TODAY APRIL 21st IS NATIONAL KINDERGARTEN DAY
Each year on April 21st, National Kindergarten Day honors the birthday of the man who started the first Kindergarten. Friedrich Wilhelm August Frobel (April 21, 1782 – June 21, 1852) is credited with 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. The kindergarten fostered Frobel’s social experience for children, which would allow them to transition from home to school more smoothly.
Eventually, the Prussian government banned Frobel’s unorthodox methods. However, the rest of the world was eager to accept Frobel’s idea of kindergarten, including the United States.
In 1856, Watertown, Wisconsin, opened the first kindergarten in the United States. 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 it became part of any public school system.