NAPPA 2006: Toys for Infants and Toddlers

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NAPPA Holiday Shopping List

By Ellen Metrick

Nappa Gold Winners

Play is the language of children. It helps them develop skills they'll use throughout life and lets them escape from reality. When we think back to our own youth, we fondly remember toys that made us think, made us laugh, or sparked special interests that we've carried into adulthood. This year's Gold Award winners are sure to be enjoyed by your children and, who knows, they might even trigger a lifelong passion.

Gold Award Winners

Ann B. Dextrous; $59.95; Discovery Channel Store; for newborns and up. This motor-skills development toy grows as a baby's abilities and interests expand. Five "pods" challenge little ones to master skills: twist/turn, push/pull, slide/flip, grasp and sort. The 21 knobs and activities are accompanied by lights and sounds to maintain interest and attention.
Laugh & Learn Baby Grand Piano; $44.99; Fisher-Price; for ages 9 months and up. This musical bouquet invites children to press a flower to play single notes, part of a song or the entire song. All three modes of touch trigger rhythmic lights that flash to the music, while textured petals beckon little fingers to explore.
NooBoo Symphonic Stacker; $30; Manhattan Toy; for ages 9 months and up. A soft stacking toy with whimsical patterns, textures and sounds. As a child places a flower-shaped ring on the plush post, one of four animated sounds is emitted.
Voyager Canopy Wagon; $99.99; Radio Flyer; for ages 18 months and up. This durable plastic wagon has rubber wheels for a comfortable, quiet ride. With the seat backs upright, two children can ride comfortably and safely with three-point seatbelts and a foot well. The seats fold down to provide a flat cargo area for hauling. The long handle folds under the wagon for easy storage. A removable canopy shields kids from the sun.

Honors Award Winners

Baby Talk: Barnyard Friends, Aurora World Inc.; $19.99; for ages 2 and up. This cloth barn with take-along handle contains four farm animals made of super soft fur. They have embroidered names and make sounds when squeezed.

Bright Starts Drop & Giggle, Kids II Inc.; $12.99; for ages 6 months and up. Drop balls into the head and hands of the translucent giraffe to hear 12 silly sounds and retrieve the balls through the openings in its feet.

Eric Carle: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Small World Toys; $30; for ages 3 months and up. This plush caterpillar hides 10 attached items that appear in the much-loved book by Eric Carle.

Grenadine Doll, Corolle; $18; for newborns and up. This darling, machine-washable, soft-cloth doll has inviting colors and an embroidered friendly freckled face.

Learn & Groove Alphabet Drum, LeapFrog; $19.99; for ages 6 months and up. Tap the drum to see letters or graphics and hear letter names, sounds and music. Provides three modes of play in both English and Spanish.

Learn & Groove Musical Table, LeapFrog $39.99; for ages 6 months and up. Activity table plays more than 40 songs and has 15 musical manipulative activities that entertain and teach in both English and Spanish.

My First RC GoGo School Bus, Kid Galaxy; $22; for ages 2 and up. This soft rubber school bus has a simple controller to drive it forward or turn circles.

My First Story Reader, Publications International; $19.99; for ages 6 months and up. Insert one of the books into the unit to hear each page read aloud; interact using the three large buttons on the bottom.

Smartville Alphabet Train Station, VTech; $49.99; for ages 1 and up. Move around the train track and place animals in "hot spots" to hear music and promote cognitive growth.

Toss the Taggie, Taggies Inc.; $19.95; for newborns and up. Soft velour ball has looped ribbons that entice, comfort and increase a baby's fine motor skills.

Weebles Weebalot Castle
, Hasbro; $39.99; for ages 18 months and up. This large castle features activities, music and sounds, setting the stage for four Weebles™ to act out imaginative play.

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NAPPA Holiday Shopping List

Ellen Metrick has more than 20 years' experience in the toy industry. As the toy specialist and manager of business development for the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit that focuses on accessible play for children of all abilities, Metrick helps manufacturers develop and evaluate high-quality toys. To learn more, visit and