NAPPA 2006: Toys for Preschoolers

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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

Imaginext Mega T-Rex; $29.99; Fisher-Price. This T-Rex transports children to prehistoric times, when dinosaurs ruled the world. The control button on its tail activates glowing red eyes, fierce roaring sounds and realistic head and neck movements.
Ryan's Room: Stable for Two; $40; Small World Toys. This high-quality wood stable has a removable roof and easy-to-open doors. The set comes with two horses, a feeding trough and a foldable fence - just enough props to inspire imagination!
Story Reader Video Plus; $34.99; Publications International. This portable electronic storybook can be used independently or with your TV to read a story to your child. As your child turns the page, he hears the page read. When plugged in to the TV, the page on the screen becomes animated. Educationally-oriented games can be played using the simple attached remote control. The games advance naturally as your child's abilities increase.
Tangoes Jr., ; $24.99; Rex Games. Invites children to be creative as they develop problem-solving abilities, spatial awareness and pre-math skills. They make designs using large magnetic shapes and image cards. Level One cards clearly define each shape; Level Two cards give a silhouette for the child to decipher. All pieces can be stored in the convenient pack-and-go unit.
ZipBin Barn; $19.99; Neat-Oh International. This ingeniously designed barn-shaped play box unzips on all four sides to reveal a beautiful barnyard theme play mat and three plastic farm animals. The removable roof doubles as a pretend pond. When play is done, zip up the sides and put all your play pieces inside. Also award-worthy is the ZipBin Mansion ($24.99).

Honors Award Winners

Air Powered Action Stadium, Hasbro; $49.99; This electronic, two-in-one arcade-like game enables two children to play air hockey or can easily convert to solo pinball play.

Baby Alive, Hasbro; $49.99;; This revamped classic doll still eats and poops, but now it talks and has facial expressions and eye movements, too.

Coo Coo the Rocking Clown, Blue Orange Games; $19.95; Take turns balancing differently-sized wooden cylinders on a rocking clown and be the last to add a piece before he tips over.

Deluxe Canopy Steering Trike, Radio Flyer; $79.99; This sturdy tricycle has air-filled tires, a seatbelt and a parent-assist handle that controls the front axle for easy maneuvering.

Dragon Duo Puppet, Folkmanis; $48; This plush dragon puppet doubles the fun with a head at each end for solo play or with a friend.

Magnetix Jr. Starter Set, Mega Bloks; $19.99; Extra large magnetized plastic balls, rods and embellishments can be used for young children to construct endless creations.

Pawparazzi Celebrity Style Set, Noodle Head; $29; Strut in style with this miniature couture bag that includes an adorable plush dog and all its accoutrements to keep pooch livin' the good life.

Sentence Maker, Kidz Delight; $24.99; Seven modes of play encourage building sentences that this electronic toy can read back to the child.

Space Faces, Educational Insights; $29.99; Roll the colored balls inside the Alien Identification Device to determine the color of the alien's facial features. Then be the first to identify that alien's face among those displayed on the game board.

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NAPPA Holiday Shopping List