Some of the every best blocks and block concepts were developed in 1800 and we still buy and use them today.
Friedrich Froebel, the German educationalist, is best known as the originator of the 'kindergarten system'. He went on to develop special materials (such as shaped wooden bricks and balls - gifts), a series of recommended activities (occupations) and movement activities, and an linking set of theories.
Froebel went on to influence one of the greatest architects. Frank Lloyd Wright was interested in architecture early in his life and his mother purchased a set of Froebel kindergarten blocks at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia so that he could begin building. Frank was fascinated by the blocks and much of his architectural design was influenced by the geometric shapes he experimented with as a child. Wright would later say "The maple-wood blocks..are in my fingers to this day."
So today your kids can be influenced by a man who understood play and learning and lived over 168 years ago. These toys (or gifts as he called them) are very similar if not exact replicas of what he originally invented.
To see the "Gifts" still available today, visit my website.
Material taken from:
There are many books about Friedrich Froebel available through Amazon.com.