30+ Free Apps for Celebrating & Learning About December Holidays
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December 2, 2012 By: Shelly Terrell
Part of the Cool Sites series and Mobile Learning category
“As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.”~ Mary Anne Radmacher
Tis the season to be jolly, especially with the newest interactive and multimedia apps available to celebrate. Children, adolescents, and teens can create very meaningful gifts for friends and family members or get into the holiday spirit by using the suggested apps below. The apps are very easy to use, often free, and have various multimedia options. These apps integrate images, audio, text, video and extras. Children can also easily send the messages, videos, and cards at anytime for parents or friends to wake up and see on their phones or in their email. Many of these apps have the ability for users to share their creations through online communities, such as Facebook, and Twitter! For ideas on how to use these apps with students, view my slideshare presentation, Holiday Apps for Creating Gifts & Learning!
Holiday Greeting Apps
Students will enjoy sending a special greeting to loved ones and friends either through video, with personalized pictures, or with a holiday e-card. Some are equipped with Christmas and Hanukkah backgrounds and extras!
- Holiday Video by Vlix (I-friendly)- Students can create a personalized video greeting up to 60 seconds. Choose from 17 holiday video effects, 16 holiday music tracks, various fonts and color, upload your own photos, and share on Facebook, YouTube, email, or your vlix feed
- Animoto (Android/I-friendly)- Upload up to 10 images, choose a soundtrack from the library (many nice holiday tunes to choose from, and click a button to make a 30-second video. Sync your videos with your Animoto.com account, download videos for offline viewing, and make longer ones with an All-Access Pass. Sign up for an educator account to create longer videos for free.
- Fotobabble- Quickly create and easily share talking photos in 3 steps (Snap or select or a photo, speak into the microphone to record audio, share with friends via email, Facebook or Twitter). You do get various holiday themed backgrounds. Example- Here’s Rosco, my pug’s holiday card to you!
Interactive Holiday Apps
- Disco Santa Video Card- This is only compatible with the iPad 2 but students create a video of themselves with friends dancing with a Christmas monster then email the video.
- RedStamp (I-friendly)- send free e-greeting cards with various free holiday templates in the spirit of Hanukkah and Christmas and upload your photos
- Holiday Cards by Sincerely (Android/I-friendly)- send free e-greeting cards with various free holiday templates and the ability to personalize
- A Card for That (Android)-send free e-greeting cards with various free holiday templates and the ability to personalize
These holiday apps have students read, play educational games, create videos detailing their wish lists, and more!
Talking Holiday Apps
- Wishstix (I-friendly)- record a video of you as an elf telling Santa what you want for Christmas and email to friends. It’s interactive with an elf prompting students.
- Christmas Fun HD- (I-friendly) Students get into the Christmas spirit with interactive sing alongs, dress up games, painting activities, peek-a-boo games, interactive stories and so much more!
- StoryKit- create a holiday book (I-friendly). Upload your own photos, doodle, add voice narration, or edit a classic book like the 3 Little Pigs or Humpty Dumpty.
- Letters to Santa (I-friendly; search for the free version)- kids write unlimited letters to Santa Claus who responds
- 123 Color: Hanukkah Coloring Book- (I-friendly) students learn numbers, letters, and colors with engaging artwork, music, sound effects, and voice-overs spoken in these 12 languages and dialects
- Light My Fire- (I-friendly) Students learn about Hanukkah and get to light a virtual traditional Hanukkah lamp.
- Become Santa Claus in 24 Days- students play 24 problem-solving games that will help them achieve a Santa diploma in the end
- Jingle All the Way- Interactive book on i-devices that has games, puzzles, and more for kids!
- Henry Motlies Christmas Story- Interactive book on i-devices where children can listen to the story in English or German, play games, and has interactive features.
- Christmas Eve SO- Interactive book on i-devices that features cartoons, karaoke read along, pronunciation of each word, syllable breakdown, vowel displays, word explanations and illustrations, and French, English, German options.
- Toca Hair Salon Hair X-mas- style Santa’s hair (I-friendly)
- Norad Santa Tracker (Android/I-friendly/Blackberry)- search in your phone’s app store for free versions; track Santa as he drops off his gifts.
- Santa Hat Sewing (I-friendly)- is a brand new arts and crafts app that will lead you all the way to design and sew that perfect Santa Hat for your kids. This art and craft app has been specially designed for the kids to take an active role in making a Santa hat.The Santa Hat Sewing app will teach you and show you how to make a great one. Idea- Create a Santa hat for a favorite doll or loved one with a cute title like Mrs. Claus!
- MeeGenius- helps kids read with a library of books that have read along features, word highlighting, narration, and other features to help those with autism (Android/I-friendly)
- Santa’s Village- Interactive games/reading (Android)
- Tales2Go- Audio Stories (free for 30 days; I-friendly)
Students speak to these characters and they repeat the words back in a funny voice. You can have students send holiday greetings, come up with their gift wish lists, create a modern version of Christmas songs like the 12 days of Christmas, sing a holiday chant or song or record a Christmas poem, video, joke, or rhyme.
Holiday Music Creation Apps
- Talking Santa (Android version)- Students talk to Santa and he repeats their words. They can poke, swipe or tickle him and he reacts. They can also send video Christmas cards via email or Facebook or upload to Youtube.
- Talking Santa 3D HD (iPad)- Students talk to Santa and he repeats their words. He does 10 different poses, dances ballet, plays snowball and gives special gifts like a Superman as well as candy. They can also send video Christmas cards via email or Facebook or upload to Youtube.
- Talking Santa Meets Ginger (Android version)- Students talk to Santa and he repeats their words to Ginger the mischievous cat. Ginger tickles/kicks Santa, pulls off his beard, puts a finger up his nose, sets his hat on fire, and more. They can also send video cards via email or Facebook or upload to Youtube.
- Talking Gremlin (I-friendly)- students talk to the Christmas Gremlin and he repeats their words in a funny voice. They can also interact with him to make him do funny things and create/send video cards via email or Facebook or upload to Youtube.
- Talking Gingerbread Man (I-friendly) students talk to the Gingerbread Man and he repeats their words in a funny voice. They can also interact with him to make him do funny things and create/send video cards via email or Facebook or upload to Youtube.
Create holiday music or send a singing carol with these great apps!
- Autotune Xmas (I-friendly)- kids sing along to their favorite popular hits from Beiber, Lady Gaga, Madonna and more and can send as a video to someone else.
- A Holiday Piano Book: Jingle Bells by StoryBoy (I-friendly) an interactive and illustrated holiday piano book that teaches kids to play songs on a virtual piano
- Maxi’s Holiday Piano (I-friendly) simon says style game with a virtual keyboard to teach students how to play favorite holiday songs
- Piano Mi (I-friendly) videos teach children how to play Christmas favorites on a virtual keyboard they get to interact with
- Christmas Piano (Android/I-friendly)- search in your app store for the free version
- My Baby Piano (Android) great for very young learners. This app features drumming and keyboard lessons
Try these apps with your students and blog about any exciting ways you use them!