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About us

Our History

Started By a Teacher, For Teachers

The story of Constructive Playthings began in the living room of a small four-room apartment in 1953 where Frances Gershon was working as a young preschool teacher. Back in the 1950’s preschool was much closer to “babysitting” than actual early childhood education. Educational standards and formal curriculum were non-existent, so teachers had to rely on their own creativity to fill a classroom full of toys, supplies, and learning materials.

age-appropriate playthings

Quality, Creative, Age-Appropriate Playthings

As a teacher, Frances saw an opportunity to address the gap in quality, creative, and age-appropriate playthings that didn’t exist in her school or most others at the time. She evolved her passion for educating children into a business, launching Constructive Playthings from her apartment living room.

Her vision was to provide a resource that would offer a vast selection of educational toys along with classroom materials and teaching supplies to educators. Constructive Playthings became one of the first companies to offer high-quality, age-appropriate toys direct to schools and teachers via a catalog. It went on to equip some of the first Head Start classrooms in the 1960s.


To Quality And Service

Frances became recognized as a pioneer in the early childhood education field and she personally oversaw the development of all Constructive Playthings products until she passed away in 2007. Today her legacy lives on, as we maintain her attention to detail on all the products we produce and sell.

Each one is thoughtfully designed and constructed to meet or exceed not only all Federal requirements, but also the high standards Constructive Playthings was founded on. Whether designing our own exclusive products or searching the world for a unique item, each product is selected based on our knowledge of early childhood education combined with research insights, observations of young children in the classroom, and feedback from our customers. We stand behind every one of our products and are confident they will become high-caliber additions to any classroom or home.

70 years

Family Owned & Operated

For More Than 70 Years

Today, Constructive Playthings continues its commitment to fostering early education. We are proud to be recognized for our quality products and excellent customer service by teachers across the country. For more than 70 years, we have been committed to providing educational products and toys that inspire learning, creativity, and fun for children. Frances Gershon understood the importance of nurturing children’s desire to learn. Because of her, thousands of teachers, daycares, churches, and even parents who wish to teach their own children have benefited from products Constructive Playthings has to offer.

Our passion for encouraging childhood discovery now spans three generations of family ownership and dedication, but our commitment to enriching early education and encouraging children's innate curiosity remains the same. Constructive Playthings is part of the US Toy Company family of brands, which also includes US Toy, and a US Toy retail store located in Overland Park, KS. From our family to yours, thank you for choosing to teach, inspire, and encourage the next generation of leaders.

solutions for educators


Solutions for Educators

Constructive Playthings is committed to offering sustainable solutionsfor educators. In addition to constantly seeking out new ways to create products that will encourage the longevity of our planet, we have taken steps to build an eco-friendly workplace. Look for our green leaf badge throughout our website and catalogs. It indicates products that are eco-friendly and sustainable. Help us make sustainability part of our collective future by buying green!