National Kindergarten Day is observed annually on April 21st. This day honors Friedrich Wilhelm August Frobel (April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852) whom credit is given for starting the very first Kindergarten in Germany in 1837. Frobel was a German teacher and a student of Johann Pestalozzi. Frobel laid a foundation for modern education recognizing that children learn through play and experience.
The first kindergarten (which means garden for the children) was developed in Blankenburg, Germany in 1837 fostering Frobel’s social experience for children which would allow them to transition from home to school more easily.
The Prussian government eventually banned Frobel’s unorthodox methods. The rest of the world was more open to the idea of kindergarten, including the United States.
In 1856, the first kindergarten opened in Watertown, Wisconsin. Founded by Margarethe Schurz, this kindergarten was a German-language class, as were many in this region. Kindergarten found its way into private English speaking institutions across the country, but it wasn’t until 1873 that became part of any public school system.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Saying thank you to a kindergarten teacher in your area is a great way to celebrate National Kindergarten Day. Share your kindergarten memories using #NationalKindergartenDay on Social Media.