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REDONDO BEACH, CA…JUNE 1, 2009… b. dazzle, inc. of Redondo Beach, California, has announced that four of its mind stimulating products have been honored by The Institute for Childhood Resources in San Francisco as among only one hundred sixteen (116) products world wide selected as “Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Vacation Products for summer 2010.”  The four honored products include three (3) Scramble Squares® 9-Piece Puzzles:  “Cows,” “Guitars” and “Fall Festival” and one of its two poster sets of Color ‘n Seek® Hidden Pictures Coloring Activities: “Ponies and Music.”

“As a childhood specialist for 40 years,” says Dr. Toy, “I have seen the continuous, essential need for more year-round resources for consumers to identify and choose the most appropriate products for all children.”  Dr. Toy reports that in the years the innovative on-line magazine, Dr. Toy’s Guide, has been available, “thousands of visitors daily from around the world have accessed its information.”  It was the first web site to evaluate toys and children’s products.  The report is being released, according to Dr. Toy, to “encourage parents and teachers to focus on the value of play during the summer as essential to the overall learning process.”  She adds, “The Best Vacation Products a balanced selection  from large and small, new and established, companies across the U.S.A., Canada, and overseas will provide children with exciting new learning tools that will help them not only do better in school, but also will provide more constructive activities while traveling or at vacation destinations.”  The award winning products include innovative toys, books, CDs, crafts, DVDs, games, puzzles, and many other play products for children of all ages and interests.  Dr. Toy believes “parents need more help to get a head start locating new, diversified products that children will enjoy as they increase learning skills and expand creativity.”  The products range from low to high tech for “hours of constructive, educational, and stimulating fun.” “Children learn best through play,” says Dr. Auerbach, “and these Best Products encourage children to maximize their potential and make the most of Smart Play. By making a renewed focus on summertime as a special time for choosing new products for children, parents improve their children’s development. This is a perfect time for parents to ‘take stock’ and do an inventory of what their children are playing with, what is not used, and what they need next in their development.”

The following is Dr. Toy’s evaluation of the honored Scramble Squares 9-Piece Puzzles:

Although each Scramble Squares® puzzle has only nine 4″ x 4″ square pieces, Scramble Squares® puzzles are Perhaps The World’s Most Challenging Puzzle®!  The object of the Scramble Squares® puzzle game is to arrange the nine colorfully illustrated 4” x 4” square pieces into a 12” square so that the realistic graphics on the pieces’ edges match perfectly to form completed pictures in every direction. Priced at a suggested retail price under $10 each, makes Scramble Squares® puzzles inexpensive, but highly valued as a gift, souvenir, and cross-generational play activity. Scramble Squares® puzzles teach patience, perseverance, fine motor skills, critical thinking skills, and help maintain mental agility in older persons, while providing stimulating entertainment as either a solitary game or a cooperative activity. Each puzzle package includes an interpretive panel of fascinating facts on the subject of the puzzle, as well as a trivia question and hidden answer, all packaged in a unique and handy resealable heavy duty 10-1/2” long x 5-3/4” wide  x 3/8” deep vinyl travel pouch, which can be stored easily in a standard 3-ring binder.  Scramble Squares® puzzles are highly rated by the web site of the Lekotek National Center in Chicago, which ranks products that are beneficial to the learning disabled. Scramble Squares® puzzles are Easy To Play, But Hard To Solve®!  Over 140 exquisite styles of colorful original art are available on nature, sports, history, culture, geography, science, technology, gourmet cooking, occupations, fantasy, hobbies, and more new styles are added throughout each year.

The following is Dr. Toy’s evaluation of the honored Color ‘n Seek® Hidden Pictures Coloring Activities:

Color ’n Seek® hidden pictures coloring activities are the only poster art available with hidden pictures and educational word association. The words describing all of the objects hidden in the posters are printed on the margins of the posters in open font to be colored as each object is found in the poster. Two “Artist Smooth” paper stock posters and ten markers are included in the flat-pack. Color ’n Seek® hidden picture art activities were winners of the Dr. Toy Best Vacation Children’s’ products of 2008, awarded by The Institute for Childhood Resources in San Francisco. Color ‘n Seek® posters are available in a wide variety of topics appealing to a broad range of interests and are offered in 18 assortments of two-poster sets, including Alphabet (A-M & N-Z); Beasties (forest animals) & Mythical Animals; Getting Wet & In The Swim (water nature & water play); Once Upon A Pony and Music Makers; Days of Yore & Sports; Home On The Farm & Bright Lights (country life & city life); Out of the West & Roughing It; In The Garden & Amazon Jungle.

Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Vacation Products are carefully chosen, using extensive criteria she has developed over many years, from among hundreds she has reviewed at toy fairs, in catalogs, and through many other sources.  The criteria she uses includes: safety, age-appropriateness, design, durability, lasting play value, cultural and ethnic diversity, good transition from home to school, educational value, learning skills, creativity, improvement in the understanding of the community and the world, good value for price, and, naturally, fun.

Dr. Auerbach, a long-time resident of San Francisco, originally from New York City, lived in Washington, DC, while working for the Department of Education, where she approved the first proposal for “Sesame Street” and established the first day care center for children of federal employees.  In San Francisco, she established the San Francisco International Toy Museum, the world’s first “hands-on” toy museum visited by over 50,000 children.  She is the author of 15 books and hundreds of articles on toys and play, and is the only Ph.D. in Child Development evaluating toys and children’s products with extensive training, background, and over 37 years of experience evaluating, writing and speaking about toys and children’s products.  Dr. Auerbach is trained in child development, education, child psychology and special education.  She is an educator, consultant, parent, and playful grandparent.  Her book, Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/Smart Toys: How To Raise a Child with a High P. Q. (Play Quotient), may be obtained through and at many toy and book stores.          

“We are extremely honored that over the 16 years that we have produced our Scramble Squares® puzzles and our Color ‘n Seek® Hidden Picures Coloring Activities our products have maintained the very high standards that Dr. Toy upholds as her criteria for “Dr. Toy’s Best Children’s Vacation Products for 2010,” says b. dazzle founder, puzzle designer, president & CEO, Kathie Gavin.

Founded in 1993, b. dazzle, inc. is a progressive market-driven company which manufactures and distributes wholesale in the gift, souvenir, toy and educational products industries a wide range of beautiful, wholesome, entertaining and informative made-in-America gifts of high quality and low cost for all ages of  adults and children that can be selected by topic to appeal to the personal interests of the recipient and can be enjoyed as cross-generational family activities. 

b. dazzle, inc. is an official member of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition of the Josephson Institute of Ethics in Los Angeles:  (800-711-2670; 310-846-4800).  The purpose of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition is to fortify the lives of America’s young people with consensus ethical values called the “Six Pillars of Character.”  These six key character values, which transcend divisions of race, creed, politics, gender and wealth,are trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. .  “Because our society places such a high value on material success, there is the tendency in human nature to pursue success by material success, there is the tendency in human nature to pursue success by any means, whether fairly or unfairly, honestly or dishonestly,” says Kathie Gavin.  “We strongly believe that with our success comes a duty for us to contribute to our society.  We wish to do so by advancing the principles of good character and ethical behavior, not only by operating our business in accordance with ethical standards, but also by advancing and promoting the importance of ethical business practices and ethical behavior throughout  our industry and our society at large.  The ‘CHARACTER COUNTS!’ Coalition has become the nation’s leading character education system, now reaching five million youngsters through a widespread partnership of schools and youth-serving organizations. Two United States’ Presidents, the Congress, most states and countless municipalities have endorsed the Coalition’s approach and declared the third week in October ‘National CHARACTER COUNTS! Week.’”