Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So...What is with those Hanging Froebel Yarn Balls??

That was my question after noticing that Nienhuis Montessori is
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:

The rational straight from the Froebel USA website
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:


  1. I love our Froebel gifts-the wooden block one. As for the infant ones I would definitely go with Etsy. Your post and the Froebel link are helpful in how to set up the homemade ones. Thanks!

  2. Thanks! I am actually rather intrigued by
    these. I wonder how hard it would be to
    make a frame or adapt something to work
    as a frame to hang them?? Also, I am sure
    one of the Etsy vendors could make a custom