Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, has been for many years one of the nation's leading professionals on children's play and educational toys and related products. Dr. Auerbach relies on 45 plus years of hands-on experience to select the best educationally oriented, skill building products from both large and small companies for her original, annual award programs. Millions of parents, teachers, and toy buyers around the world use Dr. Toy’s guidance in making their toy, learning and play selections.
Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/ Smart Toys: How to Select and Use the Best Toys & Games - 4th Edition Regent Press; 3rd Edition -Ingram/Lightening Source); 2nd Edition- Educational Insights; 1st edition, St. Martin’s Press) is a unique guide to play, child development, and appropriate toys from baby to older children.
The book is published in the U.S.A. and China, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Russia, Spain, Thailand, and Turkey. Soon to be released in Japan and other countries.
Dr. Toy contributed chapter "Art of the Toy" to 100 Years of Iconic Toys by Roads Publishing (Dublin, Ireland)
Her book Toys for a Lifetime (FAO Schwarz/Rizzoli) focuses on classic toys and future toys.
The Toy Chest covers selection criteria, toy history, and includes interviews with over 100 experts in all aspects of the toy industry.
She is the author of 16 books for parents, professionals, and children including The Whole Child and Choosing Child Care.
Dr. Toy has written hundreds of articles about play and toys for national and regional magazines, newspapers, and websites, such as Huffington Post, Sears Toy Shop, Pearson Family Education, Club Mom, Parental Wisdom, Toy Directory, and others. She wrote syndicated King Features Column on toys for 5 years.
She is featured as an expert in many articles and books, sought as a guest speaker, and interviewed on radio and television programs throughout the USA and internationally.
Her feature articles appeared in Family Circle (1986), in Parenting Magazine (1987), and in Dr. Toy's Guide @ www.drtoy.com, visited daily by thousands. Dr. Toy’s Best Gift Guide App was released in December 2011, and updated 2014.
Dr. Toy’s Best Products Award Programs, which provide original, professional reviews of over 6,000 educational and developmentally appropriate products, include Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children's Products, Ten Best Products, Best Classic Toys, Best Vacation Products, Best Picks, Best Green Products, and Best Green Company.
Dr. Auerbach, in 1986, founded and directed the San Francisco International Toy Museum, the world’s first interactive toy museum. More than 50,000 children visited and played in this unique hands-on museum between 1986 and 1990, when the Loma Prieta earthquake forced it to shut its doors. New toys for children to play with, as well as learning with the historical collectibles, were a mainstay of this unique museum. She is working with a Board to create the ITM/ICP in Oakland.
Dr. Auerbach, an established speaker, consultant, and author, is trained in child development, psychology, education and special education. Dr. Auerbach’s title, Dr.Toy, is well earned, starting with her consulting assignment with Creative Playthings, Inc. in 1968 when she developed its first educational marketing program.
She approved the first funding federal grant for the Children's Television Workshop, "Sesame Street,” worked for the Commissioner of Education, Dr. James E, Allan, evaluated reading, Urban Education and other Title One Programs at the U.S. Office of Education. She created the “What Works” series reporting on promising school practices.
She established the first childcare center for the children of federal employees, which, for the more than 40 years, served as the model for the entire federal government. She planned and developed a national $2.5 million R&D Program in childcare for the Office of Economic Opportunity, Office of the President. She helped plan the Day Care Forum for the 1970 White House Conference on Children. She testified on the need for childcare to a congressional committee for the first comprehensive child care legislation approved by bi-partisan vote and later vetoed.
She worked on planning the Governor’s Statehouse Conference in Sacramento in 1980. She assisted with child care issues in San Francisco, helped the creation of the Children’s Council, SF Child Abuse Council, and produced the first City Wide Year of the Young Child Conference, She also produced a program Child Care Crisis for KQED/ Open Studio with Loni Ding.
Before working for the federal government, Dr. Auerbach was a teacher and reading specialist in New York, Maryland, and Washington, DC. She was associated with the Living Stage Program of Arena Stage bringing improvisational theatre game skills based on the work of Viola Spolin to the classroom.
She produced the first report on the needs for physical education for the developmentally disabled for the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, which led to the Special Olympics.
She prepared the first booklet “Your Career in the Peace Corps” while working for The American Counseling Association.
She earned a BA in Education and Psychology from Queens College (NYC); studied guidance, counseling, and child study at the University of Maryland; Earned an MA from George Washington University (DC) in Special Education; and Ph.D. In Child Development and Psychology from the Union Institute (Cincinnati, OH) then affiliated with Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Her mentors were Dr. Roy Fairfield and Dr. Glenn Nimnicht.
Since completing her doctoral degree she published 16 books on parenting, childcare, toys, and play, children's book (The Alphabet Tree -Windswept House in Maine) a novel (The Contest) and screenplay. Five childcare books were re-released in 2011 with back in Print/Author's Guild. The books will be available as e-books. See Dr Toy’s Best Gift Guide App https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dr-toys-best-gift-guide/id486720439?mt=8
Dr. Auerbach has been an active member of NAEYC, the largest professional organization in early childhood education for 35 years, and speaker at annual conferences, toy industry, professional, and parent organizations events. She has also been a member of Author’s Guild, ASJA, ACA, IPA, ITRA, OMEP, TASP, TIA, ASTRA, and WIT. Dr Toy was selected in 2007 as Wonder Woman Entrepreneur by WIT;
Dr. Auerbach is a playful grandmother.
The latest book is now available- The Butterfly Collection dedicated to the protection of butterflies, the flowers and Milkweed they depend on, and expanding awareness of the art of the butterfly around the world. She has the largest collection of all kinds of butterfly artifacts. Stevanne espouses "The health of the planet rests on the wings of the butterfly."