now selling a version of Froebelian hanging yarn balls
for toddlers. The stated purpose is:
"Use of this material provides the toddler practice in hand-eye coordination, recognition of color and the differences between 2 and 3 dimensional shapes."
Check the Niehuis version out here:
for the original idea (known as a Gift 1) is:
"This Gift consists of 12 soft yarn balls of approximately 2" in diameter -- two balls each in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. One of each color pair has a string, the other does not. The string (approx. 6 inches long) has a loop on one end so that they can be dangled. It is introduced while the child is still an infant and is used for children ages 3 mos. (with adult participation) to 4 years. The balls come packed in a wood slide-top storage box. Froebel recognized that a ball is often a first or favorite toy of infants. It is lightweight and easy to grasp or hold. For Froebel, the ball symbolized unity because it is a complete whole, a pure form. The whole is the beginning of understanding and everything else is derived from the whole."
These can be purchased here:
Here are some creative yarn balls from Etsy: