132 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD moral and social aim, however, is different, because the exercises do not claim such a conscious social co-operation, but are prompted by the individual love of the children for their surroundings. Through games of this character there is, therefore, developed a true * social sense,' because the children are working in the sur- roundings in which they live as a community, without troubling themselves as to whether they are working for themselves or for the common advantage. In fact, they correct all mistakes with the same readiness and the same enthusiamótheir own and those of othersówithout stopping to find out the culprit in order to make him put the matter right. Everybody, not only children, ought to exercise his muscles, in work and make a first choice of this very human and superior way of expending his energy. This is not merely to establish indi- viduality as an entity, but to unify it also with social needs, to which the work of man is directed. Up till now no man of government rank has been able to boast that he has obtained from games or sport help as great as that which working on the soil gave to Cincinnatus; and no young sportsman will have gained from his- exertions the moral advantages which daily work gives to the young monk, who works out his noviciate that he may obtain peace* GYMNASIUM FOR LITTLE CHILDREN If by gymnastics we mean exercises done with the help of special instruments like those used in a gymnasium, I was the first to start them with children from three years of age. The first edition of this book spoke extensively about them. I had observed that the smallest children, of about three years of age, spontane- ously did some exercises on the railings round the flower beds in the courtyard. These railings were made of iron bars running parallel and supported by wooden sticks* The children held the upper bars and put their feet on the lower ones. The distance between the two corresponded by chance to their height, Thus they moved sideways along them.