Pea and stick work enables the child to create an endless variety of complex structures. Short sticks of a uniform length with pointed ends are inserted in to peas, which have been softened by soaking in water. Because the sticks can be inserted anywhere on the surface of the peas, there are endless possibilities. Wax was used instead of peas or metal sticks inserted in small corks.
This activity combines the lines of the eight gift and the points of the tenth gift. The spherical shape of the peas recalls the first gift.
The combination of sharp points and small parts means that children playing with this material must be carefully watched. The fine finger movements and discipline developed through play with the Froebel gifts are essential for playing with this marterial
This is the conceptual foundation for many structures from molecular models of DNA to the geodesic domes of Buckminster Fuller.
Many simplified versions have become popular toys. Longer plastic, wooden or metal rods without pointed ends are inserted in sockets of connector units. While these toys are safer for children to play with they lack the flexibility of the original
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