Santa’s Big Helper: 9 Christmas Apps in 1 is a really fun app for Christmas that integrates technology nicely into this Christmas app that will be appealing to children, especially precocious ones who may begin to doubt the existence of Santa.
A fun Christmas sound board is included, allowing kids to hear festive sounds with the tap of a finger. A magical compass is also offered, pointing its way to the North Pole and includes some fun sound effects as well. A Naughty or Nice list is also included that kids can check to see their status, and a Christmas countdown is featured, letting kids know how many sleeps it is until the big day, down to the hour, minute and second of Santa’s impending arrival.
Writing a letter to Santa is made easy as well here, and thanks to email, one can be sure he receives a note in a timely fashion.
For me, by far the best functions of this app are the "Elf Updates" and F.A.Q.’s also answered by this informative elf, “Dozey Toes" in the "Ask an Elf" section of this app.
These updates are brilliant, as topics such as “No Chimney, No problem” or “Dasher the reindeer needs glasses” are taken very seriously, with some quite witty, laugh out-loud moments that I really appreciate. Questions for Santa include such topics as “Is Santa real," “How does Santa visit everyone in one night” or “Why is Rudolf's nose red". Each answer is quit funny and for children, thought-provoking, I am sure.
I really enjoy these elf videos, but it may be worth noting that the style chosen for this elf may be an acquired taste, as he is a rather large man in an, I assume, a purposefully ill-fitting and inexpensive or amateurishly made elf costume - details that I find quite endearing although it did take some getting use to.
These daily elf updates and the questions answered are well-written and delivered, and yield a lot of laughs and some valuable Santa information that can be found nowhere else, making this app a good choice and worth the $0.99 price.
Another very interesting feature here is the “World Famous Patent-Pending Elf Cam” which allows one to see Santa entering one’s home on surveillance camera to prove to children of his existence after the fact, a well-done element that will impress children.
A parent’s section is included, nicely-password protected, to let adults add their children to the naughty or nice list, as well as configure the video of Santa entering the house via chimney or simple magic - a thoughtful addition for those who do not have a chimney. The videos created here are really cute and fun, something kids will really enjoy and parents will have fun with as well.
Christmas is not a holiday that we as a family in a religious sense celebrate, but as my son is in preschool and exposed to the secular concept of Santa, my husband and I enjoy the idea of Santa coming for a visit to drop off a small, token gift for our son to honor the fact that he has had a good year in preschool so far.
I have really enjoyed the Elf updates and questions answered, as has my son, who has started asking similar questions about Santa, although the fantastical answers we have made up to answer these questions don’t match up always with the answers this app provides. These sections have been a source of humor that we all enjoy, and I appreciate the fact that my son can watch these short videos without the use of an internet connection.
Christmas is right around the corner and some families may not want to bother purchasing such a topical app that may not be enjoyed past the holiday, but this app is so much fun, it is worth a closer look in iTunes.