Selected by Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. (Dr. Toy) and Jennie Ito, Ph.D.  Best_Vacation_Winner

San Francisco, CA – (June 24, 2015) – The report of winning toys for Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Products for 2015 is now available to parents, teachers and others interested in play and toys on Dr. Toy’s Guide. The information is designed to assist children to play and learn at home and while on vacation.

Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Products Awards were established by noted child development authority, Stevanne Auerbach, PhD (a.k.a. Dr. Toy). She and her associate, Dr. Jennie Ito, select these winning products, which provide a valued 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.

“As a childhood specialist for more than 40 years,” says Dr. Toy, “I have seen the continuous, essential need for more year-round resources for consumers to identify and choose the most appropriate and timely products for all children.”

Dr. Toy reports that over the years the innovative, on-line magazine, Dr. Toy’s Guide, has been available to “many thousands of visitors daily from around the world to access its information.” This first website to evaluate toys and children’s products is now updated. The report is being released, according to Dr. Toy, to “encourage parents and teachers to focus on the value of play during the summer (and year round) as essential to the overall learning process.”

She adds, “The Best Vacation Children’s Products are a balanced selection from large, small, new, and established companies across the US, Canada, and around the world, and will provide children with exciting new learning tools that will help them not only do better in school, but also will provide more constructive activities while traveling or at vacation destinations.”

The award winning products include innovative toys, books, crafts, games, puzzles, and many other play products for children of all ages and interests.

Dr. Toy and Dr. Ito believe “parents need more help to get a head start locating new, quality, diversified products that children will enjoy as they increase learning skills and expand creativity.” The products range from low- to high-tech for “hours of constructive, educational, and stimulating fun.”

“Children learn best through play,” say Dr. Auerbach and Dr. Ito, “and these Best Vacation Products encourage children to maximize their potential and make the most of Smart Play while on vacation. By making a renewed focus on summertime as a special time for choosing new products for children, parents help to improve their children’s development. This is a perfect time for parents to ‘take stock’ of the inventory of what their children are playing with, what is not being used, and what they need next in their development.”

Using extensive criteria developed over many years, Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Products are carefully chosen from among hundreds reviewed at toy fairs, in catalogs, and through many other sources. The criteria includes: 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.

These are products suitable for babies to older children, include products from hand-crafted to hi-tech, and range in price on the average from $10 to $50. The winning vacation products are affordable, well designed, and reflect the wide range of children’s interests. Complete information about these and other products are included in the full report.

Dr. Toy’s report includes company customer service numbers, website addresses, age range, price, and a full description of each product. The award-winning, on-line magazine, Dr. Toy’s Guide, features full color photos of each product, links to companies to learn more, interviews with and articles by Dr. Toy, plus hundreds of other Best Products for all reasons and seasons.

Over 6000 products are included in Dr. Toy’s Guide with direct links to companies and toy stores online, plus toy history, parent resources, and much more.

See also the iPhone App, “Dr. Toy’s Best Gift Guide,” for handy guidance as a practical take-along shopping tool.

About Dr. Toy Team: Dr. Auerbach is the author of 15 books, including The Toy Chest, Toys for a Lifetime, The Whole Child, and Choosing Child Care, has written hundreds of articles on toys and play, and has over 40 years of experience evaluating, writing, and speaking about toys and children’s products. Dr. Auerbach, trained in child development, education, child psychology, and special education is also a consultant, parent, and playful grandparent. Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/Smart Toys: How to Select and Use the Best Toys and Games, now in its 4th Edition, is published in 12 countries. You may obtain it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and at book stores and toy stores everywhere. Articles featuring Dr. Toy have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the US, Canada, and around the world. Articles on play and toys by Dr. Toy are also found on The Huffington Post.
Also check out Dr. Toy’s Best Gift Guide App

Dr. Jennie Ito, PhD, is the mother of two preschoolers. She received her degree in Developmental Psychology from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Ito’s designated area of specialization is children’s play and cognitive development. She began her career with a fellowship in Museum Evaluation and Museum Education at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Dr. Ito has been a Content Expert with the Playing for Keeps Play Initiative for the Association of Children’s Museum, providing play resources to parents and museum professionals.

About Dr. Toy Awards: Stevanne Auerbach, PhD and Jennie Ito, PhD comprise the only PhD duo in Child Development evaluating the best developmentally appropriate toys and children’s products. Through the Dr. Toy Award Programs they recognize the best toys and play things in many categories including, Best of the Year, Best Picks, Best Classics, Best Vacation, and Best Green. The website has links to the product makers, retailers, and other useful sites for parents, teachers, children, and toy enthusiasts. Dr. Toy’s Guide  provides all pertinent information and includes photos, complete product descriptions, links to company sites, and consumer information. Interact with Dr. Toy on social media through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Selected by Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. (Dr. Toy) and Dr. Jennie Ito



Product Type




b. dazzle Mount Rushmore Scramble Squares Puzzle ES GG PZ SR $9.95 4-12 800-809-4242
Blue Box Toys Say ‘n Play Remote ES LA TY TR $13.99 6 mos-3 973-740-8882
Brainwright On the Line ES PZ AP CP $11.99 10-12 617-926-8080
Fitivities Fitivities AE BG AP ES $39.99 6-12 844-348-4263
Gamewright Super Tooth GE CG ES SC $10.99 6-12 800-638-7568
Gamewright Flashlights & Fireflies OP GE AE AP $15.99 6-12 800-638-7568
Green Kids Club Green Kids Club Camping Set ES SR EQ OP $39.50 4-9 208-881-5184
Griddly Games Just Add Milk AC ES SC HM $14.50 5-12 604-249-5020
Horizon Group Think Box: Roving Robot AC SC CO TC $14.99 8-12 908-810-1111
ImagAbility WEDGNETiX CP AP ES CO $39.99 5-12 530-295-8570
Imagination Supply Co. DIY Car CP ES SR CO $14.99 5-12 347-565-4784
InRoad Toys Thomas & Friends Track PlayTape HO CO TR AP $9.99 3-12 888-311-7165
Kendama USA Kaizen-Padauk-Silk-Mint CP SR GE WO $34.99 9-12 770-803-1000
LeapFrog Learning Lights Remote ES LA MM AE $12.99 6 mos-3 800-701-5327
LEGO Systems Fire Suitcase AC AP CO TR $19.99 4-12 860-835-4386
Lil’ Waves LLC Beachpool Kit OP EQ PT TR $36.95 3-6 800-545-9283
Lulu Jr. IlluStory Junior AC BO LA AP $19.99 4-10 844-639-3309
Marbles: The Brain Store Sock Puppet Charades CP GE AP PU $24.99 8-12 877-527-2460
Marbles: The Brain Store Tugie GE ES SR AE $29.99 5-12 877-527-2460
NSI Int’l Tiny Wubble OP AP NO TR $9.99 6-12 888-425-9113
OgoSport Aero Zipp Disk AE OP TY AP $20.00 6-12 718-554-0777
Re-Marks Map of the USA 850 Piece Puzzle GG PZ ES SR $23.99 8-12 800-262-0923
Rock ‘N Learn Alphabet Al’s ABC Board Book of Words & Rhymes ES BO LA AP $8.99 2-6 800-348-8445
Rock ‘N Learn Colors, Shapes & Counting Board Book BO ES MM $8.99 2-6 800-348-8445
Seedling USA Design Butterfly Wings AC AE CP OP $37.99 3-12 855-500-9260
Seedling USA Design Stencil Tote Bag CP AS HM HO $39.99 5-12 855-500-9260
SimplyFun Grill Party ES MA GE BG $30.00 8-12 877-557-7767
Smart Toys & Games Penguins Parade PZ BG AP TR $9.99* 5-10 800-542-6375
Tactic Games Minions Hit Them Out ES AE OP GE $24.99 5-12 216-288-0087
Tactic Games Ty Beanie Boos Friends Game ES GE BG PL $11.99 4-8 216-288-0087
Twizmo! Games tak-tak TR BG ES TY $16.95 8-12 301-895-4043
VTech Innotab Max ES MM IN TR $109.99 3-9 800-521-2010
VTech Kidizoom Action Cam OP TC PT TR $59.99 4-12 800-521-2010
Yvolution Loopa OP AP TR EQ $79.99 3-5 855-373-1235

Product information updated regularly on

AC = Arts & Crafts
AE = Active Toy
AP = Activity Product
BG = Board Game
BO = Book
CG = Card Game
CO = Construction Toy
CP = Creative Product
EQ = Equipment
ES = Educational Skills Product
GE = Game
GG = Geography
HM = Hand-Made
HO = Hobby
IN = Internet/Website
LA = Language
MA = Math
MM = Multimedia
NO = Novelty
OP = Outdoor Play
PL = Plush Toy
PT = Pool Toy
PU = Puppet
PZ = Puzzle
SC = Science
SR = Socially Responsible
TC = Technology
TR = Travel item
TY = Toy
WT = Wooden Toy