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Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children's Products - 2005

We have evaluated many hundreds of products after seeing many thousands to carefully select the best and assist you with your gift giving this holiday season. We expect the products to be enjoyed well into the New Year. These are a great selection of new educational and beneficial products for your child to learn and play. We look for the best active, creative and educational products to please many different interests and play styles.

We have reviewed over three thousand toys and children's products over this past fifteen years. It has been exciting and rewarding to see many new and innovative companies emerging, while many new and interesting improvements have been made among many established companies. Our 2005 products range across many different types of products that educate and entertain with all of the senses—including books, tapes, software, toys, socially responsible products and much more.

There is more for you to choose from today than ever before. It may also seem that way when you seek the right product for your child. By using Dr. Toy's Guide, you will find plenty of useful guidance to assist you as you search for those perfect products and gifts, the ones that will benefit your child the most.

Here are a few suggestions:

Dr. Toy's selected toys this year have come from a wide diversity of excellent companies from new to established companies. By setting a limit on the number of products that we select for our "Dr. Toy's Best" award, we provide unique, special recognition, and a seal of approval that is meaningful to a select group of products. We aspire to give you some new ideas and products to consider.

In this our final report for the year I hope we can help you find just the right product for your child. It's not easy with the many choices that exist in Toyland. You can imagine how frustrating this process is for me as there are so many wonderful possible products to consider in each category. We narrow down the options to give you a wide and wise selection.

Dr. Toy selects 10 products for each of the following 8 categories:

  1. Best Toys
  2. Best Educational Products
  3. Best Socially Responsible Products (to help children learn about their environment and themselves)
  4. Best Software/High-Tech Products
  5. Best Games
  6. Best Audio/Visual Tapes and Related Auditory Products
  7. Best Creative Products
  8. Best Active Products

Dr. Toy and staff hope that our report and the rest of the resources we provide on our award winning web site will assist your family in many ways.

We hope these great new products will help you focus on the type of fine products available to help your child get the most from play.

We hear about the "HOT" toys these days. Some of these are fun, silly or otherwise amusing. Others you may have to investigate further to question their ultimate value, cost, and even potential negative qualities.

There are no "easy" answers when your child is pressuring you for that "hot" product, but in the long run we believe that children need toys that involve them in play, and are not passing "fads." You must make the final decision.

The information is offered to advise you. In addition think about your child's needs and then decide if there is a match between product and child's interests and needs.

While you are visiting go to the other sections of our site over the past year including Dr. Toy's Best Classic toys, Smart Toys of Excellence and Best Vacation Products as the information about the rest of this year's winners are posted on our website.

Classic toys are always great gifts as they have endured for many generations and are well worth the investment. If you appreciate classic toys as much as I do y will find wonderful toys that you played with as a child.

We also have many products among the "Best Vacation" winners that are excellent choices to take along when you're traveling with children at any time of the year. There are plenty of excellent products to choose from.

May I remind you, once again, that play encompasses everything your child does. Your child needs you to play with them. Toys are not a substitute for your having fun and doing things together. They need to learn simple games, and to have plenty of conversations. They need you to read stories to them, and they need to sing songs, play with puzzles, do crafts, and have fun. Whatever you and your child enjoy doing together is perfect.

Play is an integral part of the way children learn. Play should be a natural part of your family's activities every day. Certainly, when you travel this holiday, or at any time, you want to make sure that travel is as much fun as possible. And while you are traveling your child can learn. Look for some of the interesting tapes we have listed in our "Best Audio/Visual Products."

Look for creative products to prepare for those times when there is a snow storm or rain fall and children are house-bound. This is the time to bring out those great creative products that have been packed away in storage. Open them on a bad weather day and the storm passes away while children are enjoying something satisfying.

Children can only focus on one toy at a time. Make toys something that you select year round to make their time interesting and challenging. Don't forget the products that help children with their activities, whether they are enjoying active play outdoors, or learning to do yoga or some other kind of physical activity.

Even play with pick-up sticks or marbles is physical and requires dexterity; the smallest activity brings the body into motion. Children like a variety of physical activity, so don't forget to add hula hoops, balls, and a bean bag toss.

Children also need time to play games, to think, to create, to use their imagination, and to learn strategy and how to figure things out. They need time to create, to play with dolls and puppets, and to use their skills.

As we move into the New Year we want to think again about how to prepare children for the future. You will want to find products that will help them become socially responsible and that will help them to understand themselves. Children should also learn how to get along with each other, how to cook and use other skills, and how to understand the world and the environment. Children should be able to play with products that teach them, and they should work closely with animals, science, their habitat, geography, and space exploration.

Educational products will help your child learn many skills. I have included a range of products. From basic to more complex products that will help your child learn the basics of phonics, science, chemistry, and business, there is something for every child and for every child's interest.

With our 100 Best Toys, we have tried to create a balance of types of products that provide something for every child's interest, from construction play to transportation toys, science toys, creative projects, new dolls, to soft, plush toys. There is something for every child that transports their imagination into the realm of fantasy play.

In the high-tech area, there is an abundance of new products. Some really excellent products to look for include outstanding ones that provide portals to learning.

Look at the Holiday Gift Guide for 2005 for more specifics about products. We have found products with the potential to provide your child with learning and joy. During the year, your child will have an opportunity to play and experience some of these toys directly. Be sure to look at our online review of toy buying services to find an array of different ways to purchase these products.

If you have a question about a toy, then "Ask Dr. Toy." If you have an answer or know of the availability of products, help us by looking at our "Ask Dr. Toy" feature and responding. You'll be fascinated with all of the queries that have come in, and we welcome your help as we find answers for all of these questions.

Search through our site, come back often, and have a fun, playful, healthy and happy year!

Please be sure to obtain a copy of our new book, Dr. Toy's Smart Play/Smart Toys: How to Raise a Child with a High P.Q.(Play Quotient) to help you with information from baby to older children, plus 166 great ideas of ways to have fun with your children. What is most important is to have fun together as a family. Have a wonderful time with your child this holiday (and every day in the New Year!).

Thank you for your interest and support over the past fifteen years of evaluating products. I wish you and your family the very best, with plenty of time for play in the years ahead.

Let's play!

Dr. Stevanne Auerbach, "Dr.Toy"

Home Copyright 1995 - 2008 Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. San Francisco, CA
This material may not under any circumstance be resold or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author.
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