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Dr. Toy Announces 100 Best Children’s Products of 2010

As a natural, on–going part of our work as parents, teachers, early childhood specialists, and others involved with children at home or elsewhere, Dr. Toy observes children at play. With her own eyes she sees what works…and what doesn’t hold up under tough testing – the normal barrage of active, inquisitive, and resourceful babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and older children. This guide is offered to complement your observations and to help you in selecting the right products to enhance play and learning.

We make buying decisions based on lasting play value and product applicability to children’s active, creative, and educational experiences. We can depend on the durability and versatility of such items as blocks, construction toys, games, puppets, and transportation toys. They stimulate the imagination, engage the player, have value, and hold up over time. We want to apply these standards to all the choices we make. We often hear consumers describe their experience of making a purchase, but shortly after giving little Sally or Sammy the product it falls apart – a frustrating and expensive process. Products that do not meet safety standards can be dangerous and can cause harm to children. We want to avoid these problems and always strive for excellence. Dr. Toy spends a great deal of time reviewing a large quantity of products created by myriad manufacturers and designers. She makes sure her selections match the criteria for excellence.

Certainly age grading, name recognition, company dependability, versatility of design, and place of purchase are factors to obtain the right product. Another aspect is a warranty. Rising costs for products require us to be wise consumers and to get extra lasting value. Certainly durable products, properly designed, and developmentally correct are worth the money. Children’s positive reactions are worth the extra effort. Dr. Toy utilizes a complicated set of objective and subjective criteria to evaluate toys and other products. Some questions she asks are:

·         Is this product worth the price?
·         Does it have lasting play value?
·         Is it appropriate?
·         Is it fun?
·         Does it meet safety standards?

Dr. Toy is pleased to have the opportunity to share her years of play and toy experiences with consumers to assist them in the selection process. This timely report features information about l00 wonderful new toys and products from large and small companies. The toys and products selected meet her high standards for design, durability, price, quality, safety, and value.

Dr. Toy reminds parents and teachers, “Let’s not forget 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 provide plenty of positive play interactions.”

Following are examples of award-winning toys and products and the companies that make them grouped in selected categories of “smart” play. You can find more products by assigned codes that designate types of products.

Active Play – Carrera (Police Chase), GeoPalz (Kids Pedometer), Hallmark Cards (Interactive Story Book/Buddy), Hap-Pal Music (Learning in Two Languages), Int’l Playthings (Shop’n Cart), Maranda Enterprises (Rollors), Monkey Business (E-Z Bat) ,MGA (Cozy Shopping Cart), Music Together (Family Favorites® 2), North American Bear, (Pet Doctor), One World Futbol Project (e World Futbol), Patch Products (3D Sneaky Singin’ Sea Creatures), Rubbabu (2Skoolbus), Tangle Creations (Hairy Tangle Jr), Tot Talk (Let’s Play Soccer Placemat).

Construction Play – Big Voorah Productions (Staccabees), Bloco Toys (Velociraptor & Pterosaur), Innovation First Labs (HEXBUG Nano Habitat Set), K’NEX (Light-Up Ferris Wheel), LEGO Systems (Minotaurus), WABA Fun (Superstructs Custom Kit), Yoshiritsu Co (LaQ Imaginal Hamacron). 

Creativity & Art — Center Enterprises (Paint & Clay Texture Rollers), Cra-Z-Art (Electra Doodle), Creativity for Kids (Create Your Own 3 Bitty Books), Eye Think (Strobotop LightPhase Animator), Fundamentally Kids® (My Wrap®), Giddy Up! (Fuzzoodles Fluffy Friends), Goldberger Co. (Zip-ity Princess), Hallmark Cards (Interactive Story Book/Buddy), Jade’s ToyBox (Moody Foodie Mini Box), Spin Master (Moon Dough Barnyard),VELCRO KIDS® (Royal Princess Castle Playset), Wikki Stix (Wikki Stix for Rainy Day), Wooky Entertainment (Block Crayon). 

Creativity & Music – Abligio Books (Best Multiplication Songs EVER!), ATP Electronics (Sesame Street Video USB), Exploramania® (Exploracise® Gymathtics), Hap-Pal Music (Learning in Two Languages), Juno Company (Day the Music Stopped), Little Pim (Spanish Deluxe Gift Set), Look Out World (New York Adventure Kit), Maestro Classics (Tortoise and the Hare CD), Music Together (Family Favorites® 2), PBS Home Video (Dinosaurs in the Snow), Rock ‘N Learn (Phonics Vol. 1 & 2), Smithsonian Folkways (Sunny Day), TMT Global (Teach Me Tiger Value Pac), Whistlefritz (Cha, Cha, Cha). 

Technology –ATP Electronics (Sesame Street Video USB), Cepia (ZhuZhu Pet Wild Bunch), Chicco (Magic Window Talking Farm), Eye Think (Strobotop Light Phase Animator), Ganz (Webkinz Jr.), GoLearn Toys (TimeBuddy), Hallmark Cards (Interactive Story Book/Buddy), Inspiration Software (Kidspiration 3), Learning Journey (ABC Melody Maker), Publications Int’l (Record a Story), WowWee (Paper Jamz). 

Language/Learning/Math & Reading Readiness — Brainy Baby (Natura Nativa Learning), MediaBright Spots Games (Feelings in the Wild-Bingo), Bright Starts (Activi-Tree), Creativity for Kids (Create Own 3 Bitty Books), Discovery Toys (Story Stacker), Fun & Function (Guess What I Feel?), GoLearn Toys (TimeBuddy), Grasshopper Kits (Grasshopper Preschool Prep Kit), HABA (Domino Zippy Scooters), Hap-Pal Music (Learning in Two Languages), Playmates Toys, Inc. (Hearts for Hearts Girls), Jade’s ToyBox (Moody Foodie Mini Box), Learning Journey (ABC Melody Maker), Learning Resources (Gingerbread Shape Sorter), Little Pim (Spanish Deluxe Gift Set), North American Bear (Pet Doctor), Paradigm Devices (Word Wheels), PBS Home Video (Dinosaurs in the Snow), Pearson (Stay-on-Track Packs), Plushy Feely (Kimochis-Toys w/Feelings Inside®), Publications Intl (Record a Story), Rock ‘N Learn (Phonics Vol. 1 & 2), Rubbabu (2Skoolbus), Sandvik Innovations (Jump into Numbers), Schoenhut Piano (Dog Piano), Smart Play (Easy Translator), Teach My Toddler(Teach My Preschooler) Tier Toys (Animal Stackers Barn Yard) Tot Talk(Let’s Play Soccer Placemat)Twisterz Toys (Alphabet Matcher),  Whistlefritz (Cha, Cha, Cha) Wild Republic (Audubon Birds – Babies). 

Puzzles & Logical Thinking Games – b. dazzle (Dragonflies Scramble Squares®), Idea Storm Products (Yamodo! Good to Go! Themes), Wonder Chess (WonderElla), Griddly Games (Chronicles of the Mind), Purrfect Games & Puzzles (Architectural Collection), Patch Products (3D Sneaky Singin’ Sea Creatures), Gorgeous Products (Boikido Geometric Stacking Puzzle). 

Social & Dramatic Play –ALEX (Talk of the Farm), Cepia (ZhuZhu Pet Wild Bunch), Corolle Dolls (Lou), Dandelion (Organic Toddler Doll), Discovery Toys (Story Stacker), Dream Big Toy Co (Go! Go! Sports Girls), Gamewright (Sounds Like a Plan), Goldberger Co. (Zip-ity Princess), Hallmark Cards (Interactive Story Book/Buddy), Playmates Toys, Inc. (Hearts for Hearts Girls), Int’l Playthings (Shop’n Cart), Jade’s ToyBox (Moody Foodie Mini Box), LEGO Systems (Minotaurus), Little Pim (Spanish Deluxe Gift Set), North American Bear (Pet Doctor), Plushy Feely (Kimochis-Toys w/Feelings Inside®), Rubbabu (2Skoolbus), Safari (Fairy Fantasy Tea Set), Tier Toys (Animal Stackers Barn Yard), Velcro Kids® (Royal Princess Castle Playset), Wild Republic (Audubon Birds – Babies), WowToyz (Deluxe Classic Train Set). 

Socially Responsible Products – Gestalt Institute of New Orleans (T’was the Night Before the Storm), Brainy Baby (Natura Nativa Learning Media), Bright Spots Games (Feelings in the Wild-Bingo), Corolle Dolls (Lou), Dandelion (Organic Toddler Doll), Dream Big Toy (Go! Go! Sports Girls), Free Spirit Pub. (Going Blue), Gorgeous Products (Boikido Geometric Stacking Puzzle), HABA (Domino Zippy Scooters), Playmates Toys, Inc. (Hearts for Hearts Girls), Jade’s ToyBox (Moody Foodie Mini Box), Kabongo (GoGo Kabongo), North American Bear (Pet Doctor), One World Futbol Project (One World Futbol), Plushy Feely (Kimochis-Toys w/Feelings Inside®), Publications Intl (Record a Story), Rubbabu (2Skoolbus), Stickey Cup (Stickey Cup), Tier Toys (Animal Stackers Barn Yard).

Ten Best Toys – ALEX (Talk of the Farm), Bloco Toys (Velociraptor & Pterosaur), Bright Starts (Activi-Tree), Discovery Toys (Story Stacker), Goldberger Co. (Zip-ity Princess), MGA (Cozy Shopping Cart), Monkey Business (E-Z Bat), Rubbabu (2Skoolbus), Schoenhut Piano (Dog Piano), WowToyz (Deluxe Classic Train Set). 

For a complete list of Dr. Toy’s 2010 Best 100 Children’s Products, go to http://www.drtoy.com/awards/2010-100-Best-Childrens-Products-Awards.php

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