Although Christmas excitement hasn’t quite hit a fever pitch yet, a selection of fun, kid-friendly Christmas iPad apps can help little ones manage their enthusiasm, and maybe Mom, Dad, or Santa can get a little wrapping done.
Some of these apps revisit childhood classics, while others recast recent favorites in a holiday setting. Our selection of great apps is certain to entertain your kids.
1. 12 Days of Christmas ($1.99) — Polk Street Press’ take on the 12 Days of Christmas invites a child, adult, or even a whole family to sing and play along. Complete with colorful, attractive art by illustrator Lesley Breen Withlow for every verse. With its animated graphics and interactive play-along option, this universal app puts a new spin on this timeless classic song. Users can share their versions of the songs with friends via Facebook or email.
2. Nighty Night! HD Winter Special ($2.99) — We raved about Nighty Night! HD when it debuted in April 2011. Now, this comforting bedtime story has received an update, as well as additional animal packs that are available for in-app purchase. Anyone who owns the app need only download the free update. Switching from the winter to the summer environment is as simple as tapping the snowflake on the home screen. In the winter version, the town is covered in a blanket of snow, animated snow falls throughout the scenes, and kids can tap the snowman in the yard for a musical surprise.
3. Candy Making for Kids ($1.99) — Though it’s not just for Christmas, Candy Making for Kids includes a special holiday section that teaches kids how to make a Candy Cane Sled, Rudolf the Reindeer Cake Pops, Peppermint Wreaths for the tree and more. The Candy Favorites section includes recipes for toffee, truffles, and gummies that kids can also make during the Christmas season. While a few recipes do use the oven (and will require adult supervision), it’s amazing how many creative and simple no-bake treats are included. Creating homemade candy during the holidays is a great way to spend time with your kids and help them learn their way around the kitchen. Plus, kids can give away their creations as presents to happy grandparents, teachers, and coaches.
4. Doodle Jump Christmas Special ($0.99) — Even video game characters like to get dressed up for the holidays, and the Doodler is no exception. In Doodle Jump Christmas Special he’s decked out in a Santa hat, red scarf, and shiny red nose to mark the occasion. While Lima Sky does require the user to purchase this seasonal update, it’s just $0.99, which is reasonable since users can play a variety of other seasonal updates (Halloween, Easter etc.) in the original game for free. Doodle Jump fans can expect new challenges — look out for the ice-breathing monster– as they make their way to the North Pole.
5. A Charlie Brown Christmas ($4.99) — It wouldn’t be Christmas without Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang, we raved about A Charlie Brown Christmas when it was released last year, but it merits revisiting. Loud Crow respects the sanctity of the original TV show, yet finds clever ways to integrate the iPad’s touchscreen with gesture controls. The reader can adjust the volume of the musical soundtrack with a slider on an old timey record player, decorate her own digital Charlie Brown Christmas tree, and even listen to the cast of character’s say a recognizable line (Pigpen: “In spite of my outward appearance, I shall try to run a neat inn.”) Not only does the app include dialogue from the original soundtrack, but Peter Robbins, who voiced Charlie Brown in the original special, narrates the app.