"No new subject of instruction should come to the scholar, of which he does not at least conjecture that it is grounded in the former subject, and how it is so grounded as its application shows, and concerning which he does not, how ever dimly, feel it to be a need of the human spirit." Friedrich Froebel.Yesterday in the wood shop, my lower elementary school and middle school students worked on toys to be given to the food bank for holiday distribution. In the Republic of Childhood in reference to Froebel's third gift it states:
"A child is far less interested in that which is given him complete than in that which needs something from him to make it perfect. He loves to employ all his energies in conceiving and constructing forms; the less you do for him the better he enjoys it, if he has been trained to independence."In the footnotes, it continues:
"Probably the chief wish of children is to do things for themselves, instead of to have things done for them. They would gladly live in a Paradise of the Home-made. For example, when we read how the 'prentices of London used to skate on sharp bones of animals, which they bound about their feet, we also wished, at least, to try that plan, rather than to wear skates bought in shops."--Andrew LangSo, this Xmas if you wish to give gifts, give those things that are incomplete without the child's complete engagement of his or her own imagination. If you are a woodworker, plan some time to be together with your child or grandchild in the shop.
"Complete toys hinder the activity of children, encourage laziness and thoughtlessness, and do them more harm than can be told. The active tendency in them turns to the distortion of what is complete, and so becomes destructive."
"Any fusing together of lessons, work, and play, is possible only when the objects with which the child plays allow room for independent mental and bodily activity, i. e., when they are not themselves complete in the child's hand. Had man found every thing in the world fixed and prepared for use ; had all means of culture, of satisfaction for the spiritual and material wants of his nature, been ready to his hand, there would have been no development, no civilization of the human race."
Make, fix and create.