Natural Wooden Montessori Materials and Educational Toys Crafted in the USA


Young Minds At Play Wins 2nd Dr. Toy Award This Year:
2011 Best Vacation Product

“First Jigsaw Puzzle – Square”, winner of a 2011 Dr. Toy Best Green Product Award, wins 2nd Dr. Toy Award

WESTON, MO – June 7, 2011: The First Jigsaw Puzzle – Square, which is made in Missouri by Young Minds At Play (, has won a second Dr. Toy Award, the coveted 2011 Dr. Toy Best Vacation Products Award. Earlier this year the puzzle won a 2011 Dr. Toy Best Green Product Award. Noted childhood development authority, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. (aka Dr. Toy) started the Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Products Awards “as a service to consumers who desire to purchase safe, affordable, educationally-oriented, and stimulating toys and play products for children for vacation time at home or on the road.”

Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Products are chosen based on 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 naturally, fun.

Winners are listed in Dr. Toy’s Guide at “Winning a Dr. Toy Award is like winning an Oscar”, says Charlene Smith, co-founder of Young Minds At Play. “It is an incredible honor and a validation from an unbiased expert in the toy industry.”

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.

Young Minds At Play’s award-winning 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 your child’s interest over time. A powerhouse for the brain, it promotes spatial skills, language and mathematical development, eye-hand coordination, and motor skills.

Eco-friendly, it is made from locally-sourced, sustainably-harvested solid maple and cherry wood and hand-finished with a beeswax/oil. Packaging is 100% recycled material. Like all Young Minds At Play’s products, it is made in Weston, MO from American materials and is packaged in American-made packaging. Made in America keeps fuel and emissions to a minimum.

Jeff and Charlene Smith, founders of Young Minds At Play, designed the puzzle for their one year old son, “He loved to figure out how things connect together, so we knew he’d enjoy a jigsaw puzzle. But the ones on the market were too difficult for him: if two pieces didn’t connect he’d get frustrated. Ours has interchangeable pieces, so any two pieces will connect. Now, at age 2, he realizes they are supposed to form a square, but he hasn’t figure out how to make that happen yet. It’s a challenge for him.”

The puzzle retails at Young Minds At Play and

About Young Minds At Play
Young Minds At Play specializes in crafting and selling mind-stimulating, eco-friendly, wooden toys 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 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

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