National Kindergarten Day Date in the current year: April 21, 2024

National Kindergarten Day National Kindergarten Day is celebrated annually on April 21. It commemorates the birthday of Friedrich Fröbel, a German educator who created the concept of the kindergarten and coined the term.

Kindergarten is an approach to preschool education that is based on using playing, singing, various practical activities such as drawing or crafts, and social interaction to help children transition from home to school. The word “kindergarten” is translated from German as “garden of children” or “children’s garden”. Today, the term, in its original form or translated into local languages, is used in many countries to describe various preschool educational institutions.

The first establishments for preschool children whose parents worked during the day were opened in France and Bavaria in the late 18th century, but they weren’t kindergartens in the true sense of the word because their educational systems weren’t based on play as the main activity. The childcare establishment regarded as the first kindergarten was the “care, playing and activity institute for small children” opened by Friedrich Fröbel in the spa town of Bad Blankenburg in 1837.

Fröbel’s pedagogical system was based on recognizing the importance of children’s activity in learning. He also established that play is the primary activity of young children that they use to develop various skills. The main activities at Fröbel’s establishment were gardening, dancing, singing, and self-directed play with educational toys called “Fröbel’s gifts”. Fröbel’s coined the term kindergarten in 1840 while describing his belief that children should be nourished and nurtured “like plants in a garden”.

The first English-language kindergarten in the United States was opened in 1860 by Elizabeth Peabody, an American educator who embraced Fröbel’s idea that play was crucial to children’s development and education. The first successful publicly financed kindergarten in the United States was opened in 1873 by Susan Blow, who is widely regarded as the “Mother of the American Kindergarten”.

In the United States, kindergarten is part of the K-12 educational system, i.e. the system of publicly funded primary and secondary education. However, kindergarten attendance is not compulsory on a nationwide level; each state gets to determine whether or not children are required to attend kindergarten. Children typically attend kindergarten from 5 to 6 years; a kindergarten year can be offered by nursery schools and some primary schools.

The origins of National Kindergarten Day are unclear, but the holiday has been mentioned on the United States Census Bureau’s official website, so it has at least some degree of official recognition. There are many ways to observe this amazing holiday: you can learn interesting facts about kindergartens in different countries, send your child’s kindergarten teacher a thank you note to express your gratitude or thank them in person, thank your own kindergarten teacher if you’re still in touch, volunteer with preschoolers, and share your kindergarten memories on social media with the hashtags #NationalKindergartenDay and #KindergartenDay to spread the word.

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National Kindergarten Day, Friedrich Fröbel, observances in the United States, preschool education