Dr. Toy

Today’s Major FUN Award goes to (aka Stevanne Auerbach) for her lifetime, one-woman campaign to help people make the connection between good toys and effective parenting.

I’ve known Dr. Toy for maybe 20 years and consistently been impressed by her good heart, her commitment to children, her dedication and fortitude. She had at one time created an amazing resource for kids and parents – a toy library and museum – a “Games Preserve” for toys and teaching the wisdom of play. Money was never her prime objective, and, sadly, when her museum was affected by the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 and forced to close she was never able to amass the resources to rebuild. In 1986 she lost everything in a five alarm fire in her home and office in SF (fortunately her book The Toy Chest had already gone to the publisher and was printed. Limited copies are available from Dr. Toy.)

She resumed evaluating toys and consulting to rebuild her life. Her web site was the first site on the internet devoted to toy information. The San Francisco International Toy Museum opened in 1986 at The Cannery in Fisherman’s Wharf and served over 50,000 children until it was forced to close. Dr. Toy is working with a dedicated group to relaunch a new toy museum in Oakland.

Her spirit is clearly indomitable. Her Dr. Toy award is recognized throughout the industry.

She is the author of two new books: Dr. Toy’s Smart Play: How to Raise a Child with a High PQ, and FAO Schwarz: Toys for a Lifetime: Enhancing Childhood Through Play.

Her website is a rich resource of toy reviews and articles about play. She is the kind of person who makes the BERNIE award worth the effort.

Play on, Dr. Toy!

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