Search Dr. Toy's Best Products - 2007 & 2008
Product Type Max Age (Years) Max Price Program

Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Products List - 2006

Dr. Toy warns too much TV dulls brain, creativity, reduces physical agility and health

Dr Toy’s RX for Summer is balance; Check out Dr. Toy’s Vacation Playtime Pointers

Summertime provides a perfect opportunity to unwind, stretch mind and muscles, explore new places, and enjoy a change of pace. This is an important season for children to continue learning, as they play with all their energy.

Children work hard in school and need balanced playtime for healthy development…activity for physical growth, creativity for expanding imagination, and learning to keep minds alert. School requires concentration and energy, so does playtime.

Through play, the work of children, they learn essential skills in every season, but especially so in the summertime. Summertime is best spent away from too much TV and focus on electricity. Time to use circuits for creativity, activity and learning.

A good portion of time should be spent outdoors in age-appropriate play. Outdoor activities can take the form of skating, jump rope, bike riding, swimming, hiking, nature walks, pretend and adventure play, ball throwing, tennis, golf, basketball, and other varied activities that allow for the development of physical skills and the coordination of minds and bodies.

Exercise is more important than ever before. Varied outdoor playtime is important for all children every day. Being safe and having fun outdoors gives an essential balance that complements everything else they’re doing.

Indoor play can involve creative arts like painting, on a flat surface or with large sheets of paper on an easel, or making simple things, like fun cut-ups, cut-out sticker fun like Colorform sets, paper dolls, or engaging in a favorite hobby. Many creative activities can be easily combined with listening to music for added value.

Building projects are always fun and an extension of creative play. Consider some of the construction products suggested below, such as Kapla or Mega Blocks. Other excellent product choices are included to assist you as you select playthings for a very productive and fun filled summer vacation.

Playing helps to support children’s outlook, imagination, and expand interests. They thrive if given a chance to develop stories with puppets and dolls, learn to make things, figure out new puzzles such as “Scramble Squares,” discover the fun of reading different books, playing games, or constructing something new.

A diverse list of suggested products is included here and on to assist you in finding just the right products. Children have plenty of questions; they want to have conversations; and, most of all, they want to play, discover, and explore to their fullest potential.

Here are Dr. Toy’s guidelines for wholesome summer vacation playtime to help you to make the time even more balanced and fun for your child:

  1. Locate a good variety of challenging products appropriate for age and interests.
  2. Arrange toys and playthings so they are easy to access and easy to store away.
  3. Create a variety of interesting and enjoyable activities.
  4. Be sure to create a good mix of indoor and outdoor play.
  5. Remind the children that they should drink plenty of water during the summer time to avoid dehydration.
  6. Children need rest, healthy snacks, safety awareness, instruction, and safe play. For example, children who cannot swim should not use floating devices in the water as these can slip away. Better to learn to float and swim.
  7. Children should play with age appropriate products and proper supervision to avoid accidents.
  8. Learning to prepare a simple recipe is practical fun for children including making sandwiches, scrambled eggs, or simple, healthy snacks.
  9. Encourage children to learn how to make something useful like a craft project, or to learn to assemble a puzzle.
  10. Express your admiration for each accomplishment. Children thrive when their talents are recognized and nurtured.
  11. Gather an assortment of creative projects and various materials in a storage box along with easy-to-follow directions. Arrange an assortment of paper, glue, safety scissors, and magazines to easily cut pictures for collage and scrapbooks in an accessible box. Take time to do creative and fun projects with your child.
  12. Projects that involve planting, making, or learning things have extra value.

Plenty of great play ideas and products are available for all ages, interests, and skills.

The product assortment that follows gives you a number of good suggestions available from many excellent companies.

These are among other recent Dr. Toy’s Award winners.

  1. Puzzles are fun on travel to engage interest- Scramble Squares Puzzles. Age 3 and up. $8.95 b. dazzle 800-809-4242
  2. Learning is easy with word games-Nerdy Wordy Crossword Game Ages 6 and up. $14.99 Creative, fast word game helps build spelling skills while kids have fun!. Briarpatch. 800-232-7427
  3. Stretch communication with card games- Pooh Tales of Adventure Card Game Ages 3 to 8 $6.99- Card game your child will enjoy playing “what’s different?” and “what’s missing?”characters. Briarpatch. 800-232-7427
  4. Learn about the world with interactive globe-GeoSafari Talking Globe Ages 8- 12 $79.99 Educational Insights 800-995-4436
  5. Puppets are valuable tools for language and emotional development-HARBOR SEAL 3 and up $30 Puppet engaging with workable mouth for added reality, fun and language development. perfect for travel. Folkmanis 510-658-7677
  6. Building is creative fun with blocks- KAPLA Barrel 200-piece Set Ages 3-12 $66 Excellent creative construction blocks of high-quality wood have lasting value. Young builders will delight at the endless possibilities. KAPLA Toys 912-944-6296
  7. Learn more about grammar and newspapers Go to Press!™ A Grammar Game Ages 7 up $ 21.95 Excitement of big-city newspaper captured in game that reinforces grammar as players find and correct errors in headlines. Learning Resources 800-222-3909
  8. Learn about the world with map and game- World Treasure Hunt™ Ages 4 up $36.95. This large map brings in whole world and gets children interested in world geography. Learning Resources 800-222-3909
  9. Creative Learning through Magnetic Play Magnetix™ Jr. Starter Set, Ages 3 and up. $19.99 Fast building trend in construction brings magnetic play to preschoolers. new system builds imagination and enriches problem solving, confidence, early math and science skills. Mega Bloks 800-465-6342
  10. Build, create and race set is construction challenge- Speed Rally ProBuilder® Summit Turbo Ages 6-12 $14.99- Challenging construction toy your experienced builder will enjoy. Your child has fun building, detailing and styling new race car. Mega Bloks 800-465-6342
  11. Create and enjoy silly fun Creature Mix™ Ages 5-8 $12.99 Creative, easy to assemble product invites your child to use their imagination. MGA Entertainment 800-222-4685
  12. Expand language and reading skills Storytime Collection ages 3-8 Price: $15.99 As your child turns pages of books they build early reading skills. MGA Entertainment 800-222-4685
  13. Silly fun is a summertime learning activity-Silly Faces Ages 3 and up $9.98 Be first to build silly face as players spin to see the feature to add with easy-to-learn game that encourages giggles with simple rules with large formats, fun graphics and sturdy components. University Games, 800-471-0641
  14. Learning comes in different forms Magic Cauldron Ages 5-8 $14.98 Math becomes magical in easy to learn and fun to play game of bubbling cauldrons, wacky ingredients,. Players pick ingredient card, look at sum on the back, guess solution matching addition or subtraction card and be first to fill up cauldron. University Games. 800-471-0641
  15. Travel is relaxing with a Tangle Tangle Jr. Ages 3 and up. $1.99 For children (and adults) playing with this toy helps to unwind on trips in the car, plane or anytime. Stimulates your brain as it helps exercise and increase finger dexterity. Tangle Toys 888-829-3808
  16. Excellent creative product Monkey Magnets Puzzle Box Ages 4-7 $12 6 different monkey magnet puzzle boxes filled with 6 transparent templates and 16 printed pictures.. Pamela Drake/Woodkins 800-966-3762

Let's Play!

Company Item Type(s) Ages Price Phone
Company Item Type(s) Ages Price Phone
Games To Go bg tr 5-8 29.99 800-666-2539
Magic Tracer ac no tr 5-8 11.99 800-666-2539
Athletic Baby Basketball ae dv 3 m-36 m 16.99 972-781-6806
Covered Bridges Scramble Square® 9-Piece Puzzle es no pz tr 6-12 8.95 800-809-4242
Fly Fishing Scramble Square® 9-Piece Puzzle es no pz tr 6-12 8.95 800-809-4242
Outer Banks Lighthouses Scramble Square® 9-Piece Puzzle es no pz tr 6-12 8.95 800-809-4242
San Antonio Scramble Square® 9-Piece Puzzle es no pz tr 6-12 8.95 800-809-4242
Babalu FeltTales cp es tr 3-5 16.95 917-968-9876
CooCoo the Rocking Clown co 3-12 19.95 415-252-0372
Ringgz bg 8-12 29.95 415-252-0372
Speedy Eddy bg 5-12 24.95 415-252-0372
Horse Fun Party Pack for Six ac cp 6-12 50 973-633-5090
Sudoku es tr ts 7-12 19.99 800-232-7427
Buzztime® Head-on Trivia Challenge eg 10-12 19.99 800-621-5426
Butterflies - Life Cycles Dominoes bg es pz sc 5-12 9.99 800-274-1150
Summer Bridge Activities™ Books bo es tr ts 3-5 12.95 800-274-1150
Ready 2 Learn Giant Stampers Upper & Lowercase Alphabet Combo ac cp es ho st 3-10 44.95 800-542-2214
Chicco 3D Playground ae cp es 3 m-24 m 59.99 877-424-4226
Camp Kit: Tons of Cool Stuff for a Summer of Fun ae bo tr ty 6-12 15.95 800-722-6657
Doodles: A Really Giant Coloring & Doodling Book bo 2-12 18.95 800-722-6657
Scribbles: A Really Giant Drawing and Coloring Book bo 2-12 18.95 800-722-6657
Cranium Grab & Go Games Hoppity Winks ge tr 6-12 9.95 877-272-6486
Cranium Grab & Go Games Super Jacks ge tr 6-12 9.95 877-272-6486
Cranium WonderWorks Picture Studio cp tr 6-12 9.99 877-272-6486
Cranium WonderWorks Talking Picture Book bo cp tr 6-12 19.99 877-272-6486
Stargo bg es op 6-12 18.99 800-984-5454
Dolly Goes To The Beach bo do es 3-12 21.95 866-363-6559
Kanoodle pz 7-12 9.99 800-995-4436
Let's Pretend Grill-and-Go Camp Stove cp fp 3-12 29.99 800-995-4436
Magic Show! cp ho 6-12 19.99 800-995-4436
PlayFoam ac cp 6-12 9.99 800-995-4436
Space Faces bg es 3-12 29.99 800-995-4436
Trail Mate Outdoor® Adventure Tool ae cp ho sc 7-12 7.99 800-995-4436
Double Cone Princess Pink ae cp es no pl 3-10 16.99 800-553-5673
Berries, Bugs & Bullfrogs bg 3-5 8 888-267-4414
Elephant Puppet pl pu tr 3-5 44 800-654-8922
Harbor Seal Puppet cp pl pu tr 3-12 30 800-654-8922
Peacock Puppet pl pu tr 3-7 44 800-654-8922
Bubba The Bottom Feeder Game™ pt 5-12 14.99 800-486-9787
Sonic Search™ pt 5-12 14.95 800-486-9787
Pog bg ho 5-12 9.99 800-882-3808
Combo King ge ty 8-12 14.99 800-638-7568
Feed the Kitty ge ty 4-12 11.99 800-638-7568
Original Little Hands Playing Card Holder ge ty 3-12 3.99 800-638-7568
Top Speed ge ty 8-12 5.99 800-638-7568
Hooked on Colors tr ts dv 3-5 14.99 888-605-5055
Hooked on Handwriting bo cm es 4-6 64.99 888-605-5055
Hooked on Numbers tr ts dv 3-5 14.99 888-605-5055
Hooked on Shapes tr ts dv 3-5 14.99 888-605-5055
Filo by Quercetti® & SpACo es tr 4-12 18.99 800-631-1272
Little Chubbies Assortment by Viking Toys® tr ts 1-3 1.39 800-631-1272
Major League Baseball Trivia Card Game cg tr 8-12 7.99 800-631-1272
Taggies® Big Soft Blocks by Earlyyears® pl tr Birth-3 m 34.99 800-631-1272
Baby Einstein™ Take Along Caterpillar es pl tr 3 m-36 m 14.99 800-230-8190
Bright Starts™ Big Catch! Fishing Net™ ae cp pt tr 1-3 4.99 800-230-8190
Bright Starts™ Big Smiles! Activity Camera™ cp tr 6 m-36 m 5.99 800-230-8190
Hawaiian Lei Making Kit ac cp es no tr 5-12 14.99 866-367-4852
My Beautiful Hula Girl-Princess Leilani cp do es no tr 4-12 24.99 866-367-4852
Mom, Dad & ME Apredemos Español es dv 2-10 18.99 817-793-7939
Great Big, Value, Fun Coloring & Activity ap bo 3-5 4.99 800-532-8876
Leap Frog ABC Wipe Off Mat ap es 3-6 3.95 800-532-8876
Leap Frog Addition Wipe Off Mat ap es 3-6 3.95 800-532-8876
Leap Frog Healthy Foods Wipe Off Mat ap es 3-6 3.95 800-532-8876
Leap Frog Money Mat ap es 3-6 3.95 800-532-8876
Super, Big Value, Fun Coloring & Activity ap bo 5-6 4.99 800-532-8876
Go to Press™ A Grammar Game bg 7-12 21.95 800-222-3909
Pretend & Play® Snack Shop cp fp 3-12 32.95 800-222-3909
Smart Splash® Memory Match Clams™ es pt tr 2-12 15.95 800-222-3909
World Treasure Hunt Mat® ae es tr 4-12 36.95 800-222-3909
Grand Soccer Stadium ae co cp no tr 7-12 49.99 800-453-4652
Make-Your-Own™ Masterpieces ac cp es tr 4-12 18.99 800-839-7369
Fun with Marcie and Me dv 1-4 14.99 781-329-0778
Building Imaginations™ Small Bag of Maxi™ Blocks ae co cp es tr 1-5 7.99 800-465-6342
Magnetix® Magnetic Building Set

co cp es tr 6-12 9.99 800-465-6342
Tiny'n Tuff® Off-Road Set™ ae co cp es ts 1-5 14.99 800-465-6342
Big Fish Lil' Fish cp es ho tr 4-12 4.99 800-222-4685
Pentago bg 6-12 19.95 866-604-9220
The SGM Fun Pack cp es 5-12 29.95 888-228-9746
Squint Jr. bg tr 6-12 16.99 800-540-2304
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Chipmunk Adventure dv 2-11 14.99 818-823-6403
My Little Pony: The Princess Promenade dv 3-6 16.99 818-823-6403
Swinging Monkeys ge 3-5 19.99 877-289-0730
World Puzzle Map pz 3-5 69.99 877-289-0730
Stunt Copter ae 6-12 12.99 800-678-8697
My First Story Reader bo es sw tr ty 6 m-3 y 19.99 800-595-8484
Travel Time Activity Set™ bo es tr 3-6 14.99 800-595-8484
Toy Castle: Beautiful Ballerina dv 3-5 14.99 800-544-8422
"Super Add-Ons"™ Version for Monopoly® ae bg es 8-12 24.95 603-924-6446
Alphabet SQUIGGLE® on-the-go es tr 3-5 6.95 973-889-8964
Alphabet Exercise es vt dv 3-5 19.99 800-348-8445
Animal Genius eg es sw tr ts 5-7 24.99 800-724-4718
Scribble Books! Travel Fun-Coloring Adventure Tote Books ac bo cp es no 3-12 5 877-543-3248
Sudoku 5x5 bg es pz tr 8-12 9.99 800-468-1864
Bratz "Genie Magic" CD cd 6-12 15 310-865-7812
Do You Sudoku? For Kids Card Game cg tr 6-12 5.98 800-347-4818
Magic Cauldron es 5-8 14.98 800-347-4818
Write & Learn Letter Pad eg es sw 3-12 14.99 800-521-2010
100 Feet of Fun: Drawing Animals bo cp ho 6-12 12.95 800-426-0099
Fun with Manga bo cp ho 8-12 14.95 800-426-0099
Hip2Hop™ Hopscotch Kit ae es tr dv 5-11 11.99 435-896-5878

Key to Item Types:
AC - Arts & Crafts AE - Active Toy AP - Activity Product AT - Audio Tape
BG - Board Game BO - Book CD - CD CE - Entertainment
CG - Card Game CM - CD-ROM CO - Construction Toy CP - Creative Product
CR - Computer Related CS - Costume DH - Dollhouse DO - Doll
DV - DVD EG - Electronic Game EL - Electronic Product EQ - Equipment
ES - Educational Skills FP - Fantasy Play GE - Game GN- Green Product
HO - Hobby ML - Musical MM - Multimedia NO - Novelty
OP - Outdoor Play OT - Other PL - Plush Toy PT - Pool Toy
PU - Puppet PZ - Puzzle RS - Rubber Stamp SC - Science
SR - Socially Responsible ST - Stamps SW - Software TR - Travel Item
TS - Transportation TY - Toy UN - Unique Product VG - Video Game
VT - Video Tape
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.
While we appreciate links others make to our site, these must be reviewed and approved first. Send link requests to
Arrow Up