NAPPA 2004: Toys for Infants and Toddlers
By Ellen Metrick

Nappa Gold Winners
We all know how vital play is to children's well-being. But when it comes to choosing toys, it can be hard to know which ones will inspire hours of lasting fun, hold kids' attention and stand up to all that wear and tear. Whether they're for the playroom at home or for Grandma's house over the holidays, this year's winners include high-quality toys that parents and grandparents can choose with confidence, knowing they'll stand the tests of time and use.

Gold Award Winners

Laugh & Learn Home, Fisher-Price; $59.99; What better way to learn than at "home"? This upright threshold of a house includes electronic buttons and manipulatives that will teach cause and effect to even the youngest of players. Toddlers can begin to understand opposites as they tirelessly open and close the door, turn on and off the light, and push the window up and down. Clearly spoken words and a wide variety of music accompany two modes of electronic play.

Play Along With Me!, Nurture Basics; $169.95; This comprehensive developmental learning program gives caregivers tools to assist in a child's cognitive, motor, social and language development, and promotes activities that can strengthen the bond between caregiver and child. But it's really a kit for fun interaction! It includes 42 toy components - such as blocks, stacking cups, toy animals, an inflatable ball, finger puppets, plastic fruits and vegetables, a washing mitt, musical maracas - as well as DVDs and CDs designed to provide step-by-step cues for caregivers. Parents can easily share this packable and portable set with babysitters, grandparents and other caregivers.

Honors Award Winners

ABC Box, Discovery Toys; $19.99;; for ages 1 and up. Twenty-six stackable board books, each highlighting one uppercase and lowercase letter, all contained in a storage cube.

Balli Belly Jacky, Paka Preschool Products Ltd.; $46;; for newborns and up. Toss the textured balls into one of the three holes on the soft velour clown. Can be attached to a crib.

Bugs On Board, Sassy Inc.; $8.99;; for newborns and up. Three individual bugs, attached to baby carrier with VelcroŽ, bounce, swing and entertain baby.

Car Wash, Sassy Inc.; $15.99;; for ages 18 mos. and up. This floating car wash for the bath encourages children to dump, pour, squirt and play make believe.

Cinderella's Pumpkin Carriage, Mega Bloks Inc.; $9.99;; for ages 1 and up. This enchanted carriage with a pull-along handle doubles as storage for a beginner set of princess-colored blocks and a Cinderella figure.

Harley Davidson Rumble Riders, RC2 Corporation; $14.99;; for ages 18 mos. and up. This chunky hauler set incorporates realistic Harley sounds in pretend-play fun.

Lamaze 2-in-1 Traveling Guppy, RC2 Corporation; $19.99;; for newborns and up. This guppy awakens the senses with unique textures, vibrant patterns and manipulative sounds.

Lamaze Music School, RC2 Corporation; $16.99;; for newborns and up. Each of these four bold, whimsical fish has a different texture and squeak sound.

Lil' Cement Truck, Mega Bloks Inc.; $9.99;; for ages 1 and up. Rugged, chunky cement-mixer truck doubles as a storage container for beginner set of Mega Bloks.

Poppin' Push Car, Sassy Inc.; $5.99;; for ages 6 mos. and up. Pull the car back and let it go - see balls pop inside as it drives away.

Talking Farm - Bilingual, Chicco USA; $24.99;; for ages 1 and up. Children learn numbers, colors and animals in Spanish and English using four fun modes of interactive play.

Weebleville Town Center, Hasbro; $34.99;; for ages 18 mos. and up. Rotund Weebles find playtime with music and movement in a town center containing a slide and three spinning disks that send everything in motion.

Return to NAPPA 2004 Award Winners: Toys to see winning toys for other age groups, 

See also: NAPPA 2003 Award Winners: Toys