10 Best Holiday Apps for Kids

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'Twas the night before Christmas and across the map, every child was playing with a holiday app. The holiday season means festive parties, volunteering, family gatherings, and last-minute shopping—one seriously jam-packed schedule. That's why just like Santa, you need a bag of the best holiday apps for kids to use on tablets, smart phones and MP3 players, keeping little hands busy while you check items off your to-do list.

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Appy Holidays

The best holiday apps won't only keep your kid busy, but these interactive games can help keep his mind sharp, and avoid a winter slide before school starts up again. Here are ten entertaining, educational apps—found on iTunes, Android Market and Amazon—that will test your little one's reading, math, logical and spatial skills.

Christmas Fun – All in One Holiday Spirit HD!

Ring in the holiday season with Christmas Fun – All in One Holiday Spirit HD! This festive app, boasting 14 interactive games, stories and sing-alongs to keep little minds sharp and entertained. The activities are super simple and require next to zero parental involvement. From dressing up Santa and Snowman in silly garb and memory match, to Christmas puzzles and the gingerbread peek-a-boo, little learners will get hours of fun from this comprehensive collection.

Brainzy

This early learning program for kids features games that get kids skiing, learning about the seasons, and making the perfect mug of hot chocolate!

These games help kids learn over 30 essential math and reading skills. Plus, they're accessible online on any iPad or computer, so you can even play them when you're at grandma's house for the holidays.

Click here to play Brainzy.

Tacky's Christmas

Christmas has come to Nice Icy Land, where Tacky and his penguin friends are gearing up for a cheer-filled holiday … until a hunting gang arrives! Kids will love following this silly feathered friend as he saves the holiday—and his pals. Boasting both “Read to Me” and “Read it Myself” options, this beautifully illustrated storybook comes to life on the smart screen.

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Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure HD

‘Tis the season for learning … and Dora’s Christmas Carol Adventure is the perfect interactive companion for teaching preschool building blocks. Full of holiday surprises at every turn, this app’s Spanish-speaking darling is on a mission with Santa to help Swiper the Fox learn about the spirit of Christmas.

PopOut! The Night Before Christmas

This electronic rendition of childhood classic, The Night Before Christmas, is full of surprises! Based on the beloved children's story by Clement Clarke Moore, this storybook app allows kids to interact with everything on the page as the story is read. Little learners can tap and swipe their way through all the bells and whistles of an old-fashioned pop-up book, like pulling tabs and spinning wheels, but the interactive element brings the sumptuous turn-of-the-century illustrations to life.

Winter Land

Love playing board games with your kids but hate the mess and the missing pieces? Problem solved! Winter Land is an engaging, super simple Candy Land-style game, where kids can help Santa race to the North Pole and save Christmas. While there's a bit of instructive reading at the beginning, the rest of gameplay is strictly fun. Simply tap cards and move your character—each one a toy that’s fallen out of Santa’s sleigh—the dictated number of colored spaces.

Santa's Christmas Village

Save your airline miles—no need to travel to the North Pole for kids to get up close and personal with Saint Nick. While Santa's Christmas Village isn't the most sophisticated holiday app on the market, its features keep kids engaged in festive fun. Each building in the village houses a different game—for a total of 17—featuring mostly variations on classics, from connect four and tic-tac-toe to Sudoku and checkers.

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Crazy Coin Christmas

Crazy Coin Christmas gives the popular Crazy Coin app a red, white and merry makeover. As the coins and presents fall from the sky, kids tilt the device back and forth to catch them in a small purse, which later changes to Santa's goodie bag. Watch out for the grumpy Christmas bulbs though—they’ll steal points. When little elves snag 100 points, the level is clear!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Peanuts gang is back, searching for the meaning of Christmas in this beloved, heartfelt eBook. Charlie Brown is one of the longest-held traditions for families everywhere, so what better way to celebrate the season than to share the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas? This interactive storybook takes kids through the timeless tale, boasting all of the original cast voices, vintage illustrations (with a modern twist) and fun activities.

123 Coloring: Hanukkah Coloring Book

Hanukkah has arrived, and what better way to celebrate than a virtual coloring book? 123 Color: Hanukkah Coloring Book celebrates the Festival of Lights with kid-friendly holiday imagery—including latkes, menorahs and dreidels, to name a few—to celebrate the Jewish festivities. Boasting a palette with up to 30 colors, shapes, numbers, songs and virtual artistic tools, this app’s perfect for downtime during the holiday season. Kids can choose to color in the four provided coloring books, or kick start creative juices with freestyle finger painting—ideal for open-ended play.

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights StoryChimes

Learn about the true meaning behind the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah with this touching interactive storybook. Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights StoryChimes, little ones can build new vocabulary while following along as the narrator reads, while older kids can tackle each sentence solo. Unfortunately, illustrations don’t offer up any engaging surprises, and there’s little in the way of engaging activities to play along with—aside from a memory match game.

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