Dr. Toy has reviewed over 350,000 toys over 30 years, with many opportunities to see thousands of toys in special situations- events, shows, exhibits, at the toy museum she established and through years of evaluating toys close up for the annual '100 Best' awards. What she looks for are toys and children's products that hold special qualities, provide extra value, are unique, and are the top design in their category. These products offer the child added play value, fun and learning
Dr. Toy's meaning of 'best' when selecting products
- Best Toys meet all the criteria for safety and provide extra value in their design and use of the product.
- Best Educational products help the child learn new skills or practice ones needed to learn at their current or next developmental level.
- Best High Tech products give the child extra value in the software or CD so that the child will find the use of the product enjoyable and educational.
- Best Socially Responsible products provide the child with understanding of their community, other people, the world and encourage acceptance and responsibility.
- Best Games encourage the child in active play and to gain skills in strategy, gamemanship and social interaction.
- Best Audio/Video products entertain and educate with excellent production plus constructive lyrics, music or stories, or show understanding of places or people.
- Best Creative products help the child expand their imagination, artistic expression, and gain new skills in self-expression.
- Best Active products stimulate the child to be more physically active, participate more fully using small and large motor skills and be better coordinated.
The kinds of products Dr Toy recommends
- Arts and Crafts products include enjoyable handicrafts for children to help them expand their skills in working with their hands and being creative.
- Audio tapes include songs, stories and places that children can or would like to visit
- Books give children enjoyment and they learn a lot from reading a great variety of books. Dr. Toy encourages parents to read aloud every day and to listen to their child read aloud also.
- Board Games provide practice for many skills that are learned around the game including concentration, strategy, communication and cooperation. Every child needs to play with a variety of games whether board games or other types.
- CDROMS should be well produced with extensive information and made to be entertaining and fun.
- Creative products help the child gain skills to expanding their imagination and self-expression.
- Dolls are magical friends who are unique and special and each one offers something to delight the child.
- Educational skills products are designed to help the child learn, strengthen existing skills and build on their current levels of ability so they can more easily move ahead with certainty.
- Games have the same values as board games , but they are printed on cards or in other formats. Also refer to board games.
- Multimedia is another way to describe CD -Roms that have multiple levels of use and are distinctive in their visuals, sound, animation, and content, etc.
- Plush toys are soft, washable, hypo-allergenic and cuddly to hold and play with and are important toys for children's emotional development.
- Puppets are created as hand -held, on string or sticks and are valuable to help children with communication skills and imagination.
- Puzzles are valuable for teaching strategies, perception and spatial relationships. They are fun to use over and over again.The child benefits in many other ways-greater awareness of colors, shapes, numbers and design.
- Software use is important for the new age of technology. The styles and content vary widely, but many offer a great range of information and entertainment.
- Toys offer the child the chance to stretch their minds, experience more joy in playing, and encourage learning many different skills while they are playing.
- Video Games can be educational and fun if they offer content rather than destruction. The purpose of the video game could be similar to the board game if designed to enhance the child's learning capacity instead of negative behavior.
- Video tapes offer stories, songs and travel to new places in wonderful formats and with many improved presentations that are entertaining and educational.
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(c) 1996, 1997 Stevanne Auerbach, PhD San Francisco, CA.
This material may not under any circumstances be resold or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author.
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