Froebel's Gift 3 divides the two-inch cube from the previous Gift into eight 1" cubes.
The presentation of the blocks is done in an orderly fashion to maintainthe initial "wholeness" of the cube. The box is turned upside down, lid on the bottom. The box is carefully lifted off, revealing the two-inch cube from Gift 2 now made from eight one-inch cubes. Thisis the process for opening Gifts 3 through 6. Gently insist on this ritual -- no dumping of the blocks. The child will develop a respect for this order if you show them that you also respect it. It isalso important to use all of the pieces when working with the Gift since the wholeness is a key point. The child will begin to see the pieces as part of the whole cube and their relationship to thewhole. In this way, nothing is wasted or left out. This is a subtle but powerful message of inclusion and conservation. Putting the Gift away is the reverse of the presentation. Have the childreassemble the whole cube on the lid, cover with the base, and then flip the box upright. Actually, this process is really just a continuation of the presentation and of the whole cycle of playing with eachGift. The underlying concept is of a unity of parts moving through various forms and returning to the whole (before the whole cycle repeats again). This idea is planted in a child's mind like a seedand will germinate until the child begins to see this cycle in broader life, as well. Froebel strongly believed in the value of symbolic play. "What shape is this?" Have the child count the number ofcubes. Count the six faces of each cube, the twelve edges and the eight corners. Emphasize this idea by returning to this observation with individual children at different times during play.
Have the child use the blocks to represent things from his/her life. The child may begin with simple forms (trains, towers, etc.) and make associations and create stories. Encourage these...