A true story for young & old

Once upon a time more than 200 years ago, when farmers still had to make forced labor to the Knights, there was a little town in full swing. At the same time in the green valley between the hills lived a poor boy, his name was Friedrich. Since his mother died before Friedrich was one year old he had to do without this sensitive mother's love forever. This fate has given the boy an early particular task.

The sensitive boy saw his determination on all sides to give back to humanity and nature what had been lacking in his own miserable childhood: love, charity and natural sense of security. When Friedrich was 14 years old, he spent much time in the woods. In the spring he collected butterflies, plants and stones. But mostly, as a young boy, he was interested in the most noble family which nature had produced: The People.

Thus, Friedrich was sure that through rest, proper care, exercise and natural observation, the human will develop happy and healthy. And so, for Friedrich, the people were as the heart leaves of life. He showed the astonished spa guests from Bad Liebenstein how these heart leaves can be protected and cared for in a park in front of his house.

The summer passed, and Friedrich was older. He moved out into the world. He never once forgot his love of nature. Once Friedrich had grown up as a young man, it was time to learn a trade. He studied nature, languages and physics and had an equally strong interest in the formation of stones and crystals. But he found his true calling when he earned his living as a tutor and teacher in a school. Never before had Friedrich felt happier than with the children. And it seemed to him that he would never want to live in a different way.

After he had invented a simple toy, like the ball, the cube and the cylinder, he continued to look for ideas that would arouse the curiosity and joy of learning in the children. Balls, colorful building blocks, seeds, beads, cardboard and paper would stimulate the imagination of children. Movement, role playing, making music and singing aroused the joy of the children. Drawing and painting were the keys to the outside world.

Friedrich often moved outside in the nearby forest with the children. With unspeakable delight they observed the wheat in the golden fields, the female flowers of the hazel bush and the beautiful colors of the flora and fauna. All concern and love with it filled him with great respect. The children built streams, ponds and moats. They carved, painted, danced and laughed. The whole area was a playground. Healthy, rural meals were granted.

To Friedrich, the world was experienced in the simple things and he kept all the games as heart leaves of the whole future life, in which the family was the most important. He now called his idea for a meaningful and happy life, "Agreement on all sides of life".

Throughout his life, Friedrich dealt with nature and the children. And although he was a prominent and respected teacher at the time, he sought tirelessly new ideas and theories that give substance to the romantic dreams and develop fantasies. Friedrich was convinced that children can only mature into responsible adults when they are allowed to develop freely in the loving care of the family. He believed that man can not develop in the best possible way by an overabundance of toys and a flood of stimuli, but by peace and concentration on the ground of simple naturalness.

Therefore, he founded the first kindergarten in the world in Thuringia and the first kindergarten school. From far and near men and women came to the valley to be trained by Friedrich and to follow his ideas. For he was the prophet of a doctrine, to maintain the purest creature of nature, the child, and guard it so it can later make the world a bit better.

After some time later, a ban on the kindergartens had been imposed by the Kingdom and Friedrich's life force was broken. He died unhappy at the age of 70. The wheel of time turned further. The world has became more modern and Friedrich has been forgotten. Although he was an important teacher of Romanticism, who not only called the kindergarten into life, but was interested in all ages of man. He developed his idea in an era marked by poverty, hardship and revolutionary uprisings.

His work, "The People of Education" and his advocacy to the rights of children are to his great credit. He was an idealist and a reformer who was particularly impressed by this:

"Every human being has the divine in himself".