Dr. Toy's Best Toys

By Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D.
Monday October 03, 2011 - 11:25:00 AM

“Hot” is not what makes toys great, because “hot” gets cold fast. What is more important is play value of the toy, appropriateness for child’s age, interests and abilities plus the child’s ability to be playful, and engage with the right toy that best matches the child. Dr. Toy reminds parents and teachers that “play is children’s work” and should be respected and understood by all adults. We should be thinking: “What products or ‘tools for play’ can we obtain to provide wholesome experiences for children and plenty of positive play interactions?” 

Let’s start Gift Suggestions with Dr Toy’s Ten Best Basic Toys every child should play with anytime: 


  1. BALL—available in all sizes and shapes so find the one your child can pick up and play with most easily
  2. BOARD GAME- many different ones are excellent and fun for child and whole family to play with
  3. CAR- and other transportation toys like a truck or train engage child in role playing and active play.
  4. CONSTRUCTION TOY- wonderful diversity of construction toys from plastic, metal to wood each provide skill building and logical thinking and great for eye hand coordination and imagination
  5. CRAYONS –colorful crayons help the child learn colors and discover their artist within as they explore what they can do with self expression
  6. DOLL- choices abound as your child enjoy friendship, communication, sharing secrets, learning to dress and undress, and further develop socially and emotionally.
  7. PUPPET-perfect for reading books aloud and for role playing anytime.
  8. PUZZLE- excellent for learning to match, discovery and manipulation skills.
  9. TELEPHONE- the right choice for communication and language development.
  10. WOODEN BLOCKS-basic tools for building and stacking as child wishes.

Dr Toy selects Best Products in different categories to support children’s learning, variety of skills, physical activity, and creativity. See Dr Toy’s Guide www.drtoy.com for more details on these products and others selected throughout the year including Best Classic, Vacation, Green Best Picks, and other great play products. The winning products include socially responsible, innovative toys, games, books, videos, audiotapes, software, CDs, DVDs, crafts, and other children's products. 

Dr. Auerbach believes, "parents need help to get a head start locating new, diversified products that children will enjoy using while they increase learning skills, enhance instruction, and expand creativity.” 

To help make choices for appealing and worthwhile gifts here are Dr. Toy’s winners matched to skills. 



  • Active Play – Alpha Toys (Alphabeasts), Carrera (Porto Corsa Racing), Constructive Eating (Three Garden Utensils), Fisher-Price (Big Action Construction Site), Funrise Toys (Tonka Strong Arm Cement Mixer), Funtastic/QuickSmart (QuickSmart Scramble Bug), Green Toys (Flatbed Truck & Race Car), Gryphon House (Budding Chef), iStar Entertainment (FyrFlyz), Jennara Productions (Miss Barbara's Pirate Adventure), Manhattan Toy (Quadrilla Twist & Rail Set), Metro Design (48" Play Wheel), MGA (Little Tikes Cozy Truck), Spin Master (Air Hogs Hyperactive), uKloo Kids (uKloo Treasure Hunt), Wishbone Design (Wishbone Flip), WowToyz (3D Dinosaur Puzzles).
  • Construction Play – Citiblocs(Little Builder Rattle Blocs), Fat Brain Toy (Tobbles ), Fisher-Price (Big Action Construction Site), HABA (Animal Upon Animal), Innovation First Labs (Hexbug Nano Hive Habitat), Laser Pegs Ventures (3D Lite Board), LEGO Systems (Ninjago: Fire Temple), Yoshiritsu (Hamacron Constructor).
  • Creativity & Art – Colorforms (Original Colorforms Set), Fat Brain Toy (Tobbles), Giddy Up! (Movie Make Up), Int'l Playthings (Glamology Enhancing Pack 4), Learning Materials (Coloraturo), Little Kids (Bend & Build Foamstructure), Patch Products (Design 'N' Doodle Silly Zoo), ThinkFun (Cartoon It!), Tiny Green Bee (Crunch a Color™), Wild Republic (Nuts & Bolts).
  • Creativity & Music – APA Animation Prod. (Sookie & Finn), Copy-Kids (Eat Fruits & Vegetables), Maestro Classics (My Name Is Handel), Music Intelligence Proj. (Tuneables:I Love Music!), MusiGo (Going Places), QuaverMusic.com (Quaver's Marvelous World of Music), Right Road Prod. (Right Road for Kids! Episode 1: You Are Special!), Rock 'N Learn (Sight Words), Sockeye Media (Nursery Rhyme Singing Time), Whistlefritz (Las Estaciones).
  • Technology – ClickN Kids (Looney Tunes ClickN READ), Cognitive Kid (Ansel & Clair's Adven.-Africa), Gund (Peek-A-Boo Bear), Hasbro (Cookie, My Playful Pup), Learning Journey (ABC WordPad), Smart Bomb Interactive (National Geographic Animal Jam), SmartLab Toys (Recon 6.0 Programmable Rover), Super Duper® Pub (Funzee Everyday Go-Togethers Software), Visions of the Millenium (Tell Me What Am I – Animal), VTech (2-in-1 Discovery Table), Your Baby Can (Your Child Can Discover!).
  • Language/Learning/Math & Reading Readiness – Abligio Books (Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!), Alpha Toys (Alphabeasts), Bailiwick Press (Cahoots ), BrillKids Int'l (Little Reader Deluxe), Critical Thinking (Crypto Mind Benders: Famous Quotes), Discover w/Dr. Cool (Break Open Real Geodes), Griddly Games (Oversight), Kids II (Sensory Plush Pals), Klutz (Guide to the Galaxy), K'NEX (Classic K'NEXosaurus Rex), Leo Marshall Designs (LeCardo), Lucky Cat Prod (Math Park).
  • Puzzles & Logical Thinking Games – b. dazzle (Temple in Paradise), Bloco Toys (Primates of the World Collection), Blue Orange (Fastrack), Cepia (DaGeDar), Continuum Games (Barnyard Stampede), FoxMind Canada (Fauna), Fun and Function (Social (e)Motion), Gamewright (Mermaid Beach), GaZima Games (Stomple), INI (Dabble), Lindergaff (Synonyms), Non-Trivial Quest (Non-Trivial Quest), POOF-Slinky (Our America Game), Pressman Toy (Ultimate Mastermind), Techno Source (Tetris Link), University Games (Kids Battle the Grown Ups), USAOPOLY (Telestrations).
  • Social & Dramatic Play – ALEX (Ready, Set, Tell Time!), Alpha Toys (Alphabeasts), Aeromax (My 1st Career Gear Assortment), B. by Battat (Car Go CarGo), Berjuan Toys (Breast Milk Baby Doll), Corolle Dolls (Bébé Amour), Chicco (Lemmy My First Puppy), Fashion Angels (Fashion Design Projector Set), Giddy Up! (Movie Make Up), Golly Gee-pers! (Table Manners Cards), Int'l Playthings (Glamology Enhancing Pack 4), MGA (Mini Lalaloopsy Treehouse), Ragananda (Ragananda Doll), Royal Council (Every Kindness Counts), Zing Toys (IckeeStikeez).
  • Socially Responsible Products – ALEX (Ready, Set, Tell Time!), b. dazzle (Temple in Paradise), Berjuan Toys (Breast Milk Baby Doll), Connor's Science Universe (Crystal Explosion), DuneCraft (Rainforest Biosphere), Giddy Up! (Movie Make Up), Golly Gee-pers! (Table Manners Cards), Int'l Playthings (Glamology Enhancing Pack 4), Royal Council (Every Kindness Counts), Tiny Green Bee (Crunch a Color), Worry Chest System (Worry Chest System).

Dr Toy’s Ten Best Toys-2011 



  • Citiblocs (Little Builder Rattle Blocs),
  • Fisher-Price (Big Action Construction Site),
  • Green Toys (Flatbed Truck & Race Car),
  • nnovation First Labs (Hexbug Nano Hive Habitat),
  • Star Entertainment (FyrFlyz),
  • Laser Pegs Ventures(3D Lite Board)
  • LEGO Systems (Ninjago: Fire Temple )
  • Little Tikes/MGA(Little Tikes Cozy Truck),
  • Spin Master (Air Hogs Hyperactive)
  • oshiritsu (Hamacron Constructor).

*Dr Toy’s Best Toys Awards 

"Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products" was developed by noted child development authority, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. (a.k.a. "Dr. Toy") as a service to consumers who desire to purchase safe, affordable, educationally oriented, and stimulating toys and products for children. Dr. Auerbach introduced “Dr. Toy's Guide” when she saw the need for more year-round resources for consumers to identify and choose the most appropriate, safe and engaging learning and developmental products for all children. Dr. Toy’s Guide www.drtoy.com was the first website about toys. Her book, Dr Toy’s Smart Play/Smart Toys: How to Raise a Child with a High P.Q. (Play Quotient) for parents, and others who care about children. In addition to her "100 Best Children’s Products," Dr. Toy awards for the “Best Classic,” the “Best Green,” and the “Best Vacation. “ All award winners are carefully chosen from among many hundreds that Dr. Auerbach reviews at toy fairs, in catalogs, and through many sources. She uses extensive criteria that she has developed over many years. For more information, go to http://www.drtoy.com.