The best advice on children's products.
30 years of experience, honesty and professional evaluation of play, learning, toys and fun.

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Dr. Toy has caringly evaluated thousands of toys over decades of time. Her playful insight and intelligent analysis appears in the awards and toy lists below, highlighting various aspects of fun, learning and excellence.

Dr. Toy's 100 Best Toys




Dr. Toy's Best Classic Toys



Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Toys



Dr. Toy's Best Green Toys



Dr. Toy's Best Toy Picks


Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, is one of the world's leading experts on play, toys, and children's products. With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Auerbach includes educationally oriented, developmental and skill building products from the best large and small companies in her annual award programs. Many parents, teachers and toy buyers use Dr.Toy's guidance in making selections.
Play is our brain's favorite way of learning. »
How to Select and Use the Best Toys and Games

Is your child getting the most from playtime?

A child's ability to play is more than fun and diversion; play is critical for his or her emotional, physical, creative, and intellectual growth, and teaches everything from social skills to critical thinking. For the developing mind, learning to play is paramount: Learn to expand your child's ability to be playful, and increase PQ.

Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., affectionately known as Dr. Toy, has dedicated a lifetime to the importance of play, and evaluating toys, games and children's products. She offers special advice on which types of toys and games to buy for baby to older children and how to best use them. She also provides play pointers, child development principles, and many useful resources.

Fourth Edition on Sale Now

Buy E-book / $9.95 Buy Paperback / $19.95

The completely revised Fourth Edition of "Dr. Toy's Smart PLAY / Smart TOYS", is an unique, comprehensive guide to help parents select and use the best toys and games for developing "Play Quotient" (PQ) and expanding a child's playfulness. The book assists parents in navigating toy and play options, offers tips on evaluating toy safety, and suggests innumerable diverse activities. The book identifies educational and age-appropriate toys, important craft supplies for playtime and offers hundreds of useful ways to make play a life-long and nurturing experience. A great addition to the library of anyone who cares about children! This book is a valuable resource for parent, grandparents, teachers, toy store personnel, toy designers and anyone in the toy industry! The book has been published in 12 countries.

Published by Regent Press, Berkeley, California. Distributed by Ingram and Baker & Taylor.
Customized Edition available:
Contact Mark Weiman, Regent Press, 510-845-1196


•   To select toys that will benefit your child and increase "Play Quotient (PQ)."

•   How to be your child's "Play Guide."

•   How play can strengthen confidence, maturity levels, and thinking.

•   Benefits of play with toys, games, and many other objects to expand playfulness.

•   Criteria for selecting the right playthings to match each child's needs.

Practical Advice

•   Evaluating toys and games to select those most beneficial.

•   Supplies to always keep available, to encourage play.

•   Selecting principles based on Dr. Toy's Best Children's Toys and Products.

•   200 invaluable suggested playtime activities for fun over a lifetime!

What People are Saying

Dr. Toy's long and thoughtful immersion in the world of play and toys has established her as the premier authority for this often difficult combination. She "gets it" that the best use of toys is for them to serve as an extension of a child's own imaginative play drive. She also understands children's developmental stages so her book, Dr. Toy's Smart PLAY/Smart TOYS, is of inestimable help to parents and grandparents as they struggle to make good choices from among the often dazzling and confusing array offered by the toy industry.

- Stuart L Brown, MD, Founder and President, The National Institute for Play and Author, Play How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul.

Dr. Toy is simply the expert on the importance of play. In the new edition of her book, Dr. Toy's Smart PLAY/Smart TOYS, she not only provides helpful guidelines for selecting toys, she also gives hundreds of practical and easy ideas for using everyday objects for creative play. Parents and caregivers will want to keep this book handy.

- Beth Blenz-Clucas, Sugar Mountain PR,

As a pediatrician, mother of two sets of twins, and toy inventor, I have tremendous respect for the comprehensive, interesting. fact-filled and sensible advice and learning that Dr. Toy's Smart PLAY/Smart TOYS provides. This is a tremendous resource for parents, professionals working with children and buyers of products for kids. Play is so important in today's busy world. and Dr. Toy's approach to understanding play is unique and important. Fabulous book! 

- Dr. Jennifer Canter, Inventor, U·Play Mat!

As a Toy industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and product development I enjoyed reading Dr. Toy's Smart PLAY/Smart TOYS. I particularly appreciate the vast array of knowledge, information, and love for toys that Dr. Toy shares with her readers. This book is a great guide for parents to use when considering purchasing toys, and best of all, it reminds us that we're all kids at heart and never really outgrow the joy of playing with toys. It's a great read for anyone that remembers how much they enjoyed playing as they were growing up. Thank you, Dr. Toy!

- Ron Cantor, President Rainbow Concepts Inc.

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