Summer is finally here! And we’re ready to get the fun started. Check out our latest Summer Fun & Travel Guide filled with amazing products for you and your kids to enjoy. It includes over 90 NAPPA Award winning products that have been tested and evaluated. It features water toys for fun in the sun, games and puzzles to challenge your mind, books for summer reading, music for a rockin’ playlist and travel gear for comfort on the go. Check it out for everything you need this summer!
Ready for some family fun! Check out these new NAPPA Award winners!
A super-fun game about YOU and your people–and your likes and dislikes. How well do you know each other? Can your teammate guess your RANK? $30.00, ages 8+, storyastic.com
Like paint-by-numbers, but with stickers! A great activity for the whole family, maker spaces, community-building events, reading challenges, and more! $36.00, ages 5+, letsticktogether.com
The first player to successfully place all of their ice blocks and their fox pawn on the sculpture wins the game. The blocks are slippery so be careful or the sculpture may come tumbling down. $36.00, ages 7+, simplyfun.com
A fun three-dimensional game that will have players practicing their planning skills and adapting to new conditions. Race around the track, planning which paths to take in order to get ahead. $38.00, ages 7+, simplyfun.com
Addresses every day teachable moments that aim to normalize conversations around safety and flexible thinking through the medium of a board game. $19.99, ages 4+, gameplangame.com
For more award-winning products, visit NAPPAAwards.com
This summer will be different, but as parents we need to do all we can to create fun and a sense of calm for our kids. So this summer, turn your backyard into the FUN ZONE! Our NAPPA Awards Guide to Summer Fun is here to help you bring that carefree vibe home. We have toys, family games, music, recipes and much more. Happy Summer!
Maya Warren has a job title that would get most kids’ attention. She’s an ice cream scientist. Translation: Warren is senior director of international research and development/tastemaster at Cold Stone Creamery, and has a doctorate in food science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, specializing in frozen desserts. After being introduced to food science through the Food Network show “Unwrapped,” she decided to combine her passions for ice cream and chemistry to create a career that lets her do what she loves every day.
While her favorite ice cream flavor fluctuates between cookies and cream and a double-buttered candied pecan that is her own creation, the L.A.-based flavor maker finds inspiration for new flavors everywhere. “Whether it is at a fine dining restaurant, the candy or yogurt aisle at the grocery store or just following up-and-coming food trends across the globe, creativity is always around us,” Warren says. “It is really fun to push the envelope with ice cream flavors.”
Honey, cornbread and blackberry jam? Thai curry, peanuts and lime? Why not! “The flavors you can make are totally endless!” Warren says. “Now, not everything will taste amazing, but you never know when you might develop an amazing flavor that will leave people wanting more.”
What does she eat when she isn’t eating ice cream? “I love a great plate of veggies,” Warren insists. “I pretty much add spinach and broccoli to anything and everything … except ice cream. I’ve definitely not tried spinach or broccoli ice cream!”
The recipe this ice cream scientist has shared is the no-churn variety, which means you can make it without an ice cream maker. She says both varieties are very tasty, and that the main difference is in the process. No-churn recipes involve whipping the cream separately to create foam and give the mixture lightness, which wouldn’t be efficient for large-scale production. Ice cream that is churned freezes a prepared mixture and uses the machine to incorporate air during the freezing process.
Using this no-churn recipe, you create the base, then let your creativity loose to create your own flavor combinations. “Layer in whatever your creative mind and taste buds desire!” says Warren. Want more inspiration? Follow the ice cream scientist on Instagram, where she hosts live “Ice Cream Sundays with Dr. Maya,” demonstrating her recipes so that families can follow along.
The No-Churn Ice Cream Recipe:
2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream, chilled
1¼ cups of sweetened condensed milk (approximately one 14-ounce can)
¼ cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Inclusions of your choice – broken/chopped cookies, sprinkles, caramel and/or fudge sauce, etc.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla extract.Gently mix with a spatula until homogeneous, then set aside.
Pour the heavy whipping cream into a smaller mixing bowl. Starting on the lowest speed to avoid splashing, then gradually increasing to the highest speed, whip with a hand or standing mixer until whipped cream forms stiff peaks, about 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to over-whip the cream or it will turn into butter.
Using a spatula, scoop and gently fold the whipped cream into the sweetened condensed milk mixture until all of the cream is folded in. This now becomes your ice cream base – set aside.
Grab your storage container and a ladle. Using the ladle, scoop a layer of ice cream base into the container. Spread a layer of inclusions on top. Add another layer of ice cream base, followed by another layer of inclusions, and alternate until all of your ice cream base and inclusions are in your container.
Place a lid, plastic wrap or parchment paper over your ice cream. If using parchment paper or plastic wrap, gently press down until it lightly touches the ice cream. Freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight. Remove the container from the freezer and let it sit on the counter for 5-7 minutes if the ice cream is too hard to scoop. Enjoy!
Summer is a great time for music and we have wonderful new NAPPA Award winners to share with you. Listen and Enjoy!
This Is Our Time
“This Is Our Time,” by Sir Dapp & The Paw Prints, embraces meaningful messages for kids about self-image, kindness and respect, and the power of words while providing toe-tapping, dance-worthy fun! The album incorporates multiple music genres the whole family will enjoy. The real-life singers on the album are Eli Jacobson (“Sir Dapp”), of NBC’s “Sing-Off” and the popular acapella group VoicePlay, and Rachel Potter (“The Dollie”), of Broadway and Nashville’s Steel Union band. $9.99, ages 3+
Marsha and the Positrons clever lyrics about science and how the world works, positive messages and catchy sound will definitely entertain kids and grown-ups alike. This 12-track album skillfully weaves science with themes of friendship and kindness, underscored with an infectious rock beat. Playful, educational, and engaging, this record features collaborations with other children’s musicians such as Barry Louis Polisar, Lori Henriques and Billy Kelly. Produced by talented indie rocker, TJ Lipple. $15.00/physical or $9.99/digital, for the entire family.
For more award winning music, visit nappaawards.com
Summer means outdoor fun and what’s better than water play! These NAPPA Award winners are perfect for hot summer days.
Baby Spring Float Splash Station
The Baby Spring Float Splash Station is a part of the SwimWays Swim Steps program, designed to provide a fun and secure first-time water experience for babies. It includes adorable whale and starfish interactive water toys that squirt and spray water. It also features a patented inner spring around the outside edge for added stability, removable sun canopy with UPF 50+ sun protection, soft mesh seat with secure leg holes and mesh sippy cup holder. $29.99, ages 9-24 months.
X-Shot Fast Fill
The X-SHOT Fast-Fill allows you to refill your blaster in 1 second and get back to the water blasting action long before your opponents. Just dunk, fill and close with rapid sealing technology. It shoots up to 30ft/10m and you can fill it anywhere, because a Fast-Fill is everything. Up Your Game this summer! $12.99, ages 5+
PAW Patrol Swim Trainer Life Jackets
The PAW Patrol Swim Trainer Life Jackets are U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices for kids. Permanent flotation in the arms and chest provide greater mobility and the out-of-reach adjustable back buckles are convenient for parents and more secure for kids. The life jackets feature soft fabric and fit most children weighing 30-50 pounds. Available in PAW Patrol 3-D Chase & Skye characters (Chase & Skye sold individually) and PAW Patrol non-3-D character graphics. $18.88-$24.99 each, fits most children weighing 30-50 pounds.
For more award winning products, visit nappaawards.com
Traveling with a baby or toddler is a lot of fun and makes great memories, but there is just so much stuff to take with you. That’s why we’re super excited for these latest NAPPA Award winners. These baby gear essentials from UPPABaby are lightweight, easy to transport and stylish. Better start packing for a fun summer adventure!
Go places, big and small. Weighing in at under 15 lbs., the MINU by UPPAbaby offers modern conveniences in a compact, lightweight stroller designed for daily adventures and exciting excursions. One hand and one smooth motion is all it takes to fold this stylish stroller, making it perfect for travel. Features large, easy-access basket, extendable UPF 50+ sunshade, spring-action, all-wheel suspension, multi-position recline and 100% full-grain leather handlebar. Add-on features include From Birth Kit accessory. Ages: From birth (with Accessory Kit or MESA infant car seat adapters) otherwise 3 months to 50 lbs. $399.99.
The portable G-LITE stroller by UPPAbaby is one of the lightest full-size umbrella strollers available. A mesh sling seat adds comfort without adding weight. While this stylish stroller is super light and portable, it still includes all the essential features to make life a little easier. Extendable UPF 50+ sunshade allows you and your child to enjoy the sunniest of days together. The seat fabric is removable and machine washable. Includes cupholder and large basket with easy access. Ages: 6 months to 55 lbs. $179.99.
The MESA Infant Car Seat by UPPAbaby remains top-rated in safety by maximizing ease of use to minimize error, allowing parents to move forward with confidence and security. The SMARTSecure System combines auto-retracting connectors and a visual indicator that turns from red to green, providing an installation that is both simple and accurate. Awarded the NHTSA 5-Star Rating. Ages: 4 lbs to 35 lbs and up to 32” in height, $239.99.
For more baby and travel gear product reviews, visit nappaawards.com
Kids are out of school, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. Check out these latest NAPPA Award winners that keep the fun and learning going all summer long.
ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy by Age of Learning, Inc.
ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy is the leading and most comprehensive online early learning resource for children ages 2–8. It offers an expert-designed curriculum for preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. With more than 9,000 individual learning activities and 800+ complete lessons along their Step-by-Step Learning Path™, ABCmouse.com encompasses reading and language arts, math, science, social studies, art, and music. It is available on computer, tablet, or smartphone. Ages 2-8, 9.95/monthly or $59.95/annually.
Smithsonian Mega Science Lab
Learn about volcanos, weather, outer space and more. The Smithsonian Mega Science Lab is six different STEM kits in one. Observe the process of crystal formation; assemble and paint a model of the earth and moon; and erect and erupt your very own volcano. Create an Eco Dome Habitat where you can catch, collect and study bugs. Assemble and install your own weather station and start logging temperature, wind direction and speed, barometric pressure, humidity, clouds and precipitation. Put on your safety goggles and chisel away at your sand block as you excavate bones that you can assemble into a model dinosaur. This kit is a science sampler that offers six amazing adventures that are safe and easy to do. Detailed instructions are included. Ages 10+, $34.99.
Smithsonian Planetarium Projector
The Smithsonian Planetarium Projector brings the nighttime sky into your room. Just aim the projector at a light-colored wall or ceiling, and project a rotating star pattern of the northern sky. Three disks also feature 24 high-definition space images that you can project alongside the stars: planets, nebulae, moons, asteroids and other celestial bodies, as well as a satellite, space station, astronaut, space shuttle and more. Project more than 50 different image combinations. The Smithsonian Planetarium Projector features a 15-minute auto-shut-off, so you can fall asleep under a magical night sky. It comes with STEM educational content and requires 3 AA batteries (not included). Ages 8+, $39.99.
For more educational toys, apps and products, visit nappaawards.com
Summer is here and that means pool parties, barbecues, picnic at the park and beach days. To get the party started, we have these terrific portable speakers and NAPPA Award winners that are great for anytime, anywhere. Great for travel too. Dance party anyone?
My Audio Pet Splash
My Audio Pet Splash are adorable, portable and waterproof bluetooth speakers with a powerful 5 watt driver. Features a ridiculously long-lasting 1000 mAH rechargeable battery (up to 8 hours of play time), a selfie remote and True Wireless Stereo (TWS) Technology. The Hide & Speak App – The Crazy Fun Family Friendly App is included with purchase. $39.99
Let the musical fun begin with Jooki! An adorable and smart player that lets kids choose and listen to music and stories with ToyTouch™ Technology. Kids are in control to listen, dance, imagine while music or stories play. Uploaded from a phone using the Jooki app or drag-and-drop from iTunes on a laptop. You can also choose Spotify to create the playlist. Link the Jooki characters, who will play to the playlist when placed on the Jooki speaker. $199
JBL JR POP
Kid-proof durability combined with epic sound. The JBL JR POP will be an instant favorite with kids and parents alike. With five hours of playtime, a waterproof design and JBL’s Signature Sound, the JR POP will have kids rocking out to their favorite “parent-approved” playlists from the school bus all the way through after-school activities. The best part is that this speaker is made just for kids – small enough to fit in their hands with a built-in strap for on-the-go listening. $29.95
The Lullabuddy is a lullaby player & speaker that comes pre-loaded with 2 hours of Mae Robertson’s award winning lullabies and love songs — music that both parents and babies will enjoy. The super compact music player comes with a shuffle button, a one-hour timer and a mini USB cable for charging. When fully charged, it will play for up to 18 hours. The music was remastered specifically for the Lullabuddy with wonderful sound quality. The speaker is also Bluetooth enabled so that other music can be played from a mobile device. $60.
For more reviews, visit nappaawards.com