Nienhuis in dates

  • 1929 : the year it all began, Nienhuis Montessori is founded by A.K. Nienhuis in the Hague in Holland.
  • 1945 : A.J. Nienhuis retires, leaving his son Jan Nienhuis to replace him.
  • 1956 : the company expands and moves to a bigger office nearby.
  • 1944 : Nienhuis moves to Zelhem, in the east of the country, where it still is today.
  • 1975 : Nienhuis Montessori USA opens its doors in Mountain View in California.
  • 1979 : Nienhuis Montessori celebrates its 50th birthday.
  • 1995 : Nienhuis Asia is born with a factory and a warehouse in Sri Lanka.
  • 1997 : Nienhuis USA expands and develops with a new warehouse.
  • 1998 : Nienhuis USA expands its showroom and celebrates its opening with clients from across the Americas.
  • 2002 : Nienhuis USA expands again and moves premises, retaining its offices near its warehouse.
  • 2004 : Nienhuis celebrates its 75th birthday. The first Montessori Museum opens its doors in the headquarters in Zelhem. Renilde Montessori attends as a guest of honour and opens the ceremony.
  • 2006 : Nienhuis Asia expands again to respond to growing demand.
  • 2007 : Nienhuis is bought by Heutink Group, one of the world's leading companies in the education sector, also based in Holland.
  • 2008 : The Montessori Museum opens in the US, having travelled between Canada and the US. It is now located in the Minnesota Montessori Training Center in St Paul.
  • 2009 : Nienhuis Asia continues to expand and all of Nienhuis' production and expertise are gradually based there. An export department is opened in Zelhem for the Toys for Life, Educo and Heutink ranges, thus bringing together 4 major brands under a single banner.


A beautiful friendship

During the 1920s, Albert Nienhuis, founder of Nienhuis, worked with Dr Maria Montessori to manufacture materials in line with her educational approach. This resulted in a close and long-lasting relationship, in which Maria Montessori's principles materialised in the Nienhuis workshop.

As time went on, Dr. Montessori's educational approach received more and more international attention. Nienhuis Montessori responded to this growing demand by expanding its facilities and training more qualified craftsmen to support the Montessori movement worldwide.

Today, after several decades, Nienhuis Montessori continues its tradition of high-quality craftsmanship, combined with unique knowledge and experience, acquired over many years thanks to Maria Montessori herself, Mario Montessori and, more generally, Montessori leaders and professionals from around the world. As a result of this partnership, Nienhuis Montessori continues to develop new techniques and new complementary educational tools, continually improving quality and incorporating the most recent technology to position themselves as the biggest manufacturer and distributor of authentic and AMI-approved Montessori materials.


Little details

Nienhuis isn't just an option when it comes to Montessori materials: it's the obvious choice.

Nienhuis Montessori is almost 85 years old now: 85 years of experience and expertise, and it worked with Maria Montessori from the beginning, creating and perfecting its materials based on the the creator's philosophy. Maria Montessori sought to provide and isolate a single quality for each item. The Pink Tower? The only difference must be the different sizes of the cubes - no differences in colour, how they're made or how they feel, otherwise the child is no longer focused on the direct and unique purpose of the exercise.

It is one of just 3 companies in the world which are approved by the AMI and which therefore has access to the original drawings, enabling them to make Montessori materials according to well-defined plans and diagrams, because every little detail is important.

  • We take the toxicity of certain glues, paints and splinters of wood seriously and we choose harmless and environmentally friendly products.
  • When it comes to the quality of finishing, the item has at least 3 coats of paint for an impeccable finish so that children can concentrate on their work rather than focusing on defects in the wood or careless paintwork.
  • This ensures that items are robust, in view of the many hours they will spend in children's hands,
  • When it comes to schools, "we don't just buy Montessori equipment, we invest in Nienhuis' Montessori equipment".

Yes, it's a detail, but in the end, lots of details make a huge difference: as a long-standing player which has been truly committed to the Montessori educational approach for more than 80 years, as a company which has received ISO 9001 certification for quality, ISO 14001 certification for environmental practices and FSC certification for its use of wood from responsibly managed forests, Nienhuis has always been a high-end company for one simple reason: its products are made for children.

Quality and environmental protection

Fundamental principles

Over the years, the 3 Nienhuis factories - in Holland, the USA and Asia - have jointly been certified with the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality standards.

These certifications are a great honour for Nienhuis Montessori. However, the standards imposed for obtaining ISO standards are very similar to the practices which Nienhuis Montessori has implemented as a company from the beginning, with regards to its customers and the environment. Nienhuis Montessori's long-term efforts have rightly been validated.

In addition to these ISO standards, Nienhuis Montessori is FSC certified. This certification is based on economic, social and environmental criteria which are used to assess and to vouch for the sustainable management of the forests from which Nienhuis' products come.

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