Christmas is fast approaching, the shops have stacked their shelves full of all things Christmas. Now that my children have started practicing for their Christmas school performance… it starts… the Christmas excitement! Currently my day either starts with my 5-year-old asking “How many days is it till Christmas?” Or “Can we put the tree up today?” My 9-year-old has rewritten his Christmas list at least 4 times already. Bedtime antics and homework refusals are now met with “Santa’s watching, remember?” Christmas Apps and sites are a great way to keep the children entertained whilst counting down to the big day and also a great way to help maintain your own sanity!
Christmas Apps and Sites
As you’ve already probably gathered we love all things Christmas. We’ll look at some of our favourite Christmas sites before moving onto the Christmas Apps we also enjoy on the run up to Christmas. Our boys have had lots of fun exploring, trying and testing out the Christmas websites and Christmas Apps and have helped with the reviews.
This site is great it’s totally free, easy to use and a lovely way to receive a personalised message from Santa himself. Simply upload a photo and input some basic details about your child e.g. name, age, country, what they would like most for Christmas, what they’ve tried hard at. Santa and his elves then decide whether you’ve made the naughty or nice list or if you’re waiving in between.
Review: This website is an annual crowd pleaser in our house. The boys sit anxiously and watch the video to see what Santa has to say. The fact it’s personalised is fantastic, the boys sit in awe listening to Santa calling them by their names and are always amazed at how he knows so much about them. Santa and the backdrop is just how you’d imagine Santa to be, bring the spirit of Christmas to life. A magical website!
From the 1st December you can watch live transmissions from Santa’s house. Take a look around Lapland, Santa’s HQ and you can watch as Santa, his reindeer and elves all get ready for Christmas.
Review: Currently unavailable for us to review, but watch this space. We are all eagerly awaiting 1st December so we can see where Santa lives!
On Christmas Eve you can track Santa as he sets off on his incredible journey from the North Pole. You can watch as he delivers presents across the world and even find out how many presents he’s delivered and how many mince pies he’s eaten!
Review: Christmas Eve morning till bedtime at our house is always peppered with the age-old question of “How long till Santa’s here, where will he be now?” This website is great for answering those questions, our eldest likes to find out where Santa is and then look up some of the obscure places he’s busy visiting. A Christmas Eve must have in our house!
Claus.com says it’s the “merriest place in cyberspace” and has lots of fun activities and things to do once you enter the village. You can find out your naughty or nice rating, play games at elf school, email Santa himself and find festive recipes to try out.
Review: I tried out the naughty or nice feature by typing in my children’s names. I read them out to them and they thought they were very funny, especially Santa telling my eldest to lay off the sweets and brush his teeth more! The site is easy to navigate and has some fun features for children.
Create your very own playlist for Christmas time. Explore and select songs by genre, artist. There’s over 10,000 songs, so should be something everyone can enjoy.
Review: Yule Play is easy to use and there are some great classics but also some alternative fun songs. My eldest likes making his playlist to listen to whilst doing his homework.
6. Santa’s Village
This is a fun festive game to get you in the mood for Christmas. Build a village and help save Christmas. Make homes for the elves, teach reindeer how to fly, collect and earn bells by making toys. Think the Santa version of theme park type games.
Review: My eldest enjoyed playing this so much testing it on my phone that he now has it downloaded to his device and has been telling all his friends about it.
7. Counting down till Christmas
Sleeps Till Christmas, Christmas Countdown and other similar apps out there are just what they say they are. Fun, festive characters let you know how many sleeps till Christmas there are left.
Review: Snowmen, Santa, snow, Christmas jingles… what’s not to like. A great app to have on the run up to Christmas. Our 5-year-old without fail checks his Kindle everyday to check how many sleeps till Santa arrives.
8. Decorate A Tree
Love decorating the tree? Apps like Christmas Tree for android and Christmas Tree Maker for iPhone allow you to choose your tree, lights, baubles and many other decorations to design and create your own tree, over and over. Some of the apps also allow you to send your creations via email to family and friends. Decorate away till your heart is content!
Review: Both of our children like this app and it keeps them entertained, who doesn’t love decorating a tree?! We’ve used this app for a couple of years now, it’s so easy to use even our then 3-year-old could touch the screen and drag the item to the tree, he even had his technophobe granny joining in!
9. Snow Globes
There’s something magical about snow globes and of course they remind us all of Christmas, I can never resist just one shake. There are some really good snow globe apps for your phones and devices out there, such as ‘Snow Globe a Christmas Treat’ or ‘Christmas Kids Snow Globe’ a big favourite in our house. Gently shake your device to activate the snow globe. Catch the snowflakes by tapping them. Some allow you to change the music, background or even add your own photo.
Review: We all like the colourful, cheery, festive scenes. My youngest son likes to shake his device and watch how fast he can make the snow fall, he also likes being able to change the music so he can listen to different Christmas tunes.
10. Sleigh Ride Lite
A great little app that’s simple to use for all the family and lets you have a go at flying Santa’s sleigh. Tap to jump over obstacles, such as penguins and presents, jump from roof top to roof top as you fly Santa’s sleigh. A competitive, quite addictive fun game.
Review: This has got us all trying to beat the top score. Fast paced, simple fun for all the family.
We hope you have fun enjoying all the Christmas Apps!