Kids already bubbling over with excitement that Santa will be on his way in just a few more days? Santa apps for kids can be a really magical way to bring the story to life, only we’ve tried out plenty and sheesh, some of them belong on the naughty list. So here are 4 of the very best techy ways to bring Santa and your kids together; although there’s still no substitute for leaving out real cookies and milk on Christmas Eve.
NORAD Santa Tracker
I remember the first year we tracked Santa’s progress using NORAD, The site of the US + Canada’s actual North American Aerospace Command. I swear my kids ran straight to bed when they saw how close Santa and his sleigh was getting to our region on the map on Christmas eve. Now, a few years later, the NORAD Santa website is even more fun, with new games each day leading up to Christmas, holiday music, and little videos about Santa’s upcoming trip and the making of the platform–though that Ukranian Santa looks awfully skinny. Tip: stick with the site on your browser–the mobile app isn’t nearly as functional.
Oh, sure kids, I’ve seen Santa…let me show you this video of him eating cookies and milk in our own living room. The super-cool–and free–Kringl app puts Santa in very your home, eating cookies, checking his list, or looking for a gift in his big sack. Just hold your iPhone steady, scale Santa, and he’ll placed right in your room. What a great way to demonstrate to kids without chimneys that he won’t be deterred from visiting them, too. The app is free at iTunes and Google Play, with a chance to make a donation first to Make-a-Wish Canada which I love.
Google Santa Tracker Christmas Countdown
Stuck in a long check out line? Hand the kids your phone and let them check out this free Santa Tracker site from Google which has fun little videos and games for each day leading up until Christmas, in the style of an advent calendar. The adorable graphics will keep them entertained, and since we’re already halfway through the month, they’ll have lots of days leading up to today to check out.
Portable North Pole
This is possibly our very favorite: a platform makes so easy to hear a personalized message from Santa to your child after you’ve input lots of details about him or her. (Don’t worry, no school names or social security numbers.) This is one cool bit of smart technology that really will make even a cynical kid’s mouth drop open. They have become a cool holiday tradition since we discovered them a few years back–but stick with the free web-based app on your browser; again, the mobile app needs a lot of work. You can save your message for a limited time. Good, because kids will want to watch it over and over.