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Product changes

Did you know for example that in the past the ‘Red Rods’ used to be green and also blue?
| 6 August 2018
Product changes
Product changes

It is said that Montessori materials have not changed in over a hundred years, but to be honest, they have changed.

Did you know for example that in the past the ‘Red Rods’ used to be green and also blue? Or does anyone remember that the red and yellow ‘Coloured Cylinders’ were once white and orange, and that the Geometric Insets were once red and white. We also were amazed to find that even the ‘Brown Stairs’ once was blue.

So Montessori materials are subject to change. In the beginning Maria Montessori, as a result of her observations, occasionally changed the materials herself. Later on the Material Committee of the AMI has initiated changes, sometimes suggested by the manufacturer. We thought it might be a good idea to bring you up to date on some of the changes Nienhuis Montessori made in these materials.

Sandpaper Letters
In the past Nienhuis Montessori made Sandpaper Letters in any font desired by the customer. As a consequence, we had many different versions of Sandpaper Letters in stock. For reasons of efficiency, we decided to standardize the fonts two years ago and we now make two different versions: an US version and an international version. Both versions are available in both print and cursive writing.

Because some languages have extra letters or letters that are written in a different way, we also have so created supplement sets. Supplement sets are available for German language, Spanish language and in Nordic languages, both in print and in cursive letters. This means that if someone from Germany wants to order a set of cursive sandpaper letters, he or she has to order an international version in cursive as well as a German supplement in cursive.

Blue triangles
Nienhuis always made the 12 Identical Blue Right-angled Triangles blue on all sides, until recently the AMI Material Committee made us aware that some elementary exercises require the triangles to have one side blue and the other white. This is why from now on the 12 Identical Blue Right-angled Triangles are blue on one side and white on the other.

Checker Board and Decimal Checker Board
New techniques offer new possibilities! The Nienhuis Montessori Chequer Boards are made of wood and the colour-coded squares are screen printed on the wooden board. The surface is very smooth thus allowing easy sliding of the bead bars; unfortunately a bit too easy. Much time has been invested in the search for good alternatives and finally a great solution has been found. We now make the surface of the Chequer Boards out of carpet on which the colour-coded squares are digitally printed. 

Stamp Game
For a long time we made the stamp-like squares used in the Stamp Game out of wooden tiles. But obtaining wooden tiles in a definite dimension was very hard and therefore the centring of the numbers on the tiles was difficult. So we decided to use laser-cut wooden tiles for a while, until recently we stumbled upon another beautiful material: acrylic glass. Acrylic glass is a very shiny, attractive and durable raw material. We consider it to be a very nice solution to our problem so from now on the stamp-like squares of the Stamp Game are made out of acrylic glass.

However, this does not mean that we will move away from wood altogether. Most certainly not, but in some cases we might switch over to acrylic glass. We are thinking of also using it for the chips of the Hundred Board, the squares of the Pythagoras board, for the Music Signs and Notes, and maybe for some other articles.