"Their highest joy was to give their parents and me fruits from their garden. Oh, how their eyes glistened when they could do it. Beautiful plants and little shrubs from the field, the great garden of God, were planted and cared for in the little gardens of the children"A reader sent the photo at left of a box he made following instructions from my book and video Basic Box Making. He wrote:
"This weekend I finally took the plunge and followed your book as closely as I could, and the box turned out great! When I gave it to my wife, she was speechless!" I learned a lot making it, and I'm looking forward to my next one!"There is no difference between the feelings that adults get in making something of useful beauty, and the feelings of children upon having made or grown something of tangible value to adults. The following is from the Paradise of Childhood, as it tells the story of Friedrich Froebel's life and gives insight to the origins of his method.
"In those days which Froebel spent with his pupils in the little country house that had been fitted up for them he sought always to combine labor with instruction and when the boys were busy with hatchet and spade, with oar or fishing tackle, he made every occupation serviceable to awaken their desire for knowledge. And we are told that the regular and moderate method of living which they followed banished all the indolence and helpless dependence of the children, so that in a short time they improved wonderfully in health and strength and the keenness with which they enjoyed life was greatly increased.Have you ever thought of making your own nets or wondered how fishermen and games keepers were able to do so? The video at below shows one of the things the boys in Froebel's care did for their own amusement and intellectual development.The following video shows how to make the tools you will need for net making. An additional video shows an even simpler method.
"When, however, autumn approached, with its dark days, long evenings and bad weather, considerable time was given to the practice of music and drawing. But here were still unoccupied hours which in summer had been devoted to rural occupations. How could they be spent pleasantly and profitably? Referring to his experience at this time Froebel says: 'When my pupils came to me with some new demand I asked myself, 'What did you do when a a boy? What happened to you to quicken your impulse for activity and representation? By what means was this impulse at that age most fitly satisfied? Then out of my earliest boyhood something came to me which gave to me at that moment all that I needed. It was the simple art of imprinting, on smooth paper signs and forms by regular lines.' He also remembered how he had tried to keep himself busy with all kinds of braided work from paper and binding twine, and he resolved to try this occupation with the boys.
"In carrying out this plan he was brought at once to a realizing sense of the crudeness with which the unpracticed hand does its work, how poorly the will is master of the finger-ends under such circumstances, and how inaccurately the eye observes. Consequently he deigned a few preparatory exercises for training the hand and eye, so that the boys could undertake their pasteboard work. Be began with folding and the separating and pasting of papers. He also let them work with twine, till they became experts in making nets and game bags. In these occupation they had to bring into practice what they learned in drawing, arithmetic, and geometry. Later in the season, they did some woodwork."
Make, fix and create...