Dr. Toy® Best Picks Children’s Products for 2014 Award Report Now Available

San Francisco, CA – (October 22, 2014) – The 2014 Dr. Toy’s Best Picks Children’s Products awards report is now available to parents, teachers, and others in the online magazine, Dr. Toy’s Guide, at http://www.drtoy.com.Best_Picks_2014

The Dr. Toy® Award Program was developed by noted play and child development authority, Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, (a.k.a. Dr. Toy) in association with Jennie Ito, PhD, as a service to consumers who desire to purchase safe, affordable, educationally oriented, stimulating new toys and play products for children. This award complements the “100 Best Children’s Products Awards,” to recognize educational play products that provide additional resources for consideration and use at home and in school.

“As a childhood specialists,” says Dr. Toy, “we have seen the continuous, essential need for more year-round diverse resources for consumers to identify and choose the most appropriate, safe, and engaging learning and developmental products for all children.”

Dr. Toy reports that since the innovative online magazine Dr. Toy’s Guide has been available, “many thousands of visitors daily from around the world have easy access to our timely valued information.” The site was the first online resource to evaluate toys and children’s products.

The report, “Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Picks Children’s Products for 2014,” is being released “to encourage parents and teachers to focus on the value of play as essential to the learning process.”

Dr. Auerbach adds, “Smart play products selected from many excellent companies across the U.S.A., Canada, and other countries provide children with exciting new developmentally appropriate tools to help them do better in school, and also provide more constructive activities after school.”

Dr. Toy and Dr. Ito believe “parents and grandparents need help to gain a head start locating new, diversified products that children will enjoy while increasing skills, enhancing instruction, and expanding imagination.” The products we select are balanced among large and small companies, and range from low to high tech for “hours of active, creative, educational, and stimulating fun.”

“Children learn best through play,” says Dr. Auerbach, “and these new smart toys and products encourage children to maximize their potentials.”

“This is a good time to ‘take stock’ and do an inventory of what your child is using for play, what is not used, and what is needed next for continued development.” adds Dr. Toy.

Dr. Toy’s Guide offers excellent ideas for choosing new products for use in learning, after school play, and during the holidays ahead.

Dr. Toy’s Best Picks were carefully chosen as worthy of attention from among thousands that the Dr. Toy Team has reviewed at toy fairs, in catalogs, and through many other sources, and by using extensive criteria Dr. Toy has developed over many years.

Among the criteria used are: 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.

For complete information about these smart toys and products read the full report at www.drtoy.com.

Dr. Toy selects products that include toys, active products, audio/visuals-video tapes/CDs/DVDs, creative products, educational products, games, socially responsible products, CD-ROMs, high tech, and culturally relevant products like green toys, and more. Winning products are manufactured by established and new, large and small companies from around the world, including:

ALEX, Be Good Company, Bigjigs, DT Learning Products, DuneCraft, Fischertechnik, Folkmanis, Galison/Mudpuppy, Griddly Games, Horizon Group, Just Play, Kiwi Crate, Laser Pegs, LeapFrog, Learning Journey, MEGA Brands, MGA, Mindware, Music Together, NSI International, R&R Games, Real Tooth Fairies, Toy State International, TREND enterprises, USAopoly, VTech, Wild Republic, and others.

The Dr. Toy’s Best Picks Report includes company customer service number, website URL, age range, price, full description of each product, and more. The award-winning, online 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 currently available 100 Best, Best Classic, Best Vacation, and Best Green products. Over 6,000 products are been evaluated and bestowed with awards by Dr. Toy.

Dr. Auerbach and Dr. Ito are the only PhDs with extensive training, background and many years of experience evaluating, writing, and speaking about toys and children’s products. Dr. Auerbach and Dr. Ito are trained in education, child psychology, child development, and special education. They combine skills as educator, consultant, parent, grandparent and teacher.

“Dr. Toy’s Best Picks Children’s Products for 2014” are now available at www.drtoy.com.

Additional Points:

  • Dr. Toy’s Guide lists many useful websites and other resources on play, toys and parenting.
  • Dr. Toy presents the newest products to parents and teachers around the world.
  • Dr. Toy and Dr. Ito write, speak, and share insights about the importance of learning.
  • All toys are donated. Product and guidance information is available online.
  • Dr. Auerbach is the author of the newly released 4th Edition of Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/Smart Toys: How to Select and Use the Best Toys and Games (Regent Press), which provides useful tools to parents to enhance their child’s P.Q (Play Quotient). The book, published in China, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the USA, and will soon be available in other countries.
  • Interviews with and about Dr. Toy have appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV across the USA, in Canada, Germany, Japan, Spain, and around the world.

Dr. Toy’s report includes company name, customer service numbers, web site 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. At this time over 6000 products are included in Dr. Toy’s Guide with direct links to companies and toy stores on line, plus toy history, parent resources, and much more. See also the new iPhone App, “Dr. Toy’s Best Gift Guide,” for handy guidance as a practical take-along shopping tool.

About Dr. Toy:
Dr. Auerbach, a long-time resident of San Francisco, originally from New York City, lived in Washington, D.C., while working for the Department of Education where she approved the first proposal for “Sesame Street” and established the first day care center for children of federal employees. In San Francisco, she established the San Francisco International Toy Museum, the world’s first “hands-on” toy museum visited by over 50,000 children. The author of 15 books, including The Toy Chest, Toys for a Lifetime, The Whole Child, Choosing Child Care, and hundreds of articles on toys and play, she is the only Ph.D. in Child Development evaluating toys and children’s products with extensive training, background, and over 40 years of experience evaluating, writing and speaking about toys and children’s products. Dr. Auerbach is trained in child development, education, child psychology and special education. She is an educator, consultant, parent, and playful grandparent. Her book, Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/Smart Toys: How to Raise a Child with a High PQ (Play Quotient), which is published in 12 countries, may be obtained through www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com and at other book stores.

Dr. Jennie Ito has been involved in learning the skills and evaluating product. She is an experienced play and toy consultant and a mother of two very playful children. She has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, with a specialization in 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. She later worked as a content expert for the Association of Children’s Museum’s Playing for Keeps Play Initiative, providing play resources to parents and museum professionals. Dr. Ito works as a toy evaluation specialist for Dr. Toy’s Guide.

Dr. Auerbach, founder of the popular web site, Dr. Toy’s Guide, has welcomed Jennie Ito, PhD, to her team. They 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 and 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.

Additional Points:

  • Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/Smart Toys: How to Raise a Child with a High PQ (Play Quotient) is a unique guide that provides tools to parents to help them enhance their child’s PQ (Play Quotient) — a concept Dr. Toy originated. The book is also published in China, Croatia, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, and other countries.
  • Articles about and by Dr. Toy have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, in Canada, and around the world. Also, read other articles on play and toys by Dr. Toy on The Huffington Post.
  • Check also Dr. Toy’s Best Gift Guide App.

Interviews regarding recommended best smart toys and play products can be arranged through Greg Walsh, Walsh PR (203-292-6280) greg@walshpr.com

Alphabetical Listing of Award Winning Companies


# Company Product Name and Type Age Price CustSrv# Website
1. 4M Indus.Develop. Glow Window Mosaic CP AC ES PZ 7-12 $13.00 800-356-0474 www.4m-ind.com
2. ALEX Brands Alex Toys Pinball Painter CP AC 4-12 $27.95 800-666-2539 www.alexbrands.com
3. ALEX Brands Ideal 40-Trick Magic Show Kit PZ GE FP NO 7-12 $14.99 800-666-2539 www.alexbrands.com
4. Ann Williams Grp Craft-tastic Pom Pom Kit CP AC 8-12 $24.99 248-731-8588 www.annwilliamsgroup.com
5. Be Good Company KwikSand Play Set – Brick Builder AE CP TY CO 3-10 $24.99 650-488-4477 www.begoodcompany.com
6. Beezi Inc Beezi the spelling game ES LA GE BG 7-12 $29.95 416-254-9097 www.beezibeez.com
7. Bigjigs Toy Fairy Town Train Set TY CO TS WT 3-7 $99.95 866-459-7829 www.bigjigstoys.com
8. Brand 44 Slackers 100′ Night Riderz Zipline AE OP AS EL 8-12 $199.99 303-339-0482 www.brand44co.com
9. Calendar Holdings Pathwayz GE BG 8-12 $29.99 866-611-2248 www.pathwayzgame.com
10. Discover w/Dr. Cool Crystal Growing Kit – Red Aragonite CP AC ES SC 6-12 $9.99 855-437-2665 www.discoverwithdrcool.com
11. Discover w/Dr. Cool World’s Best Geode Kit! AE OP ES SC 6-12 $49.95 855-437-2665 www.discoverwithdrcool.com
12. DT Learning Prods Bazaar ES MA GE BG 8-12 $35.00 800-341-8697 www.discoverytoys.net
13. DuneCraft Grow Your Own Oyster Mshrms. ES GN SC NO 3-12 $19.99 800-306-4168 www.dunecraft.com
14. DuneCraft Mini Fairy Garden Glass Terr. ES GN SC NO 3-12 $14.99 800-306-4168 www.dunecraft.com
15. eKids Disney Frozen Cool Tunes Boombox MM CE FP ML 3-5 $29.99 888-867-8697 www.eKids.com
16. fischertechnik fischertechnik Dynamic XL CP CO SC GN 9-12 $200.00 888-561-7521 www.fischertechnik.com
17. Folkmanis Sea Turtle Puppet CP TY PL PU 3-12 $29.99 800-654-8922 www.folkmanis.com
18. FoxMind Games Fingo ES GE MA 5-12 $11.99 866-369-6463 www.foxmind.com
19. FunBites FunBites AC CP ES OT 1-8 $12.99 917-494-4307 www.funbites.com
20. Galison/Mudpuppy Pixel Pictures CP AC PZ AP 4-12 $9.99 212-354-8840 www.galison.com
21. GameBrotherZ Tracktic BG GE 10-12 $34.99 514-564-6379 www.gamebrotherz.com
22. GameWhys I Lands GE SR GN CT 8-12 $25.00 415-533-6770 www.gamewhys.com
23. Geomagworld KOR Geomag Tazoo Paco CP FP HO TY 5-12 $45.00 301-895-5593 www.geomagworld.com
24. Geospace Int’l Geoflux™ Interactive Spring Toy AE OP ES NO 6-16 $17.99 800-800-5090 www.geospaceplay.com
25. Griddly Games 5 Stones GE OT NO 6-12 $8.95 604-240-5020 www.griddlygames.com
26. Happy Smiles for Kids Military Buddy DO PL HM SR 0-9 $22.99 541-232-8689 www.happysmilesforkids.com
27. Happy Smiles for Kids Sandman Doll CP DO SR TY 0-8 $19.99 541-232-8689 www.happysmilesforkids.com
28. Horizon Group Puppy Purse AC AS HM PL 6-9 $14.97 908-810-1111 www.craftprojectideas.com
29. Horizon Group Strike a Cord Loom CP AC AS HM 6-9 $12.97 908-810-1111 www.craftprojectideas.com
30. Jada Toys Sofia First & Walking Minimus TY DO TS 4-12 $34.99 626-810-8382 www.jadatoys.com
31. Jay@Play SeatPets TY PL TR 3-12 $19.99 212-679-3022 www.jayatplay.com
32. Just Play Puppy Surprise TY PL 4-12 $24.99 800-317-3245 www.justplaytoys.com
33. Kahootz Fashion Plates CP AC AP TR 6-12 $24.99 734-222-9798 www.kahootztoys.com
34. Kid O Toys Marble Maze ES PZ GE TR 3-12 $10.00 212-366-5858 www.kidotoys.com
35. Kiwi Crate Doodle Crate AE AP CP ES 9-12 $16.95 888-574-6387 www.kiwicrate.com
36. Kiwi Crate Koala Crate AC AP CP ES 3-4 $16.95 888-574-6387 www.kiwicrate.com
37. Laser Pegs 3 in 1 ZD001 Zippy Do ES SR CO AP 5-12 $12.99 866-432-3735 www.laserpegs.com
38. Laser Pegs 8 in 1 Power Block Car ES SR CO AP 5-12 $24.99 866-432-3735 www.laserpegs.com
39. Laser Pegs EDU1000 Education Series TY OT SR ES 5-12 $99.99 866-432-3735 www.laserpegs.com
40. LeapFrog LeapPad3 ES EL TC EG 3-9 $99.99 800-701-5327 www.leapfrog.com
41. Learning Journey MarbleTrax UnderSea Adv. ES SC TY CO 4-7 $39.99 877-839-3969 www.thelearningjourney.com
42. Learning Journey Touch & Learn Electronic Keyboard OT ML 3-6 $19.99 877-839-3969 www.thelearningjourney.com
43. Learning Journey Touch & Learn Mathematics Bot ES MA GE EG 3-8 $27.99 877-839-3969 www.thelearningjourney.com
44. Little Champ. Reader 3-Level Reading Kit ES MM DV LA 3-7 $149.99 615-796-8687 www.littlechampionreader.com
45. MandarinaKids Vroom Vroom Kids Fun Chinese ES BG CT DV 3-6 $55.90 +65 97822052 www.mandarinakids.com
46. MEGA Brands Graphic Skinz Design Studio AC AP CP NO 6 -12 $29.99 800-465-6342 www.graphicskinz.com
47. MEGA Brands Barbie Build ‘N Play Fairy Treehouse CR AC FP HO 4-8 $19.99 800-465-6342 www.megabloks.com
48. MGA Little Tikes Big Dog AE EQ CO TS 12-3 $44.99 800-222-4685 www.littletikes.com
49. MGA Moxie Girlz Ice Cream Bike & Doll TY DO 3-12 $34.99 800-222-4685 www.littletikes.com
50. MindWare KEVA Brain Builders ES AP CO WT 7-12 $19.95 800-999-0398 www.mindware.com
51. MindWare Staxis GE BG 6-12 $29.95 800-999-0398 www.mindware.com
52. Miniland Educational Super Blocks Track Set #2 CO FP AP TY 18 mo-5 $49.96 786-369-7875 www.minilandeducational.com
53. Music Together Sandpiper Music Together BO CP ES ML 1-7 $13.95 800-728-2692 www.musictogether.com
54. NSI Int’l Wubble Bubble Ball AE OP OT NO 6-12 $25.00 888-425-9113 www.wubbleball.com
55. R&R Games Strike A Pose CP AE GE 10-12 $19.95 888-874-3353 www.rnrgames.com
56. Real Tooth Fairies Triana Becomes a Real Tooth Fairy ES BO SR CT 4-11 $19.99 910-509-0565 www.therealtoothfairies.com
57. Seedling Create your own Designer Tutu AC CS FP NO 4-12 $59.99 855-500-9260 www.seedlingusa.com
58. SmartLab Toys It’s Alive! Slime Lab CP SC ES TY 8-12 $24.99 866-319-5900 www.smartlabtoys.com
59. Tech 4 Kids My Little Pony Fash’Ems HO NO TY OT 3-12 $2.99 800-359-6088 www.tech4kids.com
60. Toy State Hot Wheels High Jump Frenzy R/C AE OP EL TY 8-12 $49.99 781-349-1000 www.toystate.com
61. Toy State Hot Wheels Hyper Racer AE OP EL TY 3-5 $14.99 781-349-1000 www.toystate.com
62. Toy State Road Rippers Piston Thumper AE OP EL TS 3-5 $19.99 781-349-1000 www.toystate.com
963. TREND enterprises Dinosaur Mighty Match Challenge AP CG ES SC 3-11 $2.99 800-860-6762 www.trendenterprises.com
64. TREND enterprises Hide ‘n Seek Adventures Owl-Stars! AP BO ES TR 3-6 $4.99 800-860-6762 www.trendenterprises.com
65. USAOPOLY Selfie: The Game of Silly Expressions CE AP GE MM 12-12 $14.95 888-876-7659 www.usaopoly.com
66. VTech Chomp & Count Dino ES MM ML TR 1-3 $19.99 800-521-2010 www.vtechkids.com
67. VTech Kidizoom Smartwatch OP ES MM TR 4-12 $59.99 800-521-2010 www.vtechkids.com
68. VTech Sit-to-Stand Smart Cruiser ES MM  ML TR 6-3 $39.99 800-521-2010 www.vtechkids.com
69. Wild Republic Express Trains HO OT TS TY 3-12 $15.00 800-800-9678 www.wildrepublic.com
70. Wonder Workshop Dot MM TC ES SW 5-12 $59.00 415-217-9682 www.makewonder.com
71. Zuru Toys My Magical Mermaid CP BA OT TY 3-10 $9.99 416-551-0822 www.zurutoys.com

Product Type Code:

AC = arts and crafts
AE = active
AP = activity product
AS = accessories/decoration
BA = bath toy
BG = board game
BO = book
CE = children’s entertainment
CG = card game
CO =construction
CP = creative product
CR = computer-related
CS = costume
CT = cultural
DO = doll
EG = electronic game
EL = electronic product
EQ = equipment
ES = educational skills
FP = fantasy play
GE = game
GN = green
HM = handmade
HO = hobby
LA = language
MA = math
ML = musical
MM = multimedia
NO = novelty
OP = outdoor play
OT = other
PL = plush
PU = puppet
SC = science
SR = socially responsible
SW = software
TC = technical product
TR = travel
TS = transportation
TY = toy
WT = wood toy