemed friend. I only want to give you an idea of my child's joy with this box of blocks. It is not a loud joy, nonetheless it is deeply felt in his heart. Let yourself be convinced thereof.

Rudolstadt, August 24, 1848 letter to Friedrich Froebel from Pauline Hauthal, the wife of an official at the Court of the Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. Translated by Johannes Froebel-Parker.

footnote: if the blocks of the third gift are 1" x 1" x 1" cubes, then the blocks of the fourth gift will be 1" x 2" x 1/2"

understanding block play

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Froebel Gifts

list of gifts and occupations

Each gift should aid the child to make the external internal, the internal external, and to find the unity between the two.

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