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’re ready to spring into some fun with these latest NAPPA Award-winning toys!
Winner’s Stable Doll and Horse Set
Take the reins and ride into exciting adventures with this spirited duo from Winner’s Stable! This doll and horse set is a beautiful start to any horse collection. Each doll stands 5 inches tall and is accompanied by her beautifully accessorized horse companion. This dazzling duo has matching styling that highlights their inseparable bond. They even have poseable features, allowing kids to move them into fun action poses. $9.99, ages 3+.
My Plush Hess Truck: 2021 Cement Mixer
This endearing green plushie truck, safe for all ages, will evoke awwws instantly. Youngsters eyes will widen, just like the truck’s friendly eyes, when they give a squeeze and are rewarded with the super soft fabric, two different songs and flashing lights. The plush truck offers 10 total flashing lights, a mute mode, 15-minute timed night-light, plush fabric with a soft filling and a child safe padded internal battery enclosure. $29.99, ages birth-6.
Blue’s Clues & You! Peek-A-Blue
Step by step and clue by clue – it’s Blue’s Clues & You! Kids will love playing peek-a-boo with Peek-A-Blue. Standing 10 inches tall, this animated plush Blue is made with super soft fabrics and features Blue’s signature paw print. Squeeze Blue’s belly and she will bark and raise her ears. This Peek-A-Blue plush will help your little clue-finder use their mind, take a step at a time, and do anything that they want to do. $24.99, ages 3+.
SNAPSIES MIX AND MATCH SURPRISE
SNAPSIES™ are Funko’s exciting new capsule collectibles with a whole world of fun inside! Collect animal characters like unicorns, llamas, goats, and dragons — each with their own distinct personalities, looks, and accessories that you can customize for endless combinations! Funko’s snap technology lets you play your way! Mix and match, create in a snap! Which Snapsies surprise will you get? $9.99, ages 6-11.
X-Shot Dino Attack – Dino Striker
Take down the ferocious prehistoric predators with the all-new X-Shot Dino Attack Dino Striker. Face the Dino invasion with this Dino Striker foam dart blaster that features an auto-rotating 6-dart barrel to annihilate incoming predators with extreme accuracy from up to 90ft/27m away. The additional 6-dart storage supplies foam flingers with maximum firepower. Join the included Dino eggs together, place them down and then blast them away before they hatch! Set includes blaster, 2 dino egg targets and 16 foam darts. $8.99, ages 8+.
Toca Life Subscription Box
Toca Life Box is a subscription box that brings quality, creative play to kids who love surprises! You’ll receive a new box each month filled with crafts, pranks, games and LOTS of unexpected surprises. Every box celebrates the power of play with creative activities and DIYs that are full of fun and silliness. $19, ages: 6-11.
For more award-winning toys visit nappaawards.com
While every day is a great day to show your love and appreciation for your kids, Valentine’s Day gives all of us a wonderful opportunity to express our feelings — and nothing says love more than kindness. At NAPPA Awards, we are celebrating kindness and positivity all year long by showcasing books, music and other great products that will bring joy and connection to your family and remind us that we need to be kind to ourselves, to each other, to our community and to our world.
Best for Mom
Let’s start with all the moms who always put everyone else first. We know this past year has not been easy, parenting through a pandemic, that’s why we love KindNotes. These beautiful jars of 31 handcrafted messages, enclosed in mini decorative envelopes, combine the charm of handwritten notes with positive affirmations perfect for a little pick-me up. Comes in a variety of designs and themes and can be customized. Starting at $34.95, kindnotes.com
And we think every mom deserves some quiet time to reflect and recharge. MamaZen Mindful Parenting App provides the perfect space to relieve stress, fatigue and anxiety using a combination of meditation, hypnotherapy and mindfulness . The 150 brief audio sessions (5-15 min) cover common topics among moms. 30-day free trial, then $14.99/month, mamazen.com
Spread Kindness Through Music
We know you’re going to love these recent NAPPA Award winners as much as we do. Music is such a wonderful source of well-being and the messages of kindness in these songs are universal and great for all ages.
Make it Happen!
Cheery, charming and energetic songs celebrate the simple joys of life, while also delivering positive messages of empowerment, courage and strength. Packed with lyrical wisdom centering on creating meaningful relationships and experiences. $9.99, staceypeasley.com
Thank You, Mister Rogers – Music & Memories
A heartfelt tribute album featuring classic songs performed by award winning artists. Highlights include the spirited Latin rhythms on Jaci Velasquez’s playful take of “You Can Never Go Down The Drain,” Jon Secada’s Spanish interpretation of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” and actress/singer Rita Wilson, whose husband Tom Hanks wonderfully portrayed Fred Rogers in the movie, provides a tender rendition of “Sometimes People Are Good.” $10.95, thankyoumisterrogers.com
A Mind of Your Own
Featuring Nashville-based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, a Brooklyn-based, fiddle-playing child psychiatrist and an array of acclaimed Americana performers in a captivating and upbeat debut album filled with songs and skits touching on a variety of topics—making new friends, coping with failure, learning a new language, dealing with emotions and bullying. Invites listeners to think deeply on feelings and emotions that come with growing up, while focusing on resilience. $14.98, folkways.si.edu
Words to Inspire
Find a cozy nook and start reading together. Beautiful illustrations and words will inspire you to be in awe of nature and all the creatures around us. There is so much to be thankful for if we just take a look around and really notice.
Good Morning, Good Morning
The lyrical wordplay encourages children to explore their surroundings and notice the subtle sensations within their bodies, all while helping them develop their daily mindfulness practice. Written and illustrated by women of color and featuring diverse characters. $12, ages birth-4, bounlesblooms.com
The Mighty River
Celebrates the community we share through nature and the diverse animals and plants that call the river home. Includes beautiful illustrations, a wide array of information, ideas on how to protect our waterways and space to draw and describe river animals and scenes. $15, ages 2-8, years, beautifulworldbooks.com
A curated collection of children’s stories celebrating the timeless power of kindness to make the world a gentler, safer and even more loving place by author and highly-respected folklorist, Margaret Read MacDonald. $16.95, ages 6-10, augusthouse.com
The Book of Cultures
A 120-page picture book for young readers to discover the world, embrace its diversity and go on adventures near and far, all from the comfort of their home. Featuring 30 stories with buddies from different countries, followed by a 2-page activity snapshot on each culture. $35, ages 4-9, worldwidebuddies.com
To teach our kids about their big feelings is a true gift. Sit together, talk and use these creative and colorful cards to enhance your child’s social emotional learning.
The Little Yogi Deck: Simple Yoga Practices to Help Kids Move Through Big Emotions
A colorful card deck featuring 48 simple yoga and mindfulness practices to help kids work through big emotions on and off the mat. Eight color-coded categories include anger, worry, excitement, sadness, joy, jealousy, shame and peace. Includes a practice booklet. $19.95, ages 5+, Shambhala.com
Mindful Moments: Guided Exercises and Mantras for Kids
Easy-to-follow guided exercises blending mindfulness meditation and empowering affirmations to build emotional intelligence and encourage kids to tap into the present moment and their unique strengths. Includes mindful tips booklet. $30, ages 2+, boundlessblooms.world
It is through play that kids learn about life. Give them a world filled with imagination, kindness, love and generosity.
Poppy the Kindness Unicorn & Pawley Bear
Join Poppy and Pawley on their journey filled with friendship, kindness, and lots of fun as they spread kindness through Sharewood Forest. $34.99, ages 3+, plushible.com
Care Bears: Love-A-Lot Bear
A group of huggable BFFs living that sweet caring life. Perfect for unlimited bear hugs and ready for you to take on your adventures of sharing and caring. Comes with a collectible Care Coin to spark on conversation and action on everyday acts of kindness. $14.99, ages 4+, Walmart.com
Sharewood Forest Friends
Enter a magical world filled with friendship and sharing. Each friend comes with an adorable outfit, pajama set and reusable packaging that unfolds into a unique playscape, where kindness grows as large as the mighty oak and spreads like wildflowers. $34.99, ages 2-4, sharewoodfriends.com
For more product reviews visit nappaawards.com
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
Having a baby is a magical, special time. But it’s also a time of sleepless nights, endless laundry and new responsibilities. It’s amazing how everything changes – our emotions, our relationships and all the stuff we now need. We know this process well. For 30 years, we have been testing and evaluating family products to bring you the very best. We are thrilled to share this year’s Bundle: Baby, Toddler and New Mom Gift Guide.
The guide is filled with more than 100 gift ideas. Take a look inside where you’ll find perfect gifts for moms — everything from cozy robes to pregnancy earbuds. You’ll also find unique and plush gifts, items for your home and car, plus baby essentials like monitors, bottles, strollers, skin care products, high chairs and more. And of course – toys! Lots of fun and colorful items to engage babies and toddlers’ natural sense of curiosity and exploration.
We’re excited to introduce you to entrepreneur and dad Jordan Weiner, the founder behind the 2020 NAPPA Award winning How to Be Good Behavioral Learning Kits.
We would love for our readers to get to know you better. Tell us a little about your daily life.
In addition to investing time daily in children’s educational businesses I also own Internet Consulting, Inc. Working on these businesses aren’t work to me – it’s play. I am a single father, which is my most important job/love. I truly live an American Dream fairytale life, which I am grateful to the core of my being. Everyday I wake up and wonder how did I get to be so lucky in life, and I try and give back as much as possible.
One of my favorite parts of the job is seeing our illustrators bring our characters and products to life. Knowing our work will help kids strengthen and expand life skills and self-worth. The work is chicken noodle soup for my mind, heart, and soul. Seeing and hearing the kids, parents, grandparents, teachers, nannies, babysitters, counselors, and therapists all say how much they love our materials makes getting all the details done fun.
What was your motivation behind launching this company and developing these behavior education kits?
How To Be Good For Santa was my daughter’s, Lauren Alexa Weiner’s, flash of genius when she was only 7 years old. She was playing a SIM’s game and building an online bookstore when I asked her what some of the titles of her books where. She rattled off some amazing titles such as “The Meaning of Life” and I forget most of the others … but when she said “How To Be Good For Santa” I immediately knew that it was a flash of genius because what kid doesn’t want to know the secrets for how to be good for Santa and what parent wouldn’t instantly by that product as long as it was truly top tier award winning materials that would genuinely help their kid(s) build life skills?
A few of my motivation goals for launching this business where to show my daughter that she has million dollar ideas, to help her learn real business in the business world, and to help her get into a top college by brining her idea to fruition. Other core motivational goals are to genuinely help kids have fun learning to build life skills and making it easy for guardians to have access to award winning materials that help their kids live happy and wonderful lives.
I help a lot of businesses and people with Internet Consulting, Inc., which is what is funding How To Be Good For Santa and How To Be Good with Polly the Parrot (The Polly the Parrot product versions are for people that don’t believe in Santa and for the educational market). By the time I die, I want to leave something truly humanitarianly beneficial behind – and what better way to invest time, money and my human resources than helping children build life skills and self-worth? The pay it forward returns are exponential.
Our products are amazing, with hand illustrated water colored animal characters that kids, parents/grand parents, teachers/educators, counselors/therapists, and everyone that sees them love.
Why do you think character development is so important for kids?
Helping children build life skills and self-worth provides a solid foundation for them to do well and feel good about who they are. If we invest a little time, efforts and resources while the children are learning how to act it truly helps all stakeholders. Knowledge is power. Kids minds are sponges, by being a little proactive instead of reactive we can increase our children’s positive to negative ratio, helping them know how to be safe, how to act properly so the ongoing cause and effect is in a positive direction. An evolutionary advantage humans have is the ability to create tools and pass knowledge down through our generations… so our children don’t have to recreate the wheel for experiences we know have already learned. Investing time helping kids with their character development will pay exponentially in their lives as well as the lives they influence.
What do you enjoy doing when not working?
I love raising my daughter, spending quality time with my family and friends. Playing any type of game, watching quality movies, I love to cook and feed the people in my life, I used to love to travel but the pandemic put a stop to that for a while.
Favorite place to be with your family?
Anywhere as long as I am with family and friends. I’ve done everything from parachute to scuba dive and try all types of experiences in my life’s journey. I truly appreciate the nuances of life and living in the moment, the where and what are not as important as the with who.
Best life advice?
One of my characters Georgey the Gerbil who specializes in greeting people nicely sums up my best advice in life “Run through life happy and free while treating others with dignity!” A couple other Jordanisms are everyone goes through ups and downs and you must make it through the lows to get to the highs. Positive actions usually get positive reactions and negativity usually gets negative responses so for your own best interest it is best to be kind to others. I also believe that you can only do so much with your own hands and thoughts and that to truly leverage yourself and ideas in life you need to work well with others by building a strong relationships with quality people. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and/or admit to being wrong. Live to learn and enjoy the ride, you only go through this life once so try and be kind and help everyone, so you don’t have any regrets.
Best advice for dads?
Say and do positive things for the kids, role model how you want your kids to act, and most important is time on task… spend as much time with your kids as possible and they will turn out knowing they were loved and be good humans.
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
Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Birthday or just because, we’re always on the look out for the perfect gift that will bring a smile to your child’s face. And these 2020 NAPPA Award winners will not disappoint.
SVOLTA “Ace” 2-in-1 Sit and Stand Scooter
This gender-neutral scooter allows kids still trying to find their balance a way to scoot around. Convert to a stable 3-wheel scooter by snapping the seat in the front holders. Ages 1-5, $108.00, svoltaride.com
Chalk of the Town Unicorn Chalkboard T-shirt Kit
Let your child’s creative juices flow. This T-shirt kit includes a cotton shirt, a unicorn stencil, three chalk markers and an erasing cloth that allow your child to freely design as many times as they like. Ages 4+, $29.95, chalk-of-the-town.com
Hue Animation Studio
Everything you need to create your own stop motion animation videos. Whether you are making a LEGO® brick film; animating in claymation or capturing a flower bloom using time-lapse photography, you can bring anything to life in minutes with the easy-to-use software. A great gift for kids who love to use their imagination. Ages K-12th grade, $69.95, huehd.com
A fun family game designed for 2+ players featuring the national flags of countries throughout the world. The first player to collect the required number of country cards from each continent wins the game. Ages 7+, $29.99, byronsgames.com
Eat2explore Explorer’s Box
An educational food and culture explorer box inspiring families to cook, taste and discover different world’s cuisines and cultures. Each box includes unique country recipes, essential spice/sauce mixes, educational materials, shopping lists, cooking tools and fun collectibles. $24.95, eat2explore.com
Children on Parade
Does your child love to sing or dance? Children’s on Parade has a variety of musical styles, including folk, R&B, blues, reggae, rock and country — great for the whole family. Ages 4-10, $9.95, Keenanliteracy.com
For more gift ideas visit NAPPA Awards! #playlearnconnect
These award-winning finds will definitely bring the joy of play and wonder. Give the gift of FUN!
An adorable and smart player that lets kids choose and listen to parent-approved music and stories with ToyTouch Technology. $199, 3+, www.jooki.rocks
Kids can sit on Sven, who stands over 2 feet. Feed him his carrot and he’ll make chomping noises; press on his head and he’ll say phrases. $99.99, 3+, www.jakks.com
Cubcoats 2-in-1 Magical Transforming Hoodie
Wearable and playable friend – the soft hooded sweatshirt transforms into a stuffed animal. $45, ages 2-10, www.cubcoats.com
Julie’s Pinball Machine
Go retro with this working, doll-size arcade game. $150, 8+, www.americangirl.com
Fun, creativity and hours of hands-on play as you transform the tiny pixel puzzle pieces into a variety of vibrant designs. $9.95 & 16.95, 6+, www.fatbraintoyco.com
Real Animal Stories That Inspire Kids
The Hope and Inspiration book collection, published by San Diego Zoo Global Press, features true animal stories and plush that will touch children’s hearts. Books: $14.95; plush prices vary, ages 5-10, www.shopzoo.com
Squishmallows Hug Mees
Grow your #Squishmallowsquad with the all-new Hug Mees that are just as super soft and comforting as the original Squishmallows and make great couch companions, travel mates, pillow pals and bedtime buddies. $9.99-$24.99, www.squishmallows.com
My Audio Stories
Listen, record and share stories with each set, which includes an original children’s book and a whimsical matching My Audio Pet Bluetooth speaker. $39.99, www.myaudiostories.com
Unicorn Hoppity Hop
Made of bouncy soft material, easy to inflate and deflate. $34.99, 4+, www.target.com
For more gift ideas, visit NAPPA Awards. #playlearnconnect #holidaygiftguide
Looking for last minute gifts that will bring a big smile? Check out these NAPPA Award winners!
Portable North Pole
An enchanting collection of Do-Good Deeds toys and gifts that come with a personalized video from Santa. Price varies, www.portablenorthpole.com
I Can Do That! Stickers: Super Simple (and Smart!) Sticker Activity Book
Features 350 reusable stickers plus 43 fun-first learning activities for endless hours of fun. $9.99, 3+, www.amazon.com
Fuzzy Wubble Babies
Soft and squishy mini Fuzzy Wubbles on the inside and cute stuffed animals on the outside. $9.99, 4+, www.wubbleball.com
The Imaginary Aquarium Stackable Crayon Activity Book
Meet the mash-ups of land and sea animals: a Bunnyguin, a Kittyshark, a Jellybear, an Octopiggy… and lots more creative creatures. $12.99, 3+, www.amazon.com
The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales
Hilarious and heartwarming tale of animal misfits. $24.97, 8+, www.shoutfactory.com
Twisty Petz Cuddlez
Transform your animal by pulling the head and tail and now you have a wearable and fashionable boa. $12.99, 4+, www.twistypetz.com
Squishy, squashy Wubble Ball filled with gooey green slime, colorful Magic Marbles, shiny snowflakes or shimmering sparkles. $7.99-$14.99, 6+, www.wubbleball.com
For more gift ideas, visit NAPPA Awards. #playlearnconnect #holidaygiftguide