Who is Stevanne Auerbach
Stevanne Auerbach (1938-2022)

Stevanne Auerbach, PhD., known as Dr. Toy,™ speaker, author and consultant, has written 15 books, among them Dr. Toy's Smart Play/Smart Toys: How to Raise a Child with a High PQ (Play Quotient), recently published by Educational Insights. Her web site, the first web site on the Internet on toys, "Dr. Toy's Guide" provides information on over 3000 toys, games and many resources.

Stevanne Auerbach, PhD., known as Dr. Toy™ worked for the Commissioner of the Department of Education, where she evaluated educational programs for Title One; organized the first child care center for the children of federal employees, which became a model for the entire federal government; approved the first grant for "Sesame Street;" planned and developed a national $2.5 million R&D Program in national child care programs for the Office of Economic Opportunity, Office of the President; and served as coordinator for the Day Care Forum for the 1970 White House Conference on Children. She testified to Congress in 1969 on the importance of child care. She earned her Ph.D. in 1973.

Dr. Toy has written 15 books, among them: Choosing Child Care, gives criteria for finding a good child care center; The Whole Child, comprehensive advice and resources from preparation for pregnancy to raising a child through age twelve; The Toy Chest, combines the history of toys in America, a guide to selecting toys, and interviews with many key people in the toy industry; Toys for a Lifetime, focuses on classic toys; and her latest book, Dr. Toy's Smart Play/Smart Toys: How to Raise a Child with a High PQ (Play Quotient), recently revised, and now published by Educational Insights, provides parents with guidance on both selecting the best products to match a child's developmental needs and on using these products effectively. This book is also published in China, Germany, Spain, Thailand and Korea.

She has evaluated toys and children's products for teachers, parents, and has written a syndicated column for King Features Syndicate (weekly for five years), Early Childhood News Magazine, Family Circle, Parenting Magazine, Education Update, and others.

In 1985 she became a spokesperson on "The Value of Board Games." She wrote a booklet, "Getting Together with Board Games" conducted a 21-city tour.

In 1986, Dr. Toy founded and directed the world's first "hands on" toy museum, the San Francisco International Toy Museum in Fisherman's Wharf, where over 50,000 children came to see historic toys and play with new toys. After the earthquake of 1989 the museum was forced to close.

In 1994, Dr. Toy created the first web site on toys - and "Dr. Toy's Guide" ( She created the site to provide helpful information to parents, to the toy industry, and to the general public. The site has won many awards.

"Dr. Toy's Best Children's Products Award Programs" are conducted as a not-for-profit service to provide information on the best products found throughout the industry from small start-up companies to established companies. Dr. Toy looks for selected products that meet the criteria for best design, educational benefit, originality, play value, price, safety, social responsibility, and fun. "Dr. Toy's Guide" provides more than 3000 toys, games and product awards. It serves as both a destination for people looking for toy information, inspiration, and is a great resource for parents, teachers, students, toy collectors, and toy industry professionals.

Dr. Toy, trained in child psychology, child development, education, and special education, is an advocate for positive play. An enthusiastic media guest, she is interviewed frequently and has appeared on The Today Show, The Donahue Show, Hour Magazine, CNN, the BBC, Univision Online, HSN, and many other programs throughout the USA and abroad.

An article in Newsweek (June 21, 2004, p 72) highlights her "Best Vacation Products". Feature articles about Dr. Toy have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Sacramento Bee, Washington Post, Costco Communicator and Der Tagesspiegel. She has toured the country numerous times, appeared at selected toy stores for book signings, and given many presentations on the importance of play and toys. Last year Dr. Toy's comments on toys and play reached an audience of over 20 million people.

Dr. Toy, a 30-year member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the largest professional organization in early childhood education, is a regular speaker at its annual conference. She is one of the founding members of Women in Toys and is on its Advisory Board. Other memberships include: The Association for the Study of Play, Toy Industries of America, American Specialty Toy Retailers Association, the International Toy Research Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the American Counseling Association (lifetime member). While working at ACA she created the first ever Film Festival for Guidance Counselors which became part of their national conference, produced The First Fact Booklet, "Opportunities in the Peace Corps", "The NVGA Bibliography of Occupational Literature" and many other reports and services.

Dr. Toy, a native New Yorker, resides in Northern California, with her husband. She is a mother, and a very proud (and playful) grandmother.

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