144 THE MONTESSOEI METHOD
merits of the hand itself. Such apparatus was successfully used by Seguin to develop the general strength and the movement of prehension in his idiotic children.
The gymnasium, therefore, offers a field for the most varied exercises, tending to establish the co-ordination of the movements common in liie, such as walking, throwing objects, going up and down stairs, kneeling, rising, jumping, etc.
By free gymnastics I mean those which are given without any apparatus. Such gymnastics are divided into two classes: directed and required exercises, and free games. In the first class, I recommend the march, the object of which should be not rhythm, but poise only. When the march is introduced, it is well to accompany it with the singing of little songs, because this furnishes a breathing exercise very helpful in strengthening the lungs. Besides the march, many of the games of Froebel which are accompanied by songs, very similar to those which the children constantly play among themselves, may be used. In the free games, we furnish the children with balls, hoops, bean bags and kites. The trees readily offer themselves to the game of " Pussy wants a corner," and many simple games of tag.
Under the name of educational gymnastics, we include two series of exercises which really form a part of other school work, as, for instance, the cultivation of the earth, the care of plants and animals (watering and pruning the plants, carrying the grain to the chickens, etc.). These activities call for various co-ordinated movements, as, for