Occupations Using Surface Materials: painting, paper folding, paper cutting and design, paper toys, large and small scale cardboard construction and woodworking for children ages 2 to 13 and beyond.
The Froebel Occupations gradually break down in forms from solids, to surfaces, to lines, and points. This is how the Froebel Gifts were formated. Many educators thought that it should be a reversal of the concepts learned: that the Occupation should begin with the point and reverse to the solid. As Froebel did not leave specific instructions the pattern established in the Gifts will continue with the Occupations. Keep in mind though, that the Occupations are taught alongside the Gifts to unite the subject being learned.
After the solid materials come the surface materials. Paper is the medium most used with wood coming afterwards. Painting in watercolors in the wet-on-wet method can be done from toddlerhood through adulthood. Other types of painting can be introduced after the kindergarten age.
Simple paper folding, paper cutting and design and making simple toys from paper are creative ways to work with the hands and use ones imagination. Coordination, listening to instructions, following directions, and patience are taught. The results are a beautiful work of art, a useful object or a fun toy. Working with cardboard and other recyclable materials while creating both large and small scale constructions is rewarding for a child. Large creations that a child can crawl inside of bring the world into their scale making even a box the most magical place. Woodworking is a satisfying trade and life skill. From making a birdhouse to a toy box to building a play house the child soon realizes that playing with their wooden Froebel Building Gifts is a preparation for the adult world.