A truly unique way to provide a concrete and comprehensive representation of the concept of the passage of time.
Every now and again a product comes along that just makes you say "wow!". The Grimm's Annual String is one of those!
Montessori educators will be familiar with the "Hundred Chain" and "Thousand Chain". These Golden Bead materials are designed to introduce quite advanced and abstract concepts in a concrete manner. By giving children a tangible representation these challenging ideas suddenly become so obvious! By handling these beads each child is also given the chance to create a tactile memory of these ideas, making the connection to these concepts deeper and more lasting.
The Grimm's Annual Chain so harmoniously follows these principles that it is hard to believe it was not designed by Maria Montessori herself! The Annual Chain provides a concrete representation of the passage of time that occurs over a year.
Each individual bead represents a single day of the year. The beads are divided into twelve different colours, with each colour reflecting a month (your child can choose which colour to allocate to each month). Over the course of a year your child (or your class) adds a single bead to the string each day. This can be done over a calendar year - from January to December - but could also be started at a different milestone (such as your child's birthday). Over the year the Annual Chain grows and at the end of each month the colour changes, allowing children to observe a clear representation of the relationship between days, months and years. By the end of the year the Chain is full and the child can marvel at the length of a "year" when compared with each individual day.
This delightful project could be repeated year after year and teaches so much more than just the mathematical concept of time. It also teaches patience and self-control as only one bead per day can be added to the string.
You could even personalise the experience by using the Annual Chain as a 'countdown' to special events in your child's life. If you are going on a holiday on the 5th of May you could choose your colour for the month of May in advance and then tell your child "When we have 5 red beads it will be time for our holiday!".
A truly incomparable addition to any home or classroom!