an online resource about Friedrich Froebel, founder of the Kindergarten

Friedrich Froebel time line

back to life of Friedrich Froebel

21 June 1852, Marienthal

at half past six in the evening Friedrich Fröbel after a short illness departed this life.


Charles Dickens visited a Kindergarten in London and after observing the children wrote: "By cutting paper, patterns are produced in the Infant Garden that would often, though the work of very little hands, be received in schools of design with acclamation."


The first American kindergarten was established at Watertown. Margarethe Schurz brought the concept of kingergarten with her from Germany. Margarethe employed Froebel's philosophy while caring for her daughter, Agathe, and four neighbor children, leading them in games and songs and group activities that channeled their energy while preparing them for school. Other parents were so impressed at the results that they prevailed upon Schurz to help their children, so she opened a small kindergarten, the first in the United States.


American educator Elizabeth Palmer Peabody opened one of the first kindergartens in the United States in Boston.


The Grand Duchess Helene, a princess memorable for her intellectual gifts, arranges for three Russian women to be trained in the Froebel Method in Berlin. In 1866 there was a Kindergarten in Odessa.


Milton Bradley published America's first book on kindergartens, Paradise of Childhood, by Friedrich Froebel. Bradley's interest in childhood and children's education continued. In addition to selling the Froebel gifts he printed a series of kindergarten manuals, newsletters, and children's books.


Baroness von Marenholtz-Buelow arrived in Florence to start a Kindergarten and teacher training school, that became a model of Froebelian purity.


By 1872, kindergarten had become compulsory throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire for all children under six years of age, and instruction in the Froebel method was made obligatory for all students of normal schools and teacher training classes.


Froebel's relative and former student, Henriette Schrader-Breymann (1827-1896), founded a kindergarten training institution, the Pestalozzi Fröbel Haus, in Berlin.

Applying Friedrich Froebel's theories, Susan Blow opened the United States' first successful public kindergarten at St. Louis' Des Peres School. Blow taught children in the morning and teachers in the afternoon. By 1883 every St. Louis public school had a kindergarten, making the city a model for the nation.


The Froebel Society was founded in 1874 to promote kindergarten education and the Education Institute followed in 1892. Records relating to the Society including material on child development and infant education are held at Froebel College: Early Childhood Collection, University of Surrey Roehampton, Grove House, Roehampton Lane, London SW15 5PJ. Address enquiries to the Archivist.


Philadelphia Centennial, Frank Lloyd Wright's mother attends and purchases Froebel materials for her son.


St. Louis - Every public school had a kindergarten, making the city a model for the nation.

Toronto - Through the efforts of Dr. James L. Hughes and his wife, Ada Marean Hughes, the Froebel kindergarten was introduced into the Toronto public schools; Toronto was the second city in the world to do so.


The Education of Man, the first book written by Friedrich Froebel, translated into English


The Froebel Educational Institute was founded in London in 1892 to train teachers in accordance with the ideas of Friedrich Froebel, and moved to its present Roehampton location in 1921.

Now a non-denominational college within the University of Surrey Roehampton, Froebel College provides one of the most beautiful educational settings in the country, with an academic community of nearly 1500 full-time students and 100 academic staff. A delightful Georgian building, Grove House, is surrounded by both formal and wild gardens and a lake, and within the grounds there is student living and social accommodation as well as a cafe, bar and dining complex, and an internationally respected on-site nursery. The unique Early Childhood Collection, is an archive containing a wealth of material by and about early educational pioneers such as Johann Pestalozzi, Maria Montessori and Susan Isaacs as well as Friedrich Froebel himself.

Froebel respected children as individuals with rights and responsibilities according to their ages and abilities, and his philosophy has profoundly affected educational policy and practice around the world.


translation into English of Mutter und Koselieder, songs to help mothers provide sensory stimulation and educational play for children from the first months of life, by Susan Blow - published as volume 11 of the International Education Series edited by William T. Harris.


In 1909, there were seventy two kindergartens in Vienna


The state of Prussia acknowledged the value of the kindergarten by establishing a statewide qualifying examination for kindergarten teachers


kindergartens were included in public schools in most parts of the United States.


Walter Gropius of the Bauhaus commissioned to design "a national monument for the greatest friend of children and educator of mankind". Friedrich Froebelhaus was planned for Bad Liebenstein to mark the 75 anniversary of the death of Froebel, 21 June 1852. Although never built, many of the ideas for the project were included in the new buildings at Dessau for the Bauhaus


German stamp with picture of Friedrich Froebel


National Froebel Foundation closed its London office and deposited historical material in Early Childhood Collection at Froebel College

1974 - 75

Restoration of Dessau Bauhaus, which have since 1996, been listed by UNESCO as sites of world-wide cultural importance. Now the Bauhaus Complex houses the Dessau Bauhaus Foundation and old parts of the building are used by the Anhalt Technical College. Today the cultural inheritance of the Bauhaus is preserved and carried forward by the Dessau Bauhaus Foundation which also devotes itself to the design of today's living environment. This work is divided into the workshop, the collection and the academy. The stage is again used for cultural events and exhibitions may be visited.


Das Kinder und Spielfest auf dem Altenstein 31.Mai 1996 - view the poster


a new book about Froebel, Inventing Kindergarten by Norman Brosterman.

Synopsis: Invented in the 1830s by German educator Friedrich Froebel, kindergarten was designed to teach young children about art, design, mathematics, and natural history. Inventing Kindergarten uses extraordinary visual materials to reconstruct this successful system, which grew to become a familiar institution throughout the world by the end of the 19th century. 130 illustrations, 55 in color.

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