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!
We have great new NAPPA Award winners to share with you – something for every interest.
Digital Fun & Learning
Get ready for an adventure with the Let’s Roam App, great for curious kids and families. Explore like never before as you take on riddles, trivia, and photo challenges. The in-home educational scavenger hunts come in seven selectable-themes that transform your home into a world of creativity. Outdoor scavenger hunt tours allow families to discover any city, learning its history, and seeing remarkable sites. Every hunt comes with downloadable photos and built-in memory-making technology. $12.99, ages 3+.
TutorMe is an online tutoring platform for individual learners that provides 24/7 live, on-demand support in 300+ subjects with qualified tutors. Using their personalized approach, TutorMe helps students regardless of ability, resource, skill level or age not only improve academically but also gain support so they never feel lost. Prices vary, ages K-higher education.
Duolingo ABC is a free app that teaches children how to read. Developed by learning experts, the app includes over 300 fun, bite-sized lessons building on prior lessons and guides children on a step-by-step path to reading. Duolingo ABC is aligned with Common Core standards and is based on recommendations by the National Reading Panel. Ages 3-6.
Get up and dance with Growing Up Great, an eleven song musical CD for children created during the pandemic. The songs are energetic and filled with sweet reminders about being kind. $9.99, ages 2-6.
“To Awaken the Sun” is an album of classical music recorded to take music into public schools, with CD sales benefiting the Oklahoma Foster Youth. An acclaimed cellist, Remy-Schumacher has created this album that is predominately instrumental – beautiful for all ages. $15.
The Seaper Powers Connecting to Animals album is all about our connection to animals, making friends, and how important it is to accept people for their differences. Sing along to Tropical House sounds, Reggae Beats, Calypso Rhythms, Jazzy notes and colorful vocals. $8.99, ages 4-17.
Mix Fun & Learning
In KidZ expands children’s knowledge of different countries and customs through fun memorable experiences. Chocked full of activities and games, kids will be able to share details about a country without having to get on a plane or get out their passport. Both the America box and Diwali box include interactive learning items, like language flashcards, puzzles, books, games, flags and more. 50/monthly or $49/per box, ages 2-11.
Loop Lab STEM Subscriptions are created by the folks at Mad Science to bring science enrichment home. Each box has a different theme and step-by-step instructions. $32.99/per box, ages 8-12.
MindLabs Energy and Circuits is a magical STEM learning tool for children that combines a digital app, physical cards and augmented reality in a fun and exciting approach to learning core science concepts. $24.95, ages 8-11.
Bring a miniature ecosystem home with Froggy’s Lair BioShere. Each one-gallon tank comes with bioactive sand, colored gravel, a piece of living bamboo and 2 African Dwarf Frogs. All you have to do is change water every three months and feed these swimming, hopping frogs two times per week. $69.95, ages 5+.
Orbital Velocity is a space-themed numerical strategy board game where players are rocket scientists. Game focuses on math, physics, and AI, introducing kids to the concept of decreasing orbital velocity (explained in the rulebook) and gross vs fine acceleration. $19.99, ages 10+.
For more product reviews, visit nappaawards.com
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!
A fun night of family games and laughter is the best way to spend time together during the holidays! Check out these NAPPA Award winners and bring the fun this holiday season.
We are excited for this environmentally-focused game series from Adventerra Games. There are four board games in the series including: Global Warming, PowerHaus, Recycle Rally and WaterGames. $24.95/each game, 7+, www.adventerragamesusa.com
ProjeX Projecting Game Arcade
Turn any room into an incredible gaming arcade. No need for a TV! Project crisp graphic images right onto any blank wall and enjoy real-life gaming, without the limitations of a screen. $49.99,6+, www.projexgame.com
Break your flock of Chickapigs free while dodging opponents, hay bales and an unruly pooping cow in this strategic board game created by Brian Calhoun and Dave Matthews. $25, 8+, www.chickapig.com
The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon Box of Lies Party Game
Challenge friends to the bluffing game of hilarious objects. $19.99, 10+, www.hasbrogaming.hasbro.com
Disney Villainous: Wicked to the Core
Discover your unique abilities while dealing twists of fate to your opponents. $24.99, www.ravensburger.us
King of the Ring
Can you be the Last Sumo Standing? Find out in this battle. $19.99, 6+, www.yulutoys.com[crosshead]
Mickey’s Snuggle Time
A calming game that’s perfect for bedtime, naptime or any quiet time. $24.99, 3+, www.amazon.com
Friends of a Feather
Add feathers to your bird each turn by drawing from the deck or trading away your unwanted ones to the nest. $19.99, 3+, www.ravensburger.us
Use spelling and critical thinking to inspire creativity and competition. $14.99, 8+, www.playmonster.com
Pick Me Up, Piggy!
Tell stories, remember where to find hidden farm friends, take turns and work cooperatively to win the game. $19.9, 3+, www.MindWare.com
Thrills of a classic domino run with an added twist. $29.99, 8+, www.thinkfun.com
Answer fun questions about cats and act out silly things they do. $24.00, 4+, www.petitcollage.com
My First Memory Game Ocean
Expand memory and object recognition skills while having fun. $9.99, 2+, www.tlji.com
SmartGames Smart Farmer
An engaging puzzle game where you help the Farmer separate the animals so they have their own areas on the farm. $22.99, 5+, www.smartgamesusa.com
Fish for Fish
Campers race against their friends to catch the most fish with their plastic “spear. $19.99, 4+, www.yulutoys.com
Invasion of the Cow Snatchers
Take control of your very own UFO to solve 60 magnetic challenges as you maneuver your way over and around farm obstacles. $29.99, 6+, www.thinkfun.com
A hot potato style family game of spot and match. $14.99, 6+, www.bananagrams.com
Connect your tiles by matching their symbols. Features three unique ways to play, each varying in speed and competitiveness. $19.99, 6+, www.honeycombsgame.com
KIC-Start – Kids in Conversation
A fun get-to-know-you card game with 150 conversation-starter questions great for kids and adults.
Our Family’s Race Across the U.S.A. Personalized Board Game
In a race across America’s coasts, move your piece along the colored tiles and cross the finish line first to win! $29.99, www.iseeme.com
Heads Talk Tails Walk
Can you hop like a frog while clucking like a chicken? Have a blast trying. $14.99, 3+, www.thinkfun.com
How much can you hang before he goes twaaang? Take turns hanging fruit and jungle friends on the orangutan. $22.99, 4+, www.playmonster.com
Quickly twist letters and transform words in this clever and fast-paced game. $20, 8+, www.jabukagames.com
A fast-paced discard game with a surprising finish. $9.99, 7+, www.ok2win.com
BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE
A matching game with an explosive twist. $14.99, 8+, www.ok2win.com
For more holiday gift ideas, visit NAPPA Awards! #playlearnconnect
Ready for some fun and competition? Check out these award-winning games.
A hilarious game, where players have to use their sniffers to try and sketch the prompt. $24.95, 8+, www.fatbraintoycom.com
The ooey-gooey game of skill. Stack cubes on the putty goop that shifts and moves. $17.99, 7+, www.playmonster.com
It’s logic, strategy and a brain game all in one. $24.95, 8+, www.mindware.com
A fun twist on musical chairs. Fess up about things you’ve done, stuff you like and things you wish. $22.99, 7+, www.playmonster.com
Latice Hawaii Strategy Board Game
Combines simple rules with evolving complexity for a unique game of strategy. $34.99, 8+, www.latice.com
JAWS: A Game of Strategy and Suspense
A suspenseful tabletop strategy game that captures the edge-of your-seat excitement of the classic movie. $29.99, 10+, www.ravensburger.us
Root Beer Float Challenge
Win the game by completing a series of solo, head-to-head and cooperative challenges. $24.99, 8+, www.playtacular.com
A Shedding/matching style card game that works like a sparked-up version of Classic Rummy.
$12.95, 7+, www.power1game.com
Perform ballet as a T-rex or limbo like a baby. Get ready to dance like you’ve never before. $19.99, 8+, www.playmonster.com
For more product reviews, visit nappaawards.com
All we want for Christmas is…joy, love, family and fun. Our annual Jingle Holiday Gift Guide is here to bring the fun your way. Page after page of award-winning products for moms and kids. We have toys that mix fun and learning, we have creative gifts, we have books, CDs, games, dolls, surprise collectibles, bikes, scooters, yoga mats, wacky toys and so much more. Turn the pages, circle the ones you love and start making your list for Santa.
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
NAPPA Awards Q & A with Justin and Monique Honaman, creators of KIC-Start, 2019 NAPPA Award winner
Justin and Monique Honaman are based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are parents of two kids, ages 18 and 20 and launched Contender Brands in 2016 “after talking about various ideas for about 7 years!” We are thrilled to get to know them better.
Tell us a little about how KIC-Start was born and where your inspiration came from?
We love “BIG” talk. We love when we have engaging dialogue with others, as opposed to that small-talk banter that doesn’t accomplish anything. That idea led us to the creation of our first get-to-know-you conversation-starter game called, “Cocktail Farty” where FART stands for “Friends Admitting Real Truths.” We received such a tremendous response to that first game that we launched three more conversation-starter sets (Whine Barrel, BrewaHa, and KegO’Cards). Each of these games while more adult-focused, are not obscene or crude in any way, however we realized we had an opportunity to share the joy of great conversation with younger people as well. We recognize that kids are spending more time on technology, and less time engaging in eye-to-eye dialogue, and that led us to create KIC-Start. KIC stands for Kids in Conversation, and the whole idea is to teach kids the art of conversational curiosity (ask a question, listen with empathy, thoughtfully prepare an answer, respond and share). Our inspiration comes from recognizing the truly wonderful relationships that are made when people take the time to really talk, listen and connect to one another.
Tell us a little about your daily life as working parents.
Like so many other working parents, our daily lives are spent aligning the priorities of the day, juggling the various balls, and ensuring that the glass ones don’t drop. Our “day” jobs are very corporate. Justin works in digital technology and transformation, and Monique works in executive development. Contender Brands is our side-hustle where we are able to exercise our creative energies. We love coming up with new ideas and taking them from concept to creation.
What do you enjoy doing when not working?
Both of our children are in the process of launching out of our nest, and that is exciting as we see what the new change in routine brings to us all. We are both active in our communities and both serve on various boards and volunteer with various non-profits primarily those that serve to build children of courage, confidence and character. In our “free” time, we love to take our 3 rescue dogs on walks, love spending time at the lake, and enjoy hiking, kayaking, and all sorts of other outdoor adventures.
Favorite place to be with your family?
Family time with all 4 of us becomes more scarce as everyone gets involved in their own activities. Time together becomes more sacred! We’re not ashamed to admit that we use awesome adventure vacations (that we fully fund!) as opportunities for all four of us to connect, have fun, and spend quality time together!
Best life advice?
Monique’s life mantra is “What’s the worst that can happen?” People are frequently too slow to make change or take a risk for fear of what might happen. Asking, “what’s the worst that can happen?” helps you put things into perspective.
Justin’s life mantra is “All-in!” His approach is to give 100% energy and enthusiasm to every endeavor to which he commits.
Best advice for parents on trying to balance it all?
Don’t try to balance it all! Balance gives the perception of a teeter-totter where both ends need to be equally weighted in order to be in balance. Think of what happens when the bigger kid gets off the teeter-totter and the smaller kid would come crashing down. Frankly, on any given day, one priority or another in your life will require more attention than another. Instead of balancing it all, we prefer to think of it as being focused and present on whatever priority needs your attention at that point in time (instead of being at the school or sporting event worrying about the next day’s business meeting).
For more award-winning products, visit nappaawards.com
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