Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Almost every parent wonders whether the toys, books, games or albums they buy will make a good holiday gift, but other questions trouble them, too. Is it age appropriate? Is it well made? Has it been properly tested?

The National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) answers those questions and more in its annual guide to the season’s best products. Their experts play with and evaluate hundreds of products each year, and here are 45 that earned the NAPPA seal of approval in 2017.

Tunes for Your Family

Life on a Trampoline by Randy & Dave

Randy & Dave are back and flying high with their second release, jam packed with clever, cheeky songs that are laugh-out-loud funny. Randy is a little bit country, Dave is a little bit rock 'n roll and together they add some jazz and blues for a style and sound all their own.

For ages 5-8

$14.98

songwizard.com/randyanddave

Lemonade by Justin Roberts

Twice Grammy-nominated Justin Roberts calls this new album "the musical equivalent of an impromptu lemonade stand popping up in the summer heat.” The album is diversely dotted with ukulele, piano, cello, fiddle, marimba and harpsichord, along with lovely harmonies.

For ages 4-9

$12.99

www.justin roberts music.com

Born in the Deep Woods by Red Yarn

Red Yarn is a Texas-born, Oregon-based family performer who weaves folksongs and puppetry into engaging shows for all ages. With his energetic performances and lush folk-rock recordings, Red Yarn reinvigorates American folklore for younger generations.

For ages 3-8

$13

redyarn.bandcamp.com/ album/born-in-the-deep-woods

Funny Faces by Micheal & The Rockness Monsters

This is a perfect balance of silly and serious. While there are both goofy and thoughtful songs on this record, across all of them there is an overarching message: be yourself, feel free, respect others and enjoy life.

For ages 3-10

$14.99

www.michaelandtherockness monsters.com/

Keep On by Little Miss Ann and Amy D

This album of hopeful and happy tunes includes varied musical styles including the 50's doo-wop "L.O.V.E.," Johnny Cash-like "Where is Thumbkin?" and the Calypso tune, "Hill and Gully Rider." Both artists have experience as teachers, and their common Filipino backgrounds inspired two of their original songs.

For ages 2+

$16 CD, $10 download

http://www.littlemissann.com/music/

Make Play & Learning Fun

In & Out Activity Table

A unique design features three ways to play. Twin tables open to reveal deep wells for sand, water, blocks, craft supplies, sensory water beads and more. A doubled sided tabletop with molded-in cup holders is great for crafting or snacking. For space saving storage the tables nest and stack. No assembly required.

For ages 18 months+

$69.99

simplay3.com

My Audio Pet

These are the cutest, tiniest and super powerful Bluetooth speakers. They offer Parable Wireless Stereo Technology, so you can use them individually or pair two together for an amazing stereo sound. They feature easy wireless connection to most smartphones and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, built-in mic for hands-free options, rechargeable battery for portable tunes wherever you go, and remote selfie function.

For ages 5+

$29.99

myaudiopet.com

Teacher's Pet

An innovative classroom product that makes a great gift for your favorite teacher. Made from a proprietary microfiber blend, Teacher's Pet is a fun and useful whiteboard eraser designed by a teacher.

For teachers and for children ages 5-12

$16.99

teacherspet4u.com/i-want-one

Books

PBS KIDS Turn the Key: Around the World

Turn the key, open the door and see how and where kids live and play in faraway places. Readers will peak inside a nomadic home in Mongolia, a houseboat in the Netherlands, a bamboo house on stilts in Bangladesh and other homes in South Africa, Siberia and El Salvador. This colorful book introduces kids to other cultures, shares new vocabulary and enhances fine motor coordination.

For ages 1-4

$12.99

www.dtbwpub.com

Jilly's Terrible Temper Tantrums: And How She Outgrew Them

Jilly, a happy little kangaroo, has a series of terrible temper tantrums. Her parents firmly yet lovingly help her through them until she is able to seek them out for comfort when things don’t go as she wishes.

For preschool- age 8

12.99

www.jillysterribletempertantrums.com

IlluStory - Create Your Own Book!

Fuel a child’s love for books, drawing and storytelling with this complete kit for writing, illustrating and publishing their very own hardcover book. Bring your child's imagination to life through the fun and educational process of making their own book.

For ages 4+

$29.99

www.lulujr.com

A Monster Mess!

New York Times bestselling author Kelly DiPucchio penned this personalized children's book, a tale of adventure and bravery starring the greatest hero of all time – your child. The book features your child's name and face throughout. In addition, you can add a personal dedication, add two additional family photos and choose from five book colors.

For ages 3-7

$29.99

www.ReadYourStory.com

If My Dog Could Talk Storybook

Ever wonder what your pet dog is thinking when he gives you that look? Hilariously narrated from the dog’s perspective, this rhyming storybook celebrates the special, loving bond between dogs and their families. Customized especially for your child and his or her best buddy.

$29.99

For all ages

www.iseeme.com/en-us

Toys, Games & Puzzles

Teach My Yoga Mat Set - Hop and Learn

Designed to encourage active learning through hopscotch and yoga. Your child can master the alphabet, numbers, shapes and colors, while playing hopscotch and doing yoga. Using a yoga mat, spinner, bean bags and play tokens, children won’t even realize they are learning.

For ages 3+

24.99

www.teachmy.com

Eggsplorer Transformable Drone

A unique egg-shaped quadcopter that can open its wings to fly once activated by the touch of a button. When not flying, it can go back to its egg form. This is an easy-to-fly quadcopter drone with flexible flying options via the headless flying mode, speed selection, and auto hovering.

For ages 8+

$29.99

www.tdrworld.com

TOMO 2 in 1 STEM Robotic Kit

An educational robot kit that teaches beginners about graphical programming, electronics and robotics through building and the use of smart devices. It can be assembled into two different robots: a tricycle or a self-balancing dicycle. Control, program and share via smartphones or tablets to explore the endless possibilities of robotics.

For ages 8+

$99.99

www.tenergy.com

GEO Salt Water / Solar Powered Robot

A STEM educational DIY robot kit that teaches young kids about the value of alternative energy sources and the science behind them. Kids can learn how to use alternative green energy sources to power up Geo and see the robot zip away from their fingertips. Educational fun facts are also included in the instruction manual.

For ages 8+

$19.99

www.tenergy.com

The Learning Journey Match It! Spelling

A colorful set of three-letter and four-letter puzzle cards which provides children with an introduction to spelling. They can learn to spell by associating the object with the word and correctly assembling the puzzle pieces. The puzzles are self-correcting — only cards with the correct sequence will fit together.

For ages 2-4

$11.99

www.tlji.com

Stuck on You Personalized Name Puzzles

These wooden name puzzles are a great way to enjoy learning. A fun and educational tactile toy that will improve kids alphabet recognition skills and help them learn their name while having fun.

For ages 2-4

$20-$35

www.stuckonyou.us

Marvel Spider-Man Homecoming: Official Movie Edition Spider Drone

Now you can help your favorite superhero watch over the city with your own Official Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Edition Spider-Drone, powered by Sky Viper. With eight legs and a Spidey-suit-inspired style, this drone is an authentic replica of Spider-Man's new gadget in the blockbuster film.

For ages 12+

$79.99

www.sky-viper.com

Thomas & Friends Super Station

A fun multi-system track set with three levels of play. Children play with engines from Thomas & Friends™ Adventures, TrackMaster™, MINIS and Wooden Railway. It includes Thomas, Percy, James and Harold and holds over 100 engines with 35 feet of track.

For ages 3+

$99.99

www.toysrus.com

My Very Own Ice Cream Cart

Kids can role-play as an ice cream server when they get behind the counter of this colorful ice cream cart. Included are scoops of ice cream, cones, bowls, scoopers, serving spoons, coins and a credit card to ring up the orders.

For ages 2+

$19.99

www.americanplastictoys.com

COOP Sports Battle Bounce

This intense outdoor game is played with two to four players divided into two teams. The objective of the game is to smack the ball across to your opponent, just like in volleyball. However, with Battle Bounce, you bounce the ball off the net first so it ricochets upwards towards an opposing player.

For ages 8+

$29.99

http://coop-sports.com/battle-bounce

KidKraft’s Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights and Sounds

The play kitchen has realistic interactive features that bring the imaginative environment to life with burners that light up and a super fun ice maker that makes realistic sounds and flashing lights. It has a speckled granite-style counter top, knobs that turn and click, convenient storage space below the sink, sink with faucet and taps that turn and stove-top burners that have lights and sounds.

For ages 3+

$229.99

www.kidkraft.com

ThinkFun: Roller Coaster Challenge Engineering Game

This thrilling engineering challenge helps players understand physics and logic concepts. Choose one of the 40 challenge cards, then set up the board as directed. Using the remaining pieces, players must build a working roller coaster that meets the build conditions specified on the challenge card.

For ages 6+

$29.99

www.thinkfun.com

Monkeys Up Board Game

This is a fast-paced game that will have you going bananas. Players compete to get the best score by flipping, switching and stealing s. You will find yourself laughing head over heels until all of your monkeys are up.

For ages 6+

$21.99

roosterfin.com

Bath Bombs

With these bath bombs you can transform your bath with fizzy bubbles, fun color and a fantastic fragrance. Learn the science behind creating the perfect fizz and make up to 12 colorful bath bombs in 5 different shapes.

For ages 6+

$21.99

www.scholastic.com

Ben 10 Rustbucket Vehicle and Playset

The main vehicle seen in Cartoon Network’s new Ben 10 animated series, the Rustbucket is a two-in-one vehicle that transforms into a giant three-level playset standing more than two feet tall. Kids can create their own adventures with the Ben 10 Basic Figures, using all the action features in the Rustbucket, including an alien transformation chamber, plasma blaster, “alien-vator,” grabbing claw, alien lab and more.

For ages 4+

$49.99

www.playmatestoys.com

Disney Junior Doc McStuffins All-in-One Nursery

Preschoolers can nurture and care for their baby dolls alongside Doc McStuffins with the All-in-One Nursery – an adorable role-play center full of exciting doctor features and accessories to explore. Use Doc’s portable electronic patient laptop to diagnose, featuring a light-up screen, sounds and lullaby music.

For ages 3+

$79.99

www.JustPlayProducts.com

Groovy Blocks: 170 Piece Set

Put a new twist on conventional building blocks. The brightly colored grooved blocks and links slide together in multiple ways for open-ended creativity, while the color-coded links simplify the construction process.

For ages 4+

34.95

http://www.mindware.orientaltrading. com/groovy-blocks-170-piece-set- a2-13777824.fltr

Kidizoom® Action Cam 180

The 180° rotatable camera lets kids take photos and selfies from all angles, plus shoot videos with fun features like slow and fast-motion. Use the included accessories to mount the camera to a bike, skateboard and more while taking great action shots anytime, anywhere. Add the all-weather, water-proof case for use up to six feet underwater.

For ages 4+

$49.99

Tad's Get Ready for School Book™

Contains 12 pages of interactive learning and introduces ABCs, numbers 1-10, colors, animals, shapes, emotions, music and more. Touch the pictures on each page and the book will come to life with learning phrases and sounds. Press the music button to hear six learning songs and watch the light flash along. Then practice telling time by turning the hour hand on the clock.

For ages 2+

$21.99

The Urban Playset by Readysetz

This 3-D foldable playset is powered by imagination. Super easy to fold and store.

For ages 5-8

$59.99

https://readysetz.com

UNBORED: Time Capsule

The kit is full of everything you’ll need to capture the important details of today, including a clipboard and 50 questionnaires, adjustable date stamp and ink pad, storage tubes, card protectors, coin bags, boxes with cotton batting, envelopes, a scrapbook and sheet of photo corners, assorted labels, tags and more.

For ages 8+

$29.95

http://www.mindware.orientaltrading. com/unbored-time-capsule- a2-13777250.fltr

KaBlocks

Stack the soft, foam building blocks in an array of shapes, sizes and colors on the special platform to create crazy architectural feats—the higher the better. Then, simply jump onto the stomp pad to blast the structure apart.

For ages 3+

$39.95

http://www.mindware.oriental trading.com/kablocks-a2-13779463.fltr

Q-BA-MAZE 2.0: Extreme Rails

A unique system of colorful cubes that interlock to form a marble run. Configurations are unlimited allowing for unpredictable action when the steel marbles travel different routes. Developed by an architect, Q-BA-MAZE inspires creative play as you experiment with motion, stability, physics and art.

For ages 6+

http://www.mindware.oriental trading.com/q-ba-maze-2-0- extreme-rails-with-free-marbles-and-storage-bag-a2-13801777.fltr

IDO3D 3D Print Shop

A battery-operated tech device that provides a simple-function 3D printing experience. Kids can create their own 3D object or clone something they already own.

For ages 8+

$59.99

www.redwood-ventures.com

Pop-a-Balls™ Push & Pop Bulldozer™

This delightful bulldozer encourages movement and motor skills in little builders when the colorful balls are counted as they pop up through the chimney, into the scoop bucket and back again. Start pushing the chunky handle and watch the bulldozer come to life with popping balls and fun tunes.

For ages 12-36 months

$24.99

www.vtechkids.com

Zoo Jamz Stompin' Fun Drums™

Children will enjoy this fresh way to practice counting and develop coordination as they follow along with the melodies and sing-along songs or create their own rocking beats. Mini musicians will love stepping on the elephant bass pedal to see the elephant trunk move up and down and create a fun bass sound effect.

For ages 18 months-4 years

$39.99

www.vtechkids.com

Cozmo

Say hello to Cozmo, a gifted little guy with a mind of his own. He’s a real-life robot like you’ve only seen in movies, with a one-of-a-kind personality that evolves the more you hang out. He’ll nudge you to play and keep you constantly surprised.

For ages 8+

$179.99

https://anki.com/cozmo

Baby Love

VTech Baby Beats Monkey Drum™

Two sensors reward tapping with a variety of drum sounds and tunes. Light-up shape buttons to learn about animals, animal sounds and colors and hear playful sing-along songs. Two learning modes encourage little ones to interact with the drum by asking them to find animals or colors or to press the flashing light.

For ages 3-24 months

$12.99

www.vtechkids.com

go-shins

For ages birth-36 monthsLightweight and soft rubber sock shoes for babies and toddlers. Non-slip, comfortable and cute designs. Machine Washable.

$32.99

www.goshins.com

Pull & Discover Activity Elephant™

Twist the dial and little jungle explorers will learn about the jungle friends, what sounds they make, fun phrases and music. When they’re feeling tame they can press light-up buttons that encourage motor skills or match the blocks with the shape sorter to discover colors, animals and shapes.

For ages 12-36 months

$29.99

www.vtechkids.com

Yoee Baby

An adorable toy that helps babies develop all five senses while playfully connecting with parents and other caregivers. Featuring a teether, rattle, plush toy and signature synthetic feather tail.

For ages birth-24 months

$24.99

http://yoeebaby.com

GearZooz™ Roll & Roar Animal Train™

Children can create their own unique train by mixing and matching the 15 included gears while strengthening their fine motor skills and problem-solving techniques. Put the Smart Gear animals on the pegs to learn about animals. Press the buttons to listen to different instruments or answer kid-friendly quiz questions and move the slider to explore different locations.

For ages 18 months-4 years

$29.99

www.vtechkids.com

For more product reviews, visit: www.nappaawards.com.

More:Holiday happenings: 30-plus events you shouldn’t miss

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.upstateparent.com/story/life/2017/12/01/annual-gift-guide-great-gifts-giving/108173258/