The 2012 National Parenting Publications Awards results are in and we've awarded the year's best products for children, providing busy parents with this year's sure-bet holiday gift guide.
These Gold Award-winners have been carefully tested, evaluated-and played with-by expert judges and kid testers alike. They were chosen for their entertainment and educational value, as well as their quality and ability to withstand hours of play.
By Ellen Metrick and Peggy BrownYou might also like:
Ready for fun all in one box! Once a month, your mail carrier will deliver a gift box of fun that lasts all month. Themed box includes an art project, book, exploring activity and access to a smartphone app. The prep work is done for you-just answer the door when it arrives! BabbaCo, $29.99 a month; babbaco.com/babbabox. Ages 3 and up.
Riding starts with balance and coordination-not dependence on training wheels-with this cool, pedal-less rider. Intuitive to use, and beginners gradually build skills needed to ride a traditional bike. Strider Sports, $110; StriderBikes.com. Ages 18 months to 5.
A concert hall with the comforts of home and the sounds of a symphony! Place tall plastic instruments in the orchestra pit-in any order, on either of the two levels, to hear ever-changing music. B.Toys, $49.99; justb-byou.com. Ages 3 and up.
Each page of this book shines a spotlight on a different school-readiness skill with interactive Tag touch appeal. Different voices respond, teaching alphabet recognition, early math, emotions, seasons, months and more. Works with the Tag Reading System. LeapFrog, $13.99; leapfrog.com. Ages 3 and up.
Specifically designed for use with an iPad, game boards and play scenarios come alive with animation and sound. Easily download the free app, and it teaches you how to play. Never the same game twice! Identity Games, $59.99; identitygames.com. Ages 3 and up.