We have been very busy testing and evaluating lots and lots of products to bring you this special Summer Fun Guide filled with inspiration for outdoor fun, game nights, summer reading and learning and so much more! Check it out.
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
YULU is a winner of multiple NAPPA Awards and an up-and-coming family and kids entertainment company that burst onto the international toy scene less than 4 years ago. Since then, their success has been spectacular.
In 2017, only a few years after attending University in The Netherlands, YULU partners Jochem van Rijn and Thijmen de Schipper arrived at the International Toy Fair with their own main floor Javits Center booth — a great start for two not-even-30-something-year-olds. We enjoyed learning more about YULU and co-founder Thijmen de Shipper.
Congratulations on the success of YULU. What would you say is the guiding mission of YULU?
We have a very simple mission: “More Play, More Fun!” But at the core of what we do is storytelling with all of our kids and entertainment properties. It’s all about making fresh, innovative toys and games that deliver creative, imaginative and active play experiences that recognize how today’s kids play and communicate. Bringing smiles to kids of all ages is always our top priority!
We would like our readers to get to know you better. Tell us a little about yourself growing up. What were your favorite activities as a child? What did you enjoy playing the most?
When I was very young I actually played a lot with Playmobil toys. I specifically remember going into the woods with my playset that had a teepee and covering it in mulch to hide it from the cowboy cart that was racing by with six horses and some nasty gunslingers! I loved creating my own stories; I even wrote them down in a little booklet that I still have to this day.
Actually thinking about it, a lot of my experiences when I was younger have had an influence on the toys we create today at YULU. My partner Jochem and I first met when we were in University in the Netherlands. During those days, we bought a huge world map, sand stripped the table and glued it on top of our coffee table as a massive Risk board. A weekly battlefield was organized! Looking back, it really was a start of my fascination with and love of games.
I’ve also loved all things James Bond and I’ve been watching those movies for years as a kid. These spy-themed films have been a great source of inspiration for our brand of Spy Code games. And our first outdoor item was a product called Helix, which was based on a game I played while I was as an exchange student in China.
It was also at University that Jochem and I became entrepreneurs as we developed an app for the rules of soccer, which was sold to the Dutch government just before the London Olympics. That definitely opened several doors for us with many people supporting and encouraging us to start something new. And YULU was born!
What do you hope kids experience when they are playing with a YULU toy?
We want our toys and games to really nurture creativity in kids, ultimately encouraging them to become more inquisitive about their surroundings and as a result, more interactive with people around them. We’re passionate about trying to create new play experiences that people have never seen before. One of our newest introductions, our #SNAPSTAR fashion doll brand of “social influencer” dolls, does just that by connecting with ‘tween girls in a way they can relate to in today’s world of YouTube and social engagement. We’re really proud of this brand.
Where do you envision YULU in the next five years?
Our growth over the last few years since we launched the company has been almost unbelievable.
This year, in addition to taking a giant leap into the world of fashion dolls with #SNAPSTAR, we’re launching a really fun line called Pop Pop Pets and Pop Pop Snotz, which combine the hottest trends in toys – collectibles, slime and fun reveals! New games include King of the Ring, an ice crème-themed stacking game called Oops Scoops, and our new Survival Skillz brand which includes both an obstacle course game called Torch Run and an action game Fish For Fish. New in our YULU Sports category is Double Juggle, in which we put a fresh spin on the traditional game of paddle ball.
Today, we’re an international creator and maker of a full line toy and games in over 40 countries. Pretty exciting. As we continue our journey, we hope to be able to expand the breath of our toys into new areas and new entertainment, and continuing having fun.
For more product reviews, articles and interviews, visit nappaawards.com. #playlearnconnect
We have new award-winning apps that bring fun and learning together!
KidloLand Educational App
KidloLand is a comprehensive learning program for kids. Discover 1000+ songs, nursery rhymes, games, stories, and activities focusing on early learning, English, Math, coding, arts and more. The app also helps develop skills such as logical thinking, fine motor skills and creativity. KidloLand is regularly updated with new content and is also completely ad-free. $4.99/monthly, $39.99/annually, ages 1-7.
Tynker: Coding Games for Kids
Get creative and learn about coding with Tynker’s innovative computing platform. A great way to help children develop computational thinking and programming skills in a fun and intuitive way. As they’re guided through interactive game-based courses, children quickly learn fundamental programming concepts. With Tynker, a child can apply their coding skills as they build games, tell stories, mod Minecraft, create apps, control drones and robots, and more. Parents can follow their child’s success and share their creations through a parent dashboard. $20/monthly, $120/annually, $240/lifetime, ages 5-15.
Dr. Panda Learn & Play
Dr. Panda & Toto are back in the brand new learning app “Dr. Panda Learn & Play”! Kids can play and learn numbers, letters, phonics and more through playing 30+ activities along with Dr. Panda, with more added all the time! Beyond games, books and videos, kids will also explore Dr. Panda & Toto’s world, play dress up, unlock new costumes, and discover all sorts of hidden activities around Dr. Panda’s home. $4.99/monthly, $29.99/annually, ages 2-5.
Toca Kitchen Sushi
With Toca Kitchen Sushi, your child becomes the chef of a busy seaside restaurant. Slice up squid, asparagus, and candy canes, and roll it all up into a cone of seaweed! Or make stars and hearts of watermelon and mix them with fish and hot peppers! Want to make the roundest rice ball? You’ve got great tools for that right at your fingertips. Then see what your customers think. $3.99, ages 6-9.
For more product reviews, visit nappaawards.com. #playlearnconnect
Watching babies discover and explore new sounds and textures is so rewarding. These NAPPA-Award winning toys are perfect for enhancing your babies development and they are super fun!
Lights & Stripes Zebra
Dance all day with the Lights & Stripes Zebra™. Upbeat music and playful sing-along songs encourage your baby to move and groove. This zippy plush zebra features bold black and white stripes, colorful patterned fabric and a variety of textures to enhance tactile awareness. The friendly zebra’s tummy plays endearing phrases and introduces colors through catchy songs while glowing in five different colors. The plush zebra has a washable surface with removable electronics. This snuggly striped sidekick is perfectly sized for your little one to hug and bring on-the-go! $14.99, ages birth+
My First Farm
My First Farm is a farm set for toddlers, which playfully introduces them into the BRIO wooden railway system. This frustration-free play set will give small children hours of fun and help teach them about farmyard animals. The five wooden animals fit into the animal wagon ready to be transported by train to the farm. Each animal also comes with three distinct sounds, which are activated automatically when placed in the farm meadow. Learning about animals has never been so much fun! $59.99, ages 18 + months
Butterfly Counting Pal
Enjoy a flutter of color with the Butterfly Counting Pal™ plush learning toy. Five colorful number buttons play a variety of songs to teach colors and numbers. A kaleidoscope of color, Butterfly’s light-up wing shows the colors of the rainbow. She also helps your baby fall asleep with soft, classical melodies. Each segment of this on-the-go toy features a dangling toy that rattles, squeaks, turns or crinkles to help develop fine motor skills. Learn at home or on the fly by using the included straps to secure the butterfly to infant carriers and strollers. $17.99, ages birth+
Lalaboom Educational Beads
Lalaboom Educational Beads are designed for exploration and learning. Featuring vivid colors, unisex patters and soft texture. These beads are designed to guide children through their developmental learning curve based on the Montessori educational approach. Children will be able to explore five developmental functions by manipulating the beads at their own pace. All beads can be easily washed and cleaned.
10-15 months: Explore Colors, textures & shapes with basic POP IT action.
15-18 months: TWIST IT.
18-24 month: MIX IT.
24-36+: STACK IT!
36+: LACE IT! $5.99 to 29.99, ages 10 to 36+ months
Whimsical Wheel High Chair Toy
Capture baby’s attention with the spinning wheels, cascading beads and bright colors of the Whimsical Wheel! The spinning wheels encourage baby to reach, tug, and bat, strengthening hand-eye coordination. Trapped within the clear structure are colorful beads, which help baby connect the sound to sight. One wheel features a mirror, which is perfect for self-discovery. Plus, the suction cup base attaches to flat surfaces such as high chairs and table tops for frustration-free play. $9.99, ages 6+ months
My Peek-a-Boo LapPup
Learning is important business with My Peek-a-Boo LapPup™! Open the toy laptop and say hello to Scout or Violet before getting to work on learning about rhymes, shapes, colors and numbers. Press Scout’s or Violet’s name tag button to move their paws in front of their eyes and hear cute peek-a-boo phrases. Five crayon buttons light up while playing phrases and songs about colors. Shape buttons play rhymes about shapes, colors and numbers. Slide the clicking mouse up and down for additional imitative play. Close the lid and say goodbye! Available in Scout or Violet. $14.99, ages 6+ months
Do-Re-Mi Textured Tunes
Dance along to three fun melodies on the Do-Re-Mi Musical Toy, teaching baby cause-and-effect by pushing the buttons to hear each song. At the bottom are soft, textured surfaces that encourage mouthing, aiding in the development of communication skills. The easy-to-grasp handle has a black & white pattern and click-clack rings to stimulate baby’s vision and auditory awareness. A great toy for playtime on-the-go! $9.99, ages Birth- 24 months
Scout’s Learning Lights Remote Deluxe
Learning is on every channel with Scout’s Learning Lights Remote™ role-play toy. Explore all 17 buttons on the learning remote to hear more than 100 phrases, sounds and music while building fine motor skills. Flip between modes for role-play excitement or learning activities that introduce numbers and letters. Silly pretend channels inspire imaginative play. Switch to the Spanish channel to hear common Spanish phrases, listen and dance to three different music styles on the music channel and hear rain, snow and wind sound effects on the weather channel.$12.99, ages 6+ months
Spin & Chew Ring Rattle
Whether at home or on-the-go, keep your little one entertained with the Sassy Spin & Chew Flexible Ring Rattle. Perfectly-sized for little hands, this rattle is easy to grab and features a spinning ring and ball to stimulate senses. $6.99For Ages: Birth to 24 months
Bend & Twist Rattle
Sassy Baby’s Bend & Twist Rattle is soft and squishy — perfect for baby. The bright colors, different materials and variety of surfaces help stimulate baby. Rattle beads and click-clack rings stimulate baby’s developing vision and awaken auditory awareness. The soft, squishy material is perfect for baby’s environment. Dishwasher safe. $6.99, ages birth-24 months.
For more all things baby, visit nappaawards.com. #playlearnconnect
Meet our latest NAPPA Award-winning toys that will make great new friends for your kids.
Rubber Ducks from Wild Republic
These are not your mother’s rubber ducks! Wild Republic’s Rubber Ducks are free of any opening making them mold-free due to the unique hole-less design that does not allow moisture from collecting inside the duck. Rubber ducks are the perfect collectable for a water or land. Wild Republic has 31 different unique designs that can be used to educate children on animals of the world! $6.99
Squishmallows Hug Mees
Newest additions to the Squishmallows family have a “3D” look with hands, feet or paws for even more cuddling. Hug Mees are ready to give and get lots of love and are sure to please the ever-increasing Squishmallows fan base. Kids, tweens, collectors and toy lovers of all ages can look forward to adding the Hug Mees to their #SquishmallowSquad collections. Eight super soft, colorful, Hug Mees include two unicorns, two foxes, alpaca, blue bear, sloth and a raccoon available in four sizes: small (10”), medium (14”), large (18”) and jumbo (20”). $6.99, $14.99, $19.99 and $24.99, respectively.
Flutter Friends are birds that interact with kids and each other! Pet the hummingbird’s head or back to unlock over 40 realistic hummingbird sounds. Each tap will activate a variety of movement and sounds. Each Flutter Friend features soft, shimmery wings kids will love. Kids can help their Flutter Friend learn to fly by tapping their back twice. Their Flutter Friend will open their wings as she is guided through the air. $14.99, ages 5+
Hairdorables Pets Series 1
The Hairdorables Pets are just about the cutest fur-friends you’ve ever seen! Lovable, loyal, and with lots of “Big Hair Don’t Care” style, the Hairdorables Pets express their unique personalities. Each pet comes with their own brush, so girls can style their Hairdorables Pet’s hair, just like their Hairdorables Dolls. Pull, peel, and reveal 8 surprises inside. Each pet includes 2 accessories, 2 stickers, one brush, one adoption card, and one collector list. $7.99, ages 3+
Lights & Stripes Zebra
Dance all day with the Lights & Stripes Zebra™. Upbeat music and playful sing-along songs encourage your baby to move and groove. This zippy plush zebra features bold black and white stripes, colorful patterned fabric and a variety of textures to enhance tactile awareness. The friendly zebra’s tummy plays endearing phrases and introduces colors through catchy songs while glowing in five different colors. The plush zebra has a washable surface with removable electronics. This snuggly striped sidekick is perfectly sized for your little one to hug and bring on-the-go! $14.99, birth+
TLC Kritters need your care and love. Take home the incubator and open to reveal which baby animal you’ve received. Time for the gender reveal. Drop the included packet into water to reveal if your Kritter is a boy or a girl. The packet will include a gender reveal card and accessories for your Kritter. Use the included bottle to feed your new pet and – give it a squeeze to make it sneeze. Take off the Kritter’s diaper and dunk it in cool water to reveal a dirty diaper, noted by emojis. Clean the diaper by soaking in warm water. Collect all the TLC Kritters! $9.99, ages 6+
Summer is a great time to connect with kids and playing games is one of the best ways to come together as a family to have fun and make memories. Check out our latest NAPPA Award-winning games.
The object of Honeycombs is to connect your tiles together by matching their symbols. The more matches you make the more points you earn. The Honeybee is wild and can be connected with any symbol. Features three unique ways to play, each varying in speed and competitiveness. Choose the one that suits your mood! $19.99, ages 6+
Our Family’s Race Across the U.S.A. Personalized Board Game
Announcing a brand-new way to engage the family with your own personalized board game, “Our Family’s Race Across the U.S.A.”! In a race across America’s coasts, move your piece along the colored tiles and cross the finish line first to win! Personalize up to six game pieces with the names and photos of your family members. Your family’s names will also be incorporated into the game board artwork. Create lasting family memories during family game night with this uniquely personalized keepsake. $29.99
3UP 3DOWN is a fast-paced, family-friendly discard game with a surprising finish! THE GOAL: Get rid of your cards before your family and friends can. THE SURPRISE: Three of your cards are not revealed until the very end – so you will need both strategy and luck! Takes just 3 minutes to learn and 10 minutes to play. It’s so fast and fun, you’ll all say, “Let’s Play Another Round!” $9.99, ages 7+
BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE
BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE is a dynamic matching game with an explosive twist! THE MISSION: Ignite as many matches as you can by using special action cards, strategy, your memory, and a little bit of luck. THE TWIST: The matchbox is always changing, and sometimes everything explodes! TO WIN: Race against the timer, use some mental math to ignite matches, and hope that you’re the one that gets to say “BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.” $14.99, ages 8+
For more product reviews, visit nappaawards.com. #playlearnconnect
Out latest NAPPA Award-winning albums are upbeat, fun and super family friendly. Take them along on your next road trip or put on a dance party in your backyard.
Under the Big Umbrella by Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could
Three-time GRAMMY nominees Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could, have released their 10th studio album. This is a music-filled place where individuality is celebrated and kindness wins the day. Inspired by and written with students, teachers and families and enriched by a handful of classic pop songs that underscore the message, Rymer’s vibrant and colorful album is his most ambitious yet, a collection of 12 new songs full of hope for a future with “room for everyone.” As one educator says, Rymer “gives us the tools to help our students, of all abilities and backgrounds, understand, accept and truly enjoy one another.” $14
Bubba & Boo
Multi instrumentalist, Megan Schoenbohm, is an earthy, edgy, free-spirited songbird, who takes the audience on a mellifluous journey through themes of kindness, humanity, creativity and imagination in her debut children’s album, Bubba & Boo. The music is catchy & fun, and is sure to get the whole family singing along. $15
Earworm by Sean McCollough
Radio show host and songwriter Sean McCollough releases his third album featuring 13 stick-in-your-head original and cover songs. Earworm also features guest artists such as Billy Jonas and Molly Ledford. “I love introducing kids to music that requires an open mind, an open heart and ‘big ears,” says Sean. $13; $9.49 for digital.
For more product reviews, visit nappaawards.com. #playlearnconnect
Summer is almost here and we have some great new toys that will definitely bring the FUN! Check out our latest NAPPA Award winners.
Free Wheelin’ Rider Sport Convertible Balance Bike
Free Wheelin’ Rider Sport Convertible Balance Bike is a stylish and original pushbike that changes and grows along with your child. Start it off as a 3-wheel push bike for younger children. As they get older, it easily converts into a 2-wheel balance bike to teach more advanced riders the skills they need for all future cycling. The height is also adjustable as little ones grow bigger. $59.99, ages 1+
POWERUP Toys 2.0 Free Flight Electric Paper Airplane Conversion Kit
POWERUP Toys is taking paper airplanes to new heights with the POWERUP 2.0 Free Flight. The powered propeller transforms your paper airplane into a soaring electric aircraft with more than 30 seconds of flight. It’s as easy as folding a paper airplane, clipping on the propeller, and launching it into the air – just like a normal paper airplane. $19.99, ages 8+
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.
JBL JR POP
Keep the music going this summer — anywhere, anytime! The JBL JR POP has epic sound quality and 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. The JR POP comes in a variety of vibrant, two-tone color combinations that kids can customize with included sticker sets. The JR POP has a multi-color lighting mode that illuminates when it is playing — perfect for expressing your own personal style. $29.95, ages 3+
Rock Around Wobble Disk
Hold on tight for a rock, wobble, and 360 degree spin adventure with the Simplay3 Rock Around Wobble Disk! Kids 2 years and up can rock and wobble solo or have a parent add to the fun with a playful spin. Promotes core strength and balance. Molded in hand grips provide extra stability and a safety ring wraps around the middle of the toy saucer to help limit extreme wobbling. Made in the USA.$39.99, ages 2+
For more product reviews, visit nappaawards.com. #playlearnconnect
We love family games and we have some great new ones for you. All recent NAPPA Award winners! Gather the family for some fun!
Heads Talk Tails Walk
Can you hop like a frog while clucking like a chicken?
Have a blast trying with Heads Talk Tails Walk, delightfully silly card game. Players try to match hidden head tiles to the correct body tiles. If the head and body don’t match, the real fun begins! Players walk and talk like the mismatched tiles—with hilarious results. $14.99, ages 3+
How much can you hang before he goes twaaang?! Orangutwang is a fun, suspenseful and wild game! Take turns hanging fruit and jungle friends on the orangutan, but watch out! At some point, he’ll be holding too much and he’ll spring up and send the fruit and friends flying! Easy to set up and requires no batteries. For 2 or more players. $22.99, ages 4+
KIC-Start – Kids in Conversation
KIC-Start, standing for “Kids In Conversation” is a get-to-know-you card game designed to teach kids the art of conversational curiosity. Family-friendly and ideal for kids and grownups to do together. Each game contains 150 conversation-starter questions. Players take turns drawing cards, asking questions and responding with their answers. The whole idea is to learn how to practice curiosity, ask great questions, actively listen, formulate responses, articulate answers and genuinely engage with others. $19.95, for the entire family.
For more game reviews, visit nappaawards.com! #playlearnconnect