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Kids Turn Toy News


GIANT EVOLUTION TIMELINE Scientist Mom’s Richly Illustrated Play Mat Among the Ten Most Socially Responsible Toys

Pawtucket, RI (October 13, 2009) – It took 600 million years of evolution until someone created a kidfriendly playmat to tell the story of life on Earth. Charlie’s Playhouse, maker of the colorfully illustrated, oversized mat, allows kids to skip through time along with 67 ancient creatures. For improving scientific literacy in a whole new way, Dr. Toy named Charlie’s Playhouse to her exclusive 100 Best Children’s Products Awards program of 2009.

Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, has been for many years one of the nation's and world’s leading experts on play, toys, and children's products. Many parents, teachers and toy buyers use Dr. Toy’s guidance in making selections. Dr. Toy’s Best Products Programs provide a unique, original, copyrighted review of children’s products. Her website,, is visited by over 80,000 visitors a day.

In announcing Charlie’s Playhouse as one of the 100 Best Children’s Products this year and one of the 10 Most Socially Responsible, Dr. Toy writes:

Giant Evolution Timeline Playmat • $49 • Age Range 4 - 10 Colorfully illustrated oversize play mat tells the story of 600 million years of evolution. Illustrations include 67 dazzling ancient creatures from the fossil record, six mass extinctions, cool comments from the animals, fun explanations of evolution from "Charlie" Darwin, footsteps for kids to follow at forty million years per step, and more.

Activity Guide includes eighteen kid-tested games and activities for ages four through ten. Activities range from running and skipping games, to memory games, to creative challenges, to adaptations of classics such as hopscotch and telephone. Activities are fun and engaging for multiple age levels while encouraging physical and imaginary play. Unfolds to fully 18 feet long, yet collapses to a manageable book-like format for easy storage. When folded, can be read like a storybook. Also can stand up on its side for use in smaller spaces. No other product addresses the science of evolution for young children.

Produced in the USA and made of eco-friendly synthetic paper. Waterproof, wipe clean with a damp cloth (so important for moms!).

Accolades for Charlie’s Playhouse have been rolling in this year. To date, the young company won the Best of Rhode Island 2009 Award featured in the August issue of Rhode Island Monthly. Dr. Toy anointed them with her 2009 Winner for Green Toy Company Award. And TD Monthly featured Charlie’s Playhouse in its June 2009 New Toys column for Science and Nature.

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Stevanne Auerbach, PhD/Dr. Toy, author of 15 books and hundreds of articles on toys and play, is the only PhD in Child Development evaluating the best developmentally appropriate toys and children’s products for Dr. Toy’s Guide ( with links to many related useful sites and resources for parents, teachers, children, and toy enthusiasts. Dr. Toy, author of Dr. Toy's Smart Play/Smart Toys, a book that provides tools to enhance the child's “PQ” (Play Quotient). The book is published in the US and in China, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Russia, Spain and Thailand.

Rhode Island-based Charlie’s Playhouse LLC makes the first-ever games and toys that teach children about evolution, natural selection and Charles Darwin. Scientist and mom Kate Miller, Ph.D. was unable to find fun, educational products for her two young sons that addressed evolution, so she founded the company in 2008. Dr. Miller has been selected as a consultant to a government-funded project to develop a 4th grade evolution curriculum at Concord Consortium in Concord, MA.