There’s no avoiding it; technology is taking over our lives, even for the very young. There are so many apps aimed at kids: games, educational apps, apps connected to favourite film and TV characters and story apps. The traditional idea of a bedtime story book is being replaced in some households by a story app on a tablet or phone, giving an interactive element for the child.
Oh No, Santa’s Lost His Presents! is a story app aimed at young children for the festive season. In the short story, the reader, as a boy or girl character must help Santa find all the presents that have fallen from his sleigh in time for him to deliver them on Christmas Eve.
What does the app do?
When the app opens, the user must choose either the boy or girl character. You can also choose whether to turn off the gentle, jingling background music and the narration, in case you, or your child, would like to read the story yourself.
The story then begins. The crisp, clean and simple graphics scroll across the screen as snow falls. The rhyming words to the story appear in the sky for the user to read along with, although younger readers may struggle with the ‘joined up’ font.
The idea is that one of Santa’s missing presents appears on each screen for the child to find. There are four in total. Once found, the child must put the presents in Santa’s sleigh. Santa then thanks the child and tells them they must go to sleep in order to receive presents on Christmas morning.
What did we think?
I loaded the app and left Small to it – she’s pretty savvy when it comes to the iPad and she found it in no time and opened it up and clicked on a character. It was pretty simple to use; to move on to the next screen, the user can either click on the green signpost at the bottom corner, or the screen can be swiped, which is what Small found easiest. She’s too young to read the words herself, so we left the narration on. We found the graphics appealing and not cluttered on the screen and Small enjoyed the movement of the snow and sleigh.
Small seemed a little frustrated that she couldn’t move the presents around more. Tapping on them made them jump a little, but it would have been nice if they could have been moved across the screen into Santa’s sack, for example. Small is used to a higher level of interactivity, but then this is a story and not a game.
The story is short and simple enough to engage young children without becoming boring; Small has ‘played’ it several times independently. It will also interest slightly older children who are just getting to grips with reading as they can have a go at reading the story out loud, perhaps to a younger sibling.
Oh No, Santa’s Lost His Presents! is a lovely way to engage younger children in the excitement of the build up to Christmas day.
What are the details?
The app can be found here and is currently only available for Apple devices, including Apple TV. It costs £1.49 and is suitable for children aged 5 and under.
Disclosure: We were given a free download of the app for review purposes, however all views and opinions are my own.