Frank and Theresa Caplan founded Creative Playthings in 1945 to produce deliberately simple, well-designed toys that encouraged children to use their imaginations and develop their intellects. At first, the company offered hollow hardwood building blocks. Later, Creative Playthings added simple toys and shapes designed for little hands to handle and manipulate. The company also offered play sets with animals, people, buildings, vehicles, and other toys of wood in stylized or abstract forms. The company added toys in plastics when the material proved cost effective and easier and lighter than wood for children to play with. Parents trusted Creative Playthings toys in part because the Caplans, in addition to running a toy-making company, published several works on child development including "The First Twelve Years of Life: Your Baby's Growth Month by Month," "The Value of Play for Learning," and "The Power of Play." The company developed its Discovery of the Month subscription series to encourage kids in self-directed learning in the sciences. Kits of the series included World of Illusions, Buildings and Structures, Earth and Universe, The Color of Light, and Musical Instruments.