Selected by Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. (Dr. Toy

An Overview of The Best Toys of 2002

Welcome to Dr. Toy’s Guide! To assist you with your gifts giving this holiday and into the new year we have a great selection of new products for you to consider. We have reviewed over two thousand toys and children’s products over this past dozen 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 2002 products range across many different levels.

There is more 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 helpful guidance as you look for that perfect product, the one that will benefit your child the most.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Know your child and his or her interests;
  2. Understand what she is studying in school and what she needs to learn;
  3. Expand his interests and help him to develop a well-rounded approach to play;
  4. Give her new experiences that stimulate and that challenge different abilities;
  5. Help him develop both sides of the left and right sides of the brain, and help him to think and to be creative;
  6. Challenge and build her strengths and help her to learn new information.

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

Best Active Products,
Best Audio/Visual Products,
Best Creative Products,
Best Educational Products,
Best Games,
Best Socially Responsible Products (to help children learn about their environment and themselves),
Best Software/CD Products, and...
Best Toys,

Play encompasses everything your child does. They need you to play with them. 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.

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.

These are the products we have looked for this year. We were looking for products with the potential to provide your child with learning and joy. During the next 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 year!

Please be sure to examine a copy of our new book, , that highlights over 50 classic toys from the past as well as the toys of the future. And look for our to help you with ideas 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!). Let’s play!

—Dr. Stevanne Auerbach, "Dr.Toy"

Key to Type:

ac=Arts & Crafts ap=Active Product at=Audio Tape bg=Board Game
bo=Book cd=CD-ROM co=Construction Toy cp=Creative Product
cr=Computer-related dh=Dollhouse do=Doll el=Electronic
es=Educational Skills Product fp=Fantasy Play ho=Hobby ml=Musical
mm=Multimedia no=Novelty op=Outdoor Play pl=Plush Toy
pu=Puppet pz=Puzzle sr=Social Responsibility sw=Software
tr=Travel ts=Transportation ty=Toy vt=Video Tape

Barnyard Boogie--Puppet Book bo cp es ml $15.95 3-8 888-333-1676
Kidz Workshop EZ Build Projects ac ho $9.99 8-10 800-772-2846
Bilibo ae cp eq op $20.00 2-7 416-481-5407
Music for Babies cd es ml $15.95 0-3 888-228-1798
My First Desk ac as cp es $70.00 3-5 800-666-2539
All By Myself "Getting Dressed" cp es sr vt $14.95 2-5 866-408-5437
Thomas & Friends Salty's Secret
& Other Thomas Adventures
$12.98 2-6 800-233-3738
The Touch Game bg es $39.99 5-12 800-828-7002
Atollo a120 Building Kit ac co cp ho ty $12.99 5-10 866-428-6556
Finny Finds Friends in the Forest bo cd es ml $18.95 3-5 570-383-2579
Scramble Squares Puzzles es no pz sr $9.95 4-12 800-809-4242
Baby Beethoven Symphony of Fun vt $14.99 0-4 800-793-1454
Spring-Summer Harvest cd es ml sr vt $14.98 1-48 mos 800-380-1213
Playtime for You and Me es vt $39.95 0-15 mos 888-205-7529
Clip Crafts ac no tr $4.99 6-8 800-662-3380
Mega Tube Traxx co ty $22.50 5-10 800-822-8828
Crayola Crayon Maker ac cp $29.99 8-12 800-272-9652
Gobblet bg $29.95 7-12 415-572-3885
I Spy Rhyme-A-Thon Game bg cp es $24.99 8-12 800-232-7427
Chiccoland Tree House ae cp es tr ty $39.99 1-4 877-424-4226
Your Tiny Jungle Tot cp es ml sr vt $12.95 3-36 mos 877-559-5100
Maggie and the Ferocious Beast vt $12.95 3-5 310-244-4000
Cariboo bg es ty $16.95 3-6 312-297-7575
Design Your Own Kit ac ae cp op ty $19.99 8-12 800-584-6848
Air-Musement Park es no ty $26.99 8-13 800-426-4777
First North Americans Kid Kit ac bo cp es $14.95 6-10 800-475-4522
GeoSafari USA Search el es $99.95 8-12 800-995-4436
Electronic Snap Circuits eg es ho sc $59.95 8-12 800-533-2441
Marcel The Mountain Biker ae bo fp op sr $24.95 3-7 818-706-9812
There's A Growly in the Garden! bg $15.00 5-9 888-267-4414
Kasey the Kinderbot ae eg es sr sw $64.99 3-7 800-432-5437
Puppet Theater cp es fp ty $80.00 3-12 800-654-8922
Hands Are Not For Hitting Board Book bo es sr $7.95 1.5-3 800-735-7323
Record-Your-Voice Book bo cp es no sr $29.99 3-10 888-386-9673
Scrambled States of America ae cg es $11.99 8-12 800-638-7568
Lena Mercedes Fire Engine ae fp no op ts $50.00 3-6 877-902-8697
Aquini Drink & Wet Baby do $19.99 2-7 800-959-3655
Cosmosphere ty $10.00 10-48 mos 888-442-6376
Electronic Hand Held Boggle eg $10.99 8-12 888-836-7025
Playskool Air-Tivity Table ty $29.99 0.75-3 800-844-3733
My First Amazing Game Board Book bg bo $19.99 3-6 203-838-6400
Honey Bee Tree ae $14.99 3-5 800-631-1272
Irwin Toys Caillou Sing Along do $24.99 3-7 Out of Business
Just Enough Vocals Kit bo cd es sr vt $29.95 11-12 800-260-5119
Bendos Camper fp op ty $24.99 6-10 800-816-1135
Tuff Stuff Stereo CD Player ae cd fp ho ml $69.99 4-7 888-867-8697
That's My Name vt $16.99 1-24 mos 800-444-7336
Kids Collection of
Greatest Classics, Vol. 3
cd cp ml tr
$14.98 0-12 978-369-0766
My First Lunchbox
& My First Toolbox Toy
ae cp es fp ty
$24.99 0.5-3 770-751-0442
Jump Start Action Songs ae at cd fp ml $14.95 4-8 800-631-2187
Wraps es tr $7.95 5-10 800-737-4123
JumpStart Advanced Preschool cm es sw $29.99 2-4 800-545-7677
Quantum Pad Learning System bo eg es sr $49.99 5-12 800-701-5327
FeltKids FeltHouse
& Story Pieces Collection
fp tr ty
$19.99 3-12 800-704-8697
Learn Every Day Preschool bo es $14.95 3-5 800-532-8876
Talking Clever Clock and Workbook el es $34.95 5-7 888-800-7893
Theatre Stories co cp es fp ml $29.99 4-8 800-233-8756
Ballyhoo Brothers Circus Train ho $299.95 8-12 586-949-4100
RohSzamBo bg $14.95 5-10 800-760-9930
Lewis & Clark Bingo bg es ty $13.95 4-12 888-420-7585
Name Train cp es sr ts ty $4.75 3-5 800-421-4223
Families of Russia es sr vt $29.95 3-12 800-765-5885
Land-Sea R/C ae cp op ty $69.99 5-10 800-222-4685
My Grandbaby and Me vt $17.95 1-12 mos 888-741-2229
Winky Wizard--The Birthday Burglar
and (Your Child's Name)
bo cd cp ml sr
$14.99 3-7 888-800-3150
Musini ae eg es ml $59.99 3-8 800-220-3669
I Need You and You Need Me at cd es sr $14.98 2-8 516-466-6040
Ultimate Baby CD ae cp es ml sr $16.99 0-3 707-224-0364
World Stars cp fp sr ty $7.95 6-8 866-869-7639
Hot Wheels Accelerator Laptop eg es $59.99 5-10 800-853-8883
Jungle Robot co es ho ty $19.95 10-12 800-638-1694
Color Workshop Blopens
Magic Color Change Kit
ac cp
$14.99 4-8 888-661-9421
Cubee Tunnels ae co cp es ho $30.00 0-3 800-387-2587
Woodkins Design Studio ac cp do fp sr $18.00 7-12 800-966-3762
Busy Park Playground es ty $49.99 1-2 800-822-8828
PicturePages Partnership Bill Cosby's Picture Pages--
Early Learning Readiness Series
cd es sr sw
$29.95 3-5 877-877-2887
Geomag co cp es ho tr $19.95 3-10 800-647-9989
3186 - Airport cp fp sr ts ty $89.99 4-8 800-752-9662
Playstages Theater Set cp es pu ty $159.99 6-12 866-646-4546
Proverbial Wisdom Jr. bg es $19.95 7-12 877-462-7579
Makit & Bakit Charm Jewelry ac cp ho no $5.99 8-12 800-342-8458
Time's Up ae bg cg $19.99 10-12 888-874-3353
Seven Horses of the Redfly Sacred Circle bg sr tr $7.00 5-12 406-254-7316
Rising Stars Toys Squeeze Me Music Soft Piano es ml pl ty $29.95 2-5 317-566-8778
Beginning Fractions & Decimals Video es ml vt $14.99 7-10 800-348-8445
Gee-Perz! Great Projects to Share ac cp ho ty $19.99 5-10 866-386-7799
Clifford The Big Red
Dog Wooden Shape Sorter
es tr ts ty
$24.99 3-5 800-724-6527
Multiplication Hip-Hop cd cp es ml $13.99 6-12 718-978-6790
It's 2 Cute Ryan's Room dh $100.00 2-7 800-421-4153
Animal Sounds Pals pl ty $5.99 1-12 mos 800-225-0382
Gymini Super Deluxe Lights & Music ae es ml ty $59.95 0-10 888-846-9568
Monopoly Activity Books bo es tr $3.99 4-12 800-860-6762
Star Theater 2 es op ty $29.99 8-12 800-869-7555
The Dr. Seuss Matching Game
bg es
$15.99 4-7 800-471-0641
Knights of Knowledge es ty $49.99 5-8 800-521-2010
Code Busters ac bo cp $14.95 8-12 800-426-0099
LEGO Creator Deluxe Game bg $24.99 4-12 800-447-2151
Young Scientists Club
Science Kits Curriculum
$10.99 4-12 800-964-1320
Baby Annabell do $49.99 3-12 877-629-9273
Zome DNA Kit co cp es sr ty $11.95 10-12 888-966-3386

Key to Type:

ac=Arts & Crafts ap=Active Product at=Audio Tape bg=Board Game
bo=Book cd=CD-ROM co=Construction Toy cp=Creative Product
cr=Computer-related dh=Dollhouse do=Doll el=Electronic
es=Educational Skills Product fp=Fantasy Play ho=Hobby ml=Musical
mm=Multimedia no=Novelty op=Outdoor Play pl=Plush Toy
pu=Puppet pz=Puzzle sr=Social Responsibility sw=Software
tr=Travel ts=Transportation ty=Toy vt=Video Tape

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