National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Announces Winners of 2009 Children's Products Competition

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19-year-old NAPPA competition highlights children's toys, games, music, software and more judged "Best Bang for the Buck."

Best Bang for the Buck

The National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA), a division of Dominion Enterprises, has announced the winners of its 2009 Children's Products competition. After evaluating hundreds of outstanding submissions in each of seven product categories including Toys and Games, children's Music, and Software / Video Games, NAPPA selected 88 products to receive its esteemed NAPPA Gold award and 142 products for NAPPA Honors. These children's products were chosen for their multiple levels of entertainment, engagement, skill building, creativity and overall quality.

Just in time for the holiday season, a convenient shopping list of NAPPA Gold winners is available for download on the NAPPA Web site. Children's products are categorized by age group and type of product.

To help parents stretch their gift-giving dollars, NAPPA judges have highlighted a variety of children's products they deem the "Best Bang for the Buck"--toys, games, music and software that offer the best value in play and learning.

NAPPA judges look at play as an investment in a child's development and, in this economy, it pays to chose gifts wisely. "Rather than rule out higher-ticket items, parents might consider giving a shared gift--which siblings can use together--such as the Honors-winning Fortamajig or Color Me House," says toy specialist Ellen Metrick, manager of business development for the National Lekotek Center, and Toy Judge in the 2009 NAPPA Children's Products competition. "Making a 'family gift' of board games, software and Wii equipment, for example, promotes fun family times too."

As the family gathers during the holidays and throughout the year, music can help set a positive and cooperative mood, which brings everyone together. This year's NAPPA-winning CDs are a cost-effective way to achieve a memorable family feeling. "Music is a basic instinct to children," says Tor Hyams, NAPPA's co-music judge. "They express themselves through music--even before they can talk--by banging out a rhythm, singing or moving to music."

The following 2009 NAPPA Children's Products are just some of the children's toys, games, music, software and more judged "Best Bang for the Buck."

For Infants & Toddlers:
So Smart! Baby's First-Word Stories, $15.99--This video introduces recognizable images with simple words and sentences, then builds stories around the words. NAPPA's media judge says the So Smart! series is one of the best educational series for this age group.

The Ultimate Lullaby Connection, Twin Sisters Productions, $19.99--Four beautifully produced lullaby CDs feature instrumentals, classical music, familiar melodies with adult vocals, and another with children's voices. A Baby's First Year Memory Book is included.

Age 3 and Up:
Color Me House ($39.95) and Color Me Rocket ($49.95) are a white cardboard house and rocket ship, respectively, that beg to be decorated. Each assembles easily and securely, and the interiors are big enough to play inside. Folds flat for storage.

The Original Fortamajig, The Happy Kid Company, $69 and up--This eight-foot square piece of nylon, edged with elastic Velcro straps, secures to tree branches, doorknobs, furniture and more to create the perfect fort. The mesh window provides light; four corner pockets hold books and toys. Machine washable; compact storage.

Age 4 & Up:
Banjo to Beatbox, Cathy & Marcy, $7.99--Classic folk artists Cathy & Marcy create a delightful hybrid of folk-meets-hip-hop in this collaboration with Christylez Bacon.

Make Your Own Animal Puppets, $17.99--Children decorate three chenille-soft socks with self sticking felt shapes, wiggly eyes and fuzzy fur.

Age 5 & Up:
CitiBlocs, CitiBlocs, LLC, $50 (200-piece set)--Made of New Zealand pine, these natural blocks are uniform in size, shape and weight to inspire budding builders and architects to assemble, problem-solve, and discover.

Crayola Art Studio, $24.95--This software kit invites kids to create, edit and transform digital images with fun-to-use tools, including Crayola pencils, paints, markers and crayons.

For Ages 8 & Up:
Good Things Happen! Les Julian, $15--Each of the 14 songs in this highly entertaining and exceptionally produced album is a mini-story of positive values, surprising heroes and feel-good music.

Quelf, Imagination, $29.95--The idea of "random" takes on new meaning with its combination of stunts, quiz questions, show-offs, custom rules and ridiculous topics that are simultaneously bizarre, perplexing, occasionally embarrassing, and generally silly.

For Tweens and Up:
Boom Blox Bash Party, $39.99--This second version of Boom Blox game for Wii offers 400 new levels in which players pick up and toss cute and cuddly characters to knock down even more blox structures.

For Families:
Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales, $16.98, three CDs--Families will love this cornucopia of African stories, introduced by Desmond Tutu and read by celebrities. For ages 4 and up.

For a complete list of all 2009 NAPPA Children's Products winners and more information about the competition, visit:
About the National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA)
When parents see the NAPPA seal, they know they can expect a high-quality, safe, useful and expert-approved product. NAPPA is administered by and Dominion Parenting Media, a division of Dominion Enterprises. NAPPA was created in 1990 and administers two annual competitions:

  • Children's Products - including toys and games, music, software/video games and Web sites, books and magazines, DVDs, and storytelling/spoken-word recordings
  • Parenting Resources - including books, CDs, DVDs, maternity and baby gear, safety products, Web sites and a wide range of innovative products that make parenting easier

For more information, visit

About Dominion Enterprises
Dominion Enterprises is a leading marketing services company serving the automotive, enthusiast and commercial vehicle, real estate, apartment rental, and employment industries. The company's businesses provide a comprehensive suite of technology-based marketing solutions including Internet advertising, lead generation, CRM, Web site design and hosting, and data management services. The company has more than 45 market-leading Web sites reaching more than 16.7 million unique visitors, and more than 450 magazines with a weekly circulation of 4.3 million. Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., the company has 5,400 employees in more than 200 offices nationwide. For more information, visit


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