Wednesday, September 22, 2010

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 Class Train Set).

Dr. Toy Announces 100 Best Children’s Products of 2010
Your Guide to Finding the Best Toys and Children’s Products
An Opportunity to be of Service to Families and Schools
By Stevanne Auerbach, PhD/Dr. Toy™

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - (October 1, 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, we observe children at play. With our own eyes we see 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. I spend a great deal of time reviewing a large quantity of products created by myriad manufacturers and designers. I make sure my 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 you can depend on 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. I utilize a complicated set of objective and subjective criteria to evaluate toys and other products. Some questions to ask 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 my 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.”

Dr Toy’s Smart Play/Smart Toys: How to Raise a Child with a High P.Q. (Play Quotient) was written for new parents, and others who care about children, and is available in toy, book stores or on line. Dr Toy invites consumers to take the time to describe play and product experiences and ask questions about toys and products.

To find the Story Stacker and see all of our other products, go to

posted by:
Cara Retz, Educational Leader
Discovery Toys

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Product Recall - Chuck E. Cheese Rings & Toy Eyeglasses

More than 1.2 million Chuck E. Cheese light-up rings and toy eyeglasses are being recalled over concerns that children might swallow the small battery inside the toys.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday the plastic on the toys can break, possibly exposing the button-type batteries inside. Ingestion could lead to stomach, intestine or esophagus problems or other damage.

The commission did not link the toys to any reported injuries. But the CPSC says two children were able to get to the battery in the light-up rings. One child swallowed it; the other child put the battery up his nose.

There were no reported incidents with the toy eyeglasses.

For further information, click here.

To keep your kids safe, I'm giving away Choke Tubes to some lucky readers! To be entered, leave a comment that you are a follower with your email address.

Additional entries can be earned by:
1. Friending me on Facebook and leave a comment.
2. Following me on Twitter and leave a comment.
3. Subscribing to my newsletter and leave a comment.
4. Repost on Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment with the link for each.

No matter what toys you buy your kids, make sure they are safe and age/developmentally appropriate.

posted by:
Cara Retz
Educational Leader

Friday, September 10, 2010

BlogFest 2010

This weekend, I am participating in BlogFest 2010. It runs now through the 12th. BlogFest 2010 is where you get to see many great blogs from all over the world. And what's great is, you get to win prizes!

Head over to A Journey Of Books to learn more about BlogFest and how to win prizes.

I am sure you all have enjoyed looking at the other blogs and now, it's your turn to win something here! Are you ready?

To one lucky follower, I am giving away a prize that you get to pick!  Your choices:

Infants: Baby Moves Lullaby Blankie
Stimulate your baby's world with ultra-soft Lullaby Blankie! Baby will enjoy exploring the soothing teether, plush star, satin corners, crinkle sun and applique moon. Machine washable. 9"x9"

Toddler: Tangiball
Once your baby wraps his little hands around this ball, he won't want to put it down. With its nubby texture, crystalline brilliance and light vanilla scent, Tangiball stimulates all of baby's senses at once. Baby can squeeze it, squeak it, sniff it, roll it, and even kick it for gross motor development. 4" diameter.
Preschool: ABC & 123 Wipe Clean Workbooks
Preschoolers trace, stick and learn their letters and numbers with this set of two wipe-clean activity books. Includes 2 soft cover books, 18 pages & 100 photographic stickers each.
School Years: Puzzle Island
Here's an interactive parent-child activity book you'll both enjoy. As you work together to uncover the secrets on every page, you'll sharpen your observation and reasoning skills while developing the patience it takes to make it through. Soft cover with 24 pages.

Ways to enter:
Mandatory (1 entry each)
1. Follow my blog and leave a comment that you did.
2. Go to and comment which toy is your favorite

Optional (1 additional entry each)
1. Follow me to Twitter and comment that you did.
2. Friend me on Facebook and comment that you did.
3. Sign up for my Newsletter and comment that you did.

Contest ends Sept. 12 at midnight.  Winner will be picked at random and contact to pick prize.  Good luck to all!

Now, hop on over to Simply Ali and check out her steamy romance novels!

posted by:
Cara Retz
Educational Leader