The First Three Years of the Child

How Children Learn to Walk, Speak and Think

Karl König; Translated by Carlo Pietzner


Quick Look

  • An examination of the three major achievements that happen during the first three years of childhood: learning to walk, speak and think
  • This thorough analysis of the complex process involved in acquiring these three basic faculties will help readers better understand and support the children in their care
  • This updated edition of a classic work features extensive notes and a fresh introduction, placing the text in the context of modern research
  • Volume 22 in the Karl König Archive

A classic exploration of the first three years of a child’s life from Karl König, physician, anthroposophist and founder of the Camphill movement, offering valuable insights into early years’ development.

Floris Books
Parenting & Child Health
192 pages
Publication date:
25 May 2023
Karl König Archive
3rd edition


In this classic work on early childhood development, Karl König explores the first three years of a child's life by examining the three major achievements that occur during this stage: learning to walk, speak and think.

These are three core faculties and their acquisition, König argues, is 'an act of grace' in every child. He goes on to provide a detailed analysis of this extraordinarily complex process.

This Karl König Archive edition now includes extensive notes and a new introduction by Dr Jan Goeschel, founding President of the Camphill Academy in North America, which puts this well-known text in the context of modern-day research.

The First Three Years of the Child provides fascinating insights into early years' development and will be of great value to educators, medical professionals and carers.


Karl König (1902-66) was well-known as a physician, author and lecturer. He began his work at the Institute of Embryology at the University of Vienna. In 1940 he founded the Camphill Movement in Scotland. Based on Rudolf Steiner's insights into human development, the special education schools for children and villages for adults with special needs are now established in many parts of the world.


See a full list of the books in the Karl König Archive series

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