Natural Wooden Montessori Materials and Educational Toys Crafted in the USA


Dr. Toy names First Jigsaw Puzzle – Square a Best Pick of the Year
Young Minds At Play wins 3rd award this year: 2011 Dr. Toy Best Picks Award

WESTON, MO – September 29, 2011: Young Minds At Play announced today that its First Jigsaw Puzzle - Square has won an impressive 3rd award: the prestigious 2011 Dr. Toy Best Picks Award. The Awards help shoppers find the best new toys of the year – something many have in mind as the winter holidays approach.

The First Jigsaw Puzzle – Square was chosen from among thousands of toys by using the following criteria: safety, age-appropriateness, design, durability, lasting play value, cultural and ethnic diversity, good transition from home to school, educational value, learning skills, creativity, improvement in the understanding of the community and the world, good value for price, and of course, fun.

“Children learn best through play,” says noted childhood development authority Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. (aka Dr. Toy) “and these smart new toys and products encourage children to maximize their potentials.”

Dr. Auerbach is a national expert on play and children’s products. She approved the first proposal for “Sesame Street” and has authored 15 books and hundreds of articles on toys and play. She holds a Ph.D. in Child Development and has over 40 years of experience evaluating toys/children’s products.

The First Jigsaw Puzzle – Square is a chunky, 4-piece, solid hardwood jigsaw puzzle for 1-3 year olds. It has the unique feature of interchangeable pieces which enables multiple solutions, keeping children’s interest over time. A powerhouse for the brain, it promotes spatial skills, language and mathematical development, eye-hand coordination, and motor skills.

The puzzle is made in Weston, MO from American materials and is packaged in American-made packaging. Eco-friendly, it is made from locally sourced, sustainably harvested solid maple and cherry wood and hand-finished with a beeswax/oil. Packaging is made from 100% recycled material.

Earlier this year, the puzzle won the Dr. Toy Best Green Product Award and the Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products Award.

The puzzle retails at,, and

About Young Minds At Play
Young Minds At Play specializes in crafting and selling mind-stimulating, eco-friendly, wooden toys and Montessori Materials for ages 1+. Frustrated that they could not find the safe, natural, educational toys they wanted for their infant son, Jeff and Charlene Smith started Young Minds At Play in 2010. They craft their toys from locally sourced, sustainably harvested solid maple and cherry wood and hand-finish them with a beeswax/oil. Packaging is 100% recycled material or reusable cotton bags. Everything is made in Weston, Missouri, from American materials and all packaging is American-made. For more information, visit

High-resolution photos are available at:

Dr. Toy Best Picks link:

Media Contact:
Charlene Smith
Young Minds At Play PO Box 352 Weston, MO 64098
Tel: 888-484-8094 x 802 / Fax: 888-484-8094