Natural Wooden Montessori Materials and Educational Toys Crafted in the USA


Young Minds At Play Introduces Series Of Eco-friendly Wooden Peg Puzzles Crafted in the USA
New design reminiscent of centuries old craftsmanship

WESTON, MO – September 26, 2011: Young Minds At Play ( has introduced a series of 7 geometric peg puzzles complete with optional storage cabinet that is reminiscent of centuries old craftmanship. Finely carved from 100% solid maple and cherry hardwoods and hand-finished with beeswax/oil, the heirloom-quality puzzles look more like what George Washington may have played with than what you’d find in a 21st century toy store. The techniques make the puzzles eco-friendly and sturdy - sure to last for generations and making them a good pick for daycares and preschools.

The puzzles include:

  • An introductory 3 Piece Shape Puzzle consisting of a square, circle, and equilateral triangle.
  • A 4 piece Curvilinear Puzzle consisting of an ellipse, oval, curvilinear triangle, and quatrefoil.
  • A 4 piece Quadrilateral Puzzle consisting of a trapezoid, isosceles trapezoid, parallelogram, and rhombus.
  • A 6 piece Circle Sorting Puzzle consisting of 6 circles in various diameters.
  • A 6 piece Rectangle Sorting Puzzle consisting of 6 rectangles in various widths.
  • A 6 piece Triangle Puzzle consisting of an equilateral triangle (acute angled isosceles), right angled isosceles, obtuse angled isosceles, acute angles scalene, right angled scalene, and obtuse angled scalene.
  • A 6 piece Advanced Polygon Puzzle consisting of a pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, and decagon.

  • All the puzzles fit in a storage cabinet that is custom-made from 100% solid maple hardwood.
    “We carve our puzzles – something they could have done centuries ago,” says Charlene Smith, co-founder of Young Minds At Play.

    Carving puzzles is a technique that could be used before glue was common. Today, most puzzle bases are made in two pieces and then glued together. Young Minds At Play’s is carved from a solid piece of maple. Where most puzzle pieces attach knobs with glue or screws, Young Minds At Play’s knobs are carved as an integral part of each puzzle piece. Where most puzzles are made from plywood or MDF, Young Minds At Play’s are made from solid American hardwood. The final product is sculptural and beautiful.

    “Carving is a more durable technique than gluing," says Smith. "If you cut two pieces of wood and glue them together, it just won't be as strong as it was before it was cut. But, it's more difficult and time consuming to carve than glue, so most people don't do it."

    The puzzles are a classic as they promote shape discrimination, language and mathematical development, eye-hand coordination, problem-solving, spatial and motor skills – skills every child throughout time needs.

    Like all their products, Young Minds At Play makes the puzzles and cabinet in the USA. Eco-friendly, they are made from locally-sourced, sustainably-harvested solid maple and cherry wood and hand-finished with a beeswax/oil. Packaging is 100% recycled material. The puzzles and cabinet are available separately or as a set called the Geometric Cabinet. They are available at

    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 all of their products 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

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