Best Toys, Music and More

Author: Fran Falkin

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The National Parenting Publications Awards generate great ideas for children's gifts to keep them entertained on the road.

Grandma and Grandpa call to ask you for another idea for a birthday present for your child... Your kids are invited to endless birthday parties, plus you’re planning a trip and you want to buy somethings to keep the children occupied in the car or airplane.

You’re all out of ideas, but help is on the way from the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) who have announced their 2009 selections of the best children’s toys, music, DVDs/videos, software and books.

NAPPA is a program of United Parenting Publication, Inc. and is featured in more than 30 local and regional parenting magazines nationwide and on www.Parenthood.com.  NAPPA has been reviewing children's products and media since 1990 and their panel of judges, including educators, authors, psychologists and play specialists, all of whom are parents (and some are grandparents) select high quality products, conveniently categorized by age-appropriateness.

After evaluating over 600 entries, the top 70 products, divided into six categories and four age groups were selected based on a balance of entertainment and considered kid appeal, uniqueness, educational value, age-appropriateness and longevity as kids grow.

“NAPPA-winning products meet the most stringent criteria and are judged by nationally recognized industry experts, educators and advocates in their fields,” says NAPPA spokesperson Barbara Smith Decker. “The NAPPA awards have set the industry standard of excellence for 20 years and are a much sought-after honor by manufacturers, recording artists, publishers and product designers.”

For traveling families, our favorites include Joobles:Cutie the Lamb (Fair Indigo), a portable hand-knit companion, made of soft organic yarn and earth- friendly dyes, that is the perfect bedtime transition toy. Kidizoom Digital Camera Plus (Vtech Electronics) is a camera that is rugged enough for your pre-schooler to enjoy snapping photos when you are on the road. Kids over age five will enjoy Funny Phone Early Listening Game (Learning Resources), as this interactive phone asks 300 different questions to encourage listening skills.  School- aged children will love Backseat Drawing Junior ( Out of the Box Publishing).  This is a great mulit-generational choice, asks each artist is asked to draw a line or shape, one bit at a time on a wipe-off board.  Everyone must guess what the artist is drawing.
To read the entire list of the most current winners and make your next shopping spree a breeze, visit nappa.parenthood.com.