”All I really need to know… I learned in kindergarten.”
~ Robert Fulghum
There’s a magical time during childhood where we start spending our days away from our parent’s homes. We enter a world of other children guided under the hand of an adult and start on the amazing journey that is learning. We start learning our ABC’s, colors, and shapes, and generally how to be a functioning human being in a society of other human beings. Kindergarten Day celebrates this event and the man who is credited with starting it all, Johann Friedrich Oberlin.
History of Kindergarten Day
The year was 1779, and it became apparent to a young Johann Friedrich Oberlin that there were many children in his Strasbourg community that were left alone during the day while their parents were away dealing with their other responsibilities. He and Louis Scheppler got together to create the first Kindergarten, a school aimed at taking these children and teaching them during these hours.
This set a precedent that was soon emulated the world over, first in 1780 in Bavaria, and then in Detmoid in 1802 by Princess Pauline zur Lippe. In 1816 Robert Owen founded the first one in New Lanark, Scotland, and then in 1819 Samuel Wilderspin pushed the idea in earnest, creating one in London, and then hundreds more to follow.
Almost all of us attended Kindergarten, and if you’re like us, you remember it as a magical time of learning, snack-time, and play with new friends. What started as an idea in a small German town became the foundation of a standard of learning that has stood the test of time and proven to be an incredibly important part of our formative years. Kindergarten Day tells us to remember these days and the incredible man who started it over 200 years ago.
How to Celebrate Kindergarten Day
If you have kindergarten age children, then a great opportunity exists for you to call these days. Go with your child to school and volunteer to help out with the curriculum and joy that comes with so many eager young minds in a place of learning. If you want to bring a little bit of it home than maybe do some finger painting with your children, or sing some silly songs. Even better, research has shown the importance of nap-time, so maybe have some cookies and milk and lay down for a nap in the middle of the day, embracing the sweet memories of kindergarten.