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
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