The soft ball of the first gift becomes the hard wooden sphere of the second gift.
The cube presents a complete contrast with its faces and edges.
The cylinder is a transitional form between the other two.
String and rods enable these solids to spin in different ways to expore the properties of each. In this way the transformation of these shapes and their interrelatedness can be demonstrated. Handling, observing and imitating actions arising from these forms inspired symbolical and meaningful play. The conceptual understanding of geometrical cubic forms occurred through a metaphorical dance in which the child became acquainted with surfaces, sides, edges and lines which Froebel called dance forms.
The sphere and the cube together represented Knowledge, Beauty and Life. The sphere predominantly corresponds with the feelings or heart, (affective) and the cube to thought and intellect (cognitive).
This gift expresses in concrete form such profound aspects of Froebel's insights that it was erected in granite over his tomb. The cylinder placed on the cube, with the sphere on the top. This presentation is shown on the cover of Inventing Kindergarten
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