Wet Nose Design has created an adorable app called Santa’s Big Helper, designed to support your kids’ belief in Santa while giving them activities to pass the time while they wait for the big day.
The app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It requires iOS 5.0 or later. It is available in English only and is available from the iTunes App Store for US$0.99.
Santa’s Big Helper app home page
The app allows parents to create a short video that shows Santa appearing in front of their fireplace or in front of the Christmas tree. It is extremely easy to make, although it took me a couple of tries to get Santa to stand on the ground instead of in the air. Most of it is automated and the cool thing is that as soon as Santa realizes he is being photographed he blows magic dust on the camera so the viewer doesn’t see him after he lands.
There are explicit instructions for making the video, although I had no problems making it without reading them.
There is an option for listing the names of children and marking each day if they are naughty or nice. You can allow children to write letters to Santa.
Setting up details for each child
The app includes a talking elf who answer preset questions such as “is Santa real”, and “why is Rudolph’s nose red”. There is an option that counts down the days, hours and minutes until Christmas and another that allows you to follow Santa’s trek across the world on Christmas Eve.
All of the activities are controlled by adults in a section that is password protected. Depending on the age(s) of the children involved, different aspects of the game can be activated or not as the discretion of the parents.
Using the product
I tested this app with both my iPad 2 and my iPhone 4S. To my surprise it was more user friendly on the iPhone. The images were sharper and there was no need to turn the phone as seemed to be the case with the iPad. It took me about five minutes to completely set up all aspects of the app and be completely comfortable using it. I particularly like the Santa video. It was very realistic. Well, it was realistic as soon as I had Santa land on the ground and not float in the air, but that was my problem.
I found the app to be well designed and well executed. There are a lot of components, but everything worked like it was supposed to and it was easy to use.
Do I recommend it?
I do. I loved believing in Santa and everything about this app supports that belief. If that is something that is important in your family then I recommend you give this app a try. It can be fun for kids and parents both.